Garment care tips
BRIDAL GOWNS (Part 3: Secondhand and heirloom gowns)
Restoration: Keeping an open mind
“Older” gowns can offer oodles of options with regard to fabrics and styles, and can offer a special slant at a reasonable price. Typical concerns with an older gown are:
- Fabric Condition and fragility
- Color inconsistencies and stubborn or un-removable stains
- Alterations, Repairs and Restyling (and additional costs and time)
My good nature has been tested by brides who have chosen to wear older gowns, but want them to look like “new” gowns.” Certain truths should be accepted when choosing an older gown: The beauty and personality of an heirloom gown should be appreciated and accepted, yet so often the bride tries to make it into a new gown, which is not only contrary but often a waste of time.
- If the gown has yellowed, then it can usually be “lightened” by careful wet cleaning and possible bleaching.
- If the style needs a bit of “sprucing up,” a patient and experienced dressmaker or tailor can make a bustle; If there is deterioration to the lace or other areas, then it can be replaced; If there are unsightly stains that cannot be removed by wet cleaning, then lace or appliqué can be added to cover the area.
There are many options. The key is to have an open mind and a relaxed attitude.
Next Month: After the wedding... Cleaning and preservation
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