Caring for Silk Wedding Dresses

Caring for Silk Wedding Dresses: Maintenance Tips for Silk Gowns

Silk is a luxurious yet delicate fabric requiring special care. Follow these tips for cleaning, storing, and preventing damage to your precious silk wedding dress.

Professional dry cleaning

Have your silk gown professionally dry cleaned before first wear and after your wedding. Avoid home washing which can damage the fibers. Find a specialist familiar with silk; ask about their cleaning methods. Wet cleaning is ideal, no harsh chemicals that may discolor or weaken silk over time.

Between wearings, steam the gown gently to refresh, using a professional steamer or your dry cleaner’s services. For storage, have it cleaned then wrap in acid-free tissue inside an archival box in a climate-controlled environment.

Spot cleaning delicate stains

If a small stain appears, mix a very gentle detergent like Woolite with cool distilled water. Test on an inconspicuous area first. Use a soft sponge and carefully blot the stain, avoid rubbing. Rinse with distilled water and blot dry with a lint-free cloth. Never soak the silk.

For oil-based stains, try blotting with rubbing alcohol then distilled water. Egg-based stains can be dabbed gently with vinegar diluted in water. Rinse thoroughly after spot treating.

Avoiding damage during wear

To prevent stains when wearing your silk gown, avoid spills and wear only after doing hair and makeup. Wear deodorant but skip the perfume to minimize sweat and body oils transferring to the silk fibers. Have bustles or trains bustled properly to keep them off the floor.

Select a lined slip in a non-clinging fabric to protect the dress interior. Avoid Velcro fasteners that can snag on silk. Prevent rips by stepping carefully and not pulling seams too tightly.

Proper storage conditions

After professional cleaning, store your silk dress lying flat in a cool, dark, dry place to prevent yellowing. Never hang silk which can stretch the fibers. Use an acid-free archival box with plenty of archival tissue to cushion.

Maintain temperature around 70°F and humidity at 55%. Use silica gel inside the box to control moisture. Check periodically for yellowing or stains developing. Long-term, museum-grade preservation is best for heirloom silk gowns.

With proper specialized dry cleaning and home spot cleaning, your precious silk wedding dress can stay pristine for generations. Take every precaution to keep silk fibers safe from damage, humidity, light, heat, and stains.

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