You will learn how to properly box and store a wedding dress for long-term preservation. A wedding gown is one of the most sentimental purchases a woman makes in her life, so shoving it into the back of the closet simply won’t do. Whether you need to keep your dress pristine for a vow renewal, pass it on to a sister or daughter, or simply have a reminder of your special day, following these simple steps will allow you to store your gown in great shape. Before you box your dress, have it professionally cleaned at a reputable, certified cleaner. Omaha Lace Cleaners, for example, is a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists and uses museum quality preservation techniques.
To get started, you’ll need an acid-free gown box and plenty of acid-free tissue paper. White cotton gloves will also prevent any oil and dirt on your hands from coming into contact with your gown. Drape the gown front-side down over the open box, letting the top and sides of the skirt spill over. The front hem of the dress should lie at the bottom of the box, just touching the edges. Help the top of the gown hold its shape by tucking an acid-free bust-board into the bodice or by using acid-free tissue paper as padding. Next, gently lift the skirt of the gown and tuck more tissue paper into the waist and skirt area, especially near the edges of the box where you’ll later be folding the gown inside. Smooth and straighten each layer of the skirt as you add tissue. If your gown has any taffeta in the skirts, carefully gather it together and tuck it into the box.
Next, gently fold the sides of the skirt inwards, and tuck them into the sides of the gown box. With the skirt arranged, fold the bodice of the dress back up over the skirt, and smooth and tuck any excess fabric. If your gown box has a window, be sure to arrange the bodice so that you can see it well when the box is closed. Close the box over the gown, being careful not to press too hard and risk flattening the bodice. If necessary, lift the bodice and instead press on the skirt to make more room in the box. For an extra layer of protection, slip the box into a muslin cover bag. Never use plastic for long-term storage, as it can trap in moisture, and won’t allow the fabric to breathe. Store your dress in a cool, dry place away from direct light, such as an upstairs closet, or in a climate-controlled storage unit. By properly boxing and storing your gown, you’re sure to protect those important wedding day memories for years to come.