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Wedding Gown Preservation Case Study

I was married in the early 1980’s. At that time the most common wedding gown preservation method for bridal gowns was to have it vacuum packed in a box. This was supposed to protect the wedding dress from yellowing from oxygen. However,my husband and I were starving students and didn’t have the budget for that, so my dress hung inside my closet, without even a cover for it. I had sewn my own wedding dress and so I did not have the bridal shop garment bag you get with the purchase of a wedding gown.

Each time I saw my wedding dress hanging inside my closet I felt guilty. I was certain I was putting my wedding gown in danger, not having it vacuum packed. And yet, eventually I forgot about my wedding dress, and it remained in my closet.

Improved Wedding Gown Preservation Technique

I was asked by a friend in 1994 to assist her with a new type of wedding gown preservation. This new Museum Method™ wedding gown preservation technique was designed by textile preservation experts. It was different than box preservation. While still protecting your wedding gown from yellowing, dust, and light, it still allowed you to inspect and admire your wedding dress any time you want.

I learned that the vacuum packing that had been considered optimal protection in the 80’s was the worst protection that could be given a wedding dress! When a wedding dress is vacuum packed, all the air is sucked out of the box, leaving a bridal gown shriveled up. Often times when the box is opened years later, the dress was often ruined! All the creases in the wedding dress were now permanently set. Sometimes the dress was irreparably shredded.

I then determined it was time I took my wedding dress out of the closet to clean and preserve it. I was surprised at how good it looked. The oxygen hadn’t yellowed my wedding dress after all! It was a bit dusty and had oxidation spots because it had never been cleaned. I then gave my wedding gown a thorough cleaning followed by Museum Method™ wedding gown preservation. I was excited to see my wedding gown clean and properly protected. It looked beautiful!


70s Wedding Dress was not vacuum packed, but is now preserved with Museum Method™ wedding gown preservation.

70’s Wedding Dress was not vacuum packed, but is now preserved with Museum Method™ wedding gown preservation.

Inspection Important for Wedding Gown Preservation

My wedding dress still looks great today. I can easily check and admire it, and often do. I had discovered that oxygen was not the greatest enemy of wedding gown preservation.

Since the 1980’s, wedding gown preservation has come a long way. Vacuum packing is not a common practice any longer. There are now a few choices available for wedding gown preservation, all claiming to be the best. It can be very confusing. So how do you decide which wedding gown preservation will keep your wedding dress in the best condition?

Next: Part 3. Choosing Best Wedding Dress Preservation