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Where can you get a wedding dress dry-cleaned and preserved in Wilmington?

Cassie Foss
StarNews

Photos.com

Note: This answer was updated in July 2016.

Now that the celebration is over, some brides opt to sell their wedding dress or donate it to an organization that helps less fortunate brides. Others, however, choose to hold on to their gown as a keepsake.

If you want to keep your dress in good condition, you’ll want to get it cleaned, preserved and properly package it for storage. Wedding gown preservation is a special cleaning and packaging technique designed to maintain the gown.

Several wedding dress shops in Wilmington, including The Wedding Dress Shoppe and Camille’s of Wilmington, said they ship dresses to New York to be cleaned.

The process is actually simpler than it sounds. Simply go to one of the many local dress shops like the two mentioned above, and they can give you a wedding dress preservation kit in-store.

Both stores said they send dresses to The Wedding Dress Preservation Co. in New York, whether customers want the dresses cleaned, preserved or both.

First, any stains or dirt the dress collected after a night of partying are removed, and then the gown is wrapped. Preservationists generally use acid-free tissue paper or unbleached muslin, as plastic can cause permanent wrinkles and mildewing. The dress is typically placed in an acid-free or pH-neutral box, often with a clear viewing window.

It’s a good idea to have your dress cleaned as soon as possible after the wedding to keep stains (like red wine or mud) from setting permanently, especially if the dress is made of a delicate material, such as silk.

To find a good preservationist, ask friends, family, or a bridal salon for recommendations. Ask questions about the reputation and experience of the cleaner.

Have the company explain the process your dress will go through under their care. Ask if the cleaner uses perchloroethylene, known as perc. This chemical is sometimes used by dry cleaners, but it’s too abrasive for wedding gowns, experts say. Your gown should have no odor after the preservation process is complete.

Ask if the wedding gown cleaner/preservationist offers guarantees before committing to a company. Once your dress has been properly preserved, keep the box stored in a place that is dry and not too hot.

Here’s a link for a list of local dry cleaning companies that clean and preserve wedding gowns.

-Ashley Morris contributed to this answer.

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