Wedding postponed? Take care of your wedding ensemble

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By Aditi Roy

New Delhi– For many brides, the search for “the one” can be a long and drawn-out process, and we aren’t talking about the groom!

It’ their precious wedding ensemble that involves months of planning with multiple visits to bridal boutiques. Special occasions deserve a special look. For brides scheduled to tie the knot this year, the coronavirus pandemic has paused almost every aspect of wedding planning, with thousands of couples forced to reconsider their upcoming nuptials.

We have some tips on how to protect and preserve your wedding gown in the event you had picked it up prior to the outbreak; you’re going to want to make sure your gown stays in the best condition possible until your big day, whenever it happens.

Here are a few tips to maintain these gorgeous possessions go on to become heirlooms.

Preserving your wedding ensemble for future generations can be done with just a bit of care. The key is to protect it from the elements, especially light and moisture. With proper handling, the gown and accessories should last for years. Planning for the future preservation of your wedding dress begins on the day you start shopping. When you find “the dress” be sure to ask the sales consultant how the dress should be cleaned.

However, the most troubling part with these expensive purchases is their maintenance during this pandemic because weddings are being postponed. Given all the sheen and glitter, metallic borders, fabrics and colour combinations, maintaining them in mint condition is quite difficult. For example, real Zari needs very specific care, or it becomes discolored.

When it comes to Indian ethnic ensembles, they are available in a huge variety. Often the ones we buy for special occasions are ornate and embellished, crafted in myriad fabrics and detailed designs. Among the Indian Ethnic wear range, Sarees and Lehengas make for great buys, as they are versatile and fluid. You can wear them for years, at any age, and play with a variety of looks. There are many ways, one can store and take care of them.

“Store each of your silk sarees wrapped in a separate cotton or muslin cloth. You can also opt for soft towels. There are saree bags available in the market make sure you get a cotton bag and avoid using the polyester bags which are usually great for storing sarees of other fibres. The reason for covering your saree with a cotton or muslin cloth is so that the saree can breathe, the zari doesn’t darken from oxidation by reacting with air, to keep your saree from getting snagged by other fabrics in your wardrobe and to protect it from moths, also make it a point to refold your sarees every three months this will prevent it from tearing in the fold lines. If your saree has elaborate embroidery work, you can get a netted lining attached to preserve the thread work and keep it from getting tangled. Also be sure to fold this inside the folds of the saree in order to preserve its sheen,” say experts.

If your collection is simple and made from fabric that can be hand-washed at home, pretreat the stains and be sure to check the dress well for damage before you store it away. One important tip is to allow the gown to dry completely before packing away to prevent mildew growth. Keep the gown away from both artificial light and natural sunlight to prevent fabric damage.

If you plan to do your own packing of the dress and accessories for storage, be sure every piece is clean and completely dry before storing. Accessories like a belt or headband that have metal buttons or faux jewels and decorations should be stored separately from the fabric items to prevent accidental damage from tarnishing. You will also need to purchase archival tissue paper.

Wedding gown designer Rachel J Amritharaj suggests, ” Every wedding gown should be cleaned before being stored away for more than a few weeks even if it doesn’t look soiled. Perspiration, food and drink stains, and makeup stains can show up later and become much more difficult to remove. Look for a professional dry cleaner that specializes in wedding gown preservation.If possible, wedding dresses should be stored flat in an appropriately-sized container/box.”

“Garments that are left hanging can become misshapen and develop rips and tears from the stress on seams. Never use a regular cardboard box unless it is a storage box labelled for archival storage. These are made of acid-free paper and are perfectly safe to use. Buy the largest size needed because the fewer folds in the dress, the less chance there will be fiber breakage from creases. However, if you cannot find archival storage boxes or if you are concerned about the box getting crushed, purchase a plastic storage box. The box must be made of cast polypropylene to be safe for your fabric. Never store a wedding gown in the plastic bag furnished by a dry-cleaner. If you plan to leave the dress hanging, cover it with a white, 100 percent cotton garment bag or make one from a white cotton bed sheet,”she adds.

Instead, the experts recommend keeping your dress in any cool, dry area with a consistent temperature and no direct sunlight and also It is always better to use hangers for your silk and banarsi sarees, this method will leave your saree wrinkle free.

Also a few tips to keep in mind is that, before you begin, wash and dry your hands. No lotion or creams should be used that can stain the pieces. For best results, simply wear clean white cotton gloves. The job will be easier if you have a helper who can hold the dress while you cushion each fold, and also avoid extreme temperatures areas like attics, basements, and garages. The ideal spot is an interior space away from exterior walls and pipes that might burst and off the floor away from pets.

Inspect your wedding treasures at least once per year. Look for any stains that may appear and treat them promptly. You will have better success with stain removal the sooner the stains are caught. After inspecting, with clean hands, fold the items slightly differently and cushion with the tissue to minimize crease. (IANS)

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