2. Treat invisible stains. Most sugar based stains (from cake icing, white wine, etc.) are invisible at first, but quickly yellow over time leaving nasty stains. Make sure your gown is treated for all stains, visible and invisible.
3. 100% Clean. Make sure your gown is 100% clean meaning all stains (both visible and invisible) have been treated, nobody has touched your gown after it is clean and nothing has been applied to your wedding gown to preserve it.
4. Remove pads. Bust pads absorb body oils and perspiration and then slowly release them over time (a process called off-gassing) which will age your gown at a faster rate. Removing these items before cleaning will prevent this process from occurring.
5. Acid Free Box. Use an acid-free preservation chest, not one which is only pH neutral. If the box isn’t fully acid-free, it could re-acidify over time which will cause your gown to prematurely age.
6. Use an acid-free bust form and acid-free tissue paper at every fold. This will hold the shape of your wedding dress, prevent wrinkles, all while helping to fight the effects of time.
7. Lignin-Free Box. Lignin content will decompose over time, releasing acidic and corrosive elements, making the box yellow, brittle and weak. Make sure your wedding gown preservation chest is lignin-free.
8. High Alpha Cellulose Content in box. A high percentage of alpha cellulose (87% or more) is necessary for longevity and stability in the wedding gown preservation chest.
9. No plastic window. Plastic is another material which will off-gas and turn your bridal gown yellow over time. A window in the preservation chest is fine as long as its made of a material that will not off-gas over time, such as archival clear oriented polyester.
10. Allow the garment to breath. A wedding gown that is properly preserved WILL NOT be vacuum or plastic sealed. Trapping air with your wedding dress will cause it to yellow faster and will set folds and wrinkles permanently. Cardboard has microscopic pores which will allow your gown to breathe properly. A plastic bag around the box is normal for transportation, just make sure to remove the plastic when you get your gown home.