I often get asked what makes our box different than the boxes some other cleaners use. The box, also known as a preservation chest, is one of the most critical components of a proper wedding gown preservation. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of a good wedding gown preservation box:
Not Vacuum Sealed
Vacuum sealing your wedding gown after it is clean will lead to premature yellowing and creases that cannot come out. A proper wedding gown box will have the edges sealed, but will be made of a type of cardboard. Cardboard breathes! The box edges are sealed to keep critters out. There are different levels of cardboard boxes used for preservation, starting at regular cardboard (the worst!) all the way to purpose made boxes with all of the right components (what we use). Even the best box can be toxic to your dress if it is vacuum sealed.
Acid Free, Not Just pH Neutral
Wedding gown preservation boxes need to be acid free, not just pH neutral. Cheap boxes can be manufactured to be pH neutral but these boxes will re-acidify over time. The way to make sure a box will never acidify over time is to make sure the base paper is low in lignin and high in alpha cellulose with no other chemicals to hide or change the pH.
No Plastic in the Window
There shouldn’t be any plastic in the window. Plastic breaks down over time and will cause the wedding dress to yellow near the window as time passes. You don’t want that. Our window is made of polyester – archival clear oriented polyester to be exact. Polyester is what many wedding gowns are made of so you know it is safe next to your treasured gown.
Acid Free Tissue
The tissue paper in the wedding gown preservation box should have the same characteristics as the box itself. The tissue paper should be acid free, with no tricks to make it pH neutral for the time being.
Nothing Else In The Box
There shouldn’t be anything stored with your gown that can off-gas and damage your gown. Shoes and bust inserts are typically the biggest offenders. These items should be stored separately from your wedding gown.
Janet Davis Cleaners uses only archival quality chests that adhere to the highest standards. To back it up, the manufacturer of our boxes has the boxes independently tested. We do all of this to ensure that you wedding gown will stand the test of time when it is preserved at Janet Davis Cleaners.