Your wedding dress is precious to you.
After your big day and before packing it away you will need to get it cleaned. Cleaning removes not only those stains that you can see, but also those that may not show until later - like perfume, body oils, perspiration and champagne! Many untreated stains, however minor, will soon become 'set' into the fabric; some invisible marks, particularly simple drink spills containing sugar, will progressively darken and oxidize with time, becoming very difficult (if not impossible) to remove later and are likely to cause permanent marking.
One of the biggest reasons brides give for not having their dress cleaned is that the stains remind them of their day - but not so romantic when you get your dress out fondly on your first anniversary to find a large yellow blob on the skirt or a dribble down the bodice..... more Shrek's Fiona than Cinderella on the fairytale princess front! So let's preserve the right memories and keep you feeling beautiful by cleaning your dress.
At Playhouse we specialize in caring for your dress and have years of experience in processing the delicate fabrics and beadings used in most wedding dresses.
As each dress is individual we will need to see and examine it so we can discuss with you how it may react to the cleaning process and how much it will cost. We can't give you a price without an examination; the cost depends on the size of the dress, the design, whether it has beading or embellishments, the material it is made from and so on. But as a rough guide, cleaning starts from around £80 for the most simple of designs rising to around £160 for something more complicated. No need to make an appointment - just come on in to the shop.
Once cleaned, we can hang your dress. If you still have your original cover we can return it in that if you want; we use a padded satin-styled hanger for ultimate beauty and protection from snagging or catching. But although fine in the short term, it is not advisable to hang a dress for a long period of time as it is often heavy and this places stress on the seams and shape of the dress. Plastic dress covers are also adequate for a short time, but they let in light which can fade the fabric, and they do not allow for changes in humidity which in extreme cases could cause condensation and mould.
A box will protect your dress from light and dust, which can fade or mark the dress. A specialized strong and durable pH-neutral box and proper packing in acid free tissue paper can provide excellent protection against any untoward accident, and unlike a plastic cover, a wedding dress box allows the fabrics of the dress to breathe. Boxes can cost an extra £55 to £65 on top of the cleaning cost, depending on the box required. We are also happy to package other items with the dress like your veil or tiara.
We can also supply Wedding Dress Travel Boxes, accepted on most major airlines as cabin baggage so you can keep your dress with you at all times if you are jetting off abroad for your wedding. Available in a variety of colours, they come with acid free tissue paper to enable you to pack your dress properly for its journey. Special order - delivery to our shop will usually take around 2 weeks.
If you had your dress cleaned and hung after your wedding but now want it boxed, we can help. It might currently be taking up too much room in your wardrobe; you might be moving house and want it properly packaged for transportation. With our Wedding Dress Boxing Service just purchase one of our boxes and we will pack and present your dress in it for you for FREE. Just ask in store for details. (Please note: it is NOT recommended that you pack your dress for storage if it has been worn but not cleaned.)
And finally, some pointers for the long-term storage of your wedding dress:
Store your dress away from light, heat, dust and damp. Try to avoid storing your dress in the loft - where all sorts of disasters can befall it! Extremes of temperature, a leaking roof, general damp, mustiness and insects can all affect a dress in the attic, even if it is well protected. Likewise avoid the garage, shed or other areas of high humidity and extremes of temperature.
Once packed away, check on your dress every six months or so to ensure nothing untoward has happened to it. Unpacking the dress and repacking it every year can help prevent any creases becoming too permanent.