(Closed) I WASHED my gorgeous gown in the washing machine!!

posted 10 years ago in Dress
Post # 76
Member
6 posts
Newbee

Wow! I wouldn’t have been brave enough, but I’m so glad that turned out well for you!

Post # 77
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Hi girls! I’m a noob, and have been lurking for a bit.. Anyway, I just had to say to the OP and those that contributed– thank you!

 I bought my gown second hand and even though it had been dry cleaned before I got it, it was still filthy. My guess was because the gown was semi altered and the garment care tag was halfway in the seam, the dry cleaner couldn’t tell it was 100% Polyester (satin taffeta).. Once I got the gown, I “unaltered” it back to the factory size and I’ll let my seamstress alter it to fit me when the time comes but in doing so, the tags were now exposed, which allowed me to see what kind of fabric the dress was!

 From reading this thread and doing some more research on the cleaning of textiles in the formal wear industry, I decided to take my gown to the laundrymat and give it a go! 

The gown I own is a Mori Lee 2913, which is full of beading (embellishments?) and embroidery. First things first…. I removed the lace up back for the corset and buttoned up the modesty panel. Then I turned the gown inside out, and placed the dress and cording for the corset in a white sheet folded in half and closed with a running stitch. Grabbed a bottle of Woolite and off I went to the laundrymat. I put the sac, which looked like a dead body (no kidding, the people at the laundrymat gave me some scary stares, lol), into a quadruple washer with two capfuls of Woolite set on COLD and Delicate. Turned it on and prayed, lol…

 

 

Once it was done washing, I took it home, put on my white gloves and opened the seams on the sheet… She’s clean and no damage whats so ever.. WOOHOO!

Now, what I did notice, is that there’s still some schmutz on it by the hem, but if anything, it’s MUCH cleaner and whatever dirt is still there is minimal. I hung it up in my spare room on the ceiling fan (I added hanger straps for this purpose), and stuck a small fan under the dress to blow out the top of it so it can air dry more efficiently. There’s a ton of crinoline built into the gown, so I wanted to make sure the inside was not going to take forever to dry.

 

Yes, those are chairs fanning the skirt out, lol.

So other than a steaming (which I have), that looks like it did the trick! There’s no water marks, nothing damaging at all.

 

YAY!!  Thanks again you guys!

 

🙂 

 

 

Post # 79
Member
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m totally doing this! It’s just a DB faux silk taffeta with rouching and some light beading, so I think a large delicates bag should do it just fine. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to wash it at a laundromat before the honeymoon ( we leave monday morning) but I figure it can dry while we’re gone. Though I have read of brides who tumble dried low, which I might do to get some of the wetness out and then finish it by draping over the drying rack. I’ll do some extra spin cycles in the washer, tho, which should help.

I plan to donate my dress afterward and hated the idea of spending nearly the cost of the dress on cleaning it, but I don’t want to donate a dirty dress, either! If it gets ruined in the wash, then maybe my seamstress can use it for fabric scraps??

Post # 80
Member
1433 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

ahhh I have a duchess silk gown that is fairly clean but has some hem dirt and I really want to clean it myself because I don’t see the point in $400 dry cleaning bill!

Has anyone tried silk?  What would you do different if you were working with duchess silk?

Please help!

Post # 81
Member
2294 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

SO glad I saw this. I am half considering doing a “rock the dress” session in a brook…so I was hoping I would be able to wash at home. I’ve put prom dresses in the wash before without a problem!

In a few weeks I may toss my wedding dress in the was too 🙂 hehe

Post # 82
Member
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I totally did it and it came out perfectly fine! Just turned it inside out, put it in a laundry bag, and washed it cold on our handwash cycle. Drapped it over a towel on a drying rack afterward. I should’ve spot-treated the hem first, but it’s the very bottom underside that will get dirty the moment it’s put back on, anyway. 🙂

Saved $200!

Post # 83
Member
5636 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

Wow thanks for these tips!

Post # 84
Member
47 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Wow, I don’t think I have the guts to try this!!

Post # 85
Member
2294 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Just wanted to update!

I washed my Casablanca 1900 (lace dress) in my washing machine on  the handwash cycle and then hung it up to dry with a fan underneath and VOILA! Perfect!

SO glad I did this!

Post # 86
Member
6303 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I did this with a dress and all was fine.

Back when Trash The Dress sessions were first becoming popular, another photographer and myself wanted to mock TTD to scope out locations. I found a dress (mostly tulle bottom w/ satin and beading on the bodice) and we went to town. We went out one day for the first of our locations, and then I washed the dress in the washing machine, before we went on a second day of shooting. It was no worse for the wear! 

Post # 87
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

@KimmySumShuga:  Well-kept garment industry secret: you can wash silk garments yourself, too, even if they say dry-clean only. Instead of detergent and a washing machine, though, you want to use shampoo and do a hand-wash. Silk is a natural fiber not all that different from human hair in some of its qualities: it also becomes stretchy and more fragile when wet, so you don’t want to put it in a washing machine where it will get tossed around and the fibers will get damaged, but if you are willing to pop it in the bathtub and let it soak for a couple of hours, and maybe spend a little time washing out any spots by hand, you could wash a silk gown yourself.

I would do a couple of things: try to find a really gentle shampoo, fragrance-free and color-free if at all possible, and maybe do a test run washing a different silk piece first, or maybe just a small, inconspicuous part of the dress, to see how the fabric holds up and see if you feel comfortable doing the whole thing? Maybe if you have some marks on the hem or the train, you could wash just that part, let it dry, and compare it to the rest. Or if you had a matching wrap, bolero, a detachable modesty panel for the corset, leftover fabric from alterations, etc, you could use that as a guinea pig. If you feel like you don’t want to risk it for the whole dress, you can still take it to the cleaners and you haven’t lost anything.

The reason why so many garments say “dry clean only” (even if they’re polyester) is primarily liability. The garments in reality should be fine from washing at home, but putting “Dry Clean Only” on the tag adds an extra layer of legal protection for the manufacturer if a customer messes up and then files a complaint and wants money back or a replacement garment.

Post # 89
Member
2014 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

That is incredible thanks for posting pictures!!! What soap did you use? 

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