- 6 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
So with only 3 days to go until my first dress fitting, and my dress (a floor sample) having an unfortunate grey tinge around the hemline, I got my wits about me, got on wedding bee, googled the heck out of “washing a wedding dress”, and then told my mom we were going to just wash the dress ourselves. My seamstress had recommended drycleaning prior to seamstressing, but my mom researched dry cleaning and got very very nervous about it (what with beads discoloring, etc) and I’ve never been a fan of drycleaning anyway (chemicals, chemicals, bad chemicals). My dress is an a-line many, many, layered dress (tulle, tulle, tulle, organza, heavy tulle, etc) with beading on the bodice, hipline, and a beaded organza overlay. The bodice and beaded overlay did NOT get washed, we tied those up together out of the way. Oh and the dress is polyester, first time I was like “thank goodness its poly!!”. If the dress had been silk or a silk blend, I probably would have been forced to have it drycleaned.
Here is what we used: about 5 white towels, 4 white sheets (for around the tub and IN the tub), plastic drying rack, and wool-lite. Oh and a tub. A big tub. The sheets were a great idea, because not only did they line the tub and prevent any weird tub scum from getting on my dress, but it also made it easier to drain the tub, squeeze water out of the dress, and LIFT the dress after we were done. This is definitely a TWO person job, I couldn’t have done it without my mom. We filled the tub with about 4-6 inches of warm water, dumped in woolite, and got as much of the skirt into the water as we could. We agitated it and the woolite, and watched the water turn grey. Let it soak a bit, agitated it a bit more. As the dress was just dusty and not actually stained we didn’t scrub at any part of the dress, just swished it around to get it all. Cue rinsing it completely two times. My mom kept remarking that she couldn’t believe how much better it looked (while still in the water) during the first rinse.
Once we were done, and it was drying on the rack, she was still amazed with how good it looked. We also carefully handwashed some tulle that missed the giant soaking, and dried those separately. Those pieces also looked instantly better after we patted them dry with towels.
The dress is still drying (and has been moved to a dressmaker’s form to let it air some more, but I’m sure a hanger would do the job). But it looks 100% better now, all shimmering ivory instead of having this odd gray tinge to it from dust and shop handling. I’m just so happy knowing that the dress is ready to go for the seamstress AND for my wedding! Annnd that it we did it ourselves and didn’t spend a fortune at the dry cleaners — It took us like 30-45 minutes, and we spent $0 on this venture.
So this is a big THANK YOU to the hive at large — because if the other girls who came before me hadn’t either handwashed their dress or tossed it in the washer – -I don’t know if I would have had the guts to do it myself!