True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

Anatomy of a restoration: 1930's silk wedding dress

Every now and again, we're presented with a restoration project that requires more thought, planning and pretesting than usual.

This was the case of a 1930's silk wedding dress brought to our facility by the granddaughter of the bride. Our client was to be married and decided that she'd like to wear her grandmother's dress. And to top it off, her wedding was planned for the week of her grandmother's 95th birthday.

A 75-year-old silk dress presents many challenges for a fabricare restoration specialist, the most important of which is assessing the strength of the fibers.

In all likelihood, a gown of this vintage has been exposed to acids over time. Typically, acids migrate or transfer from materials in which the gown was stored, such as cardboard boxes and cedar chests, and cause the fabric to yellow and brittle over time. So it's always wise to proceed under the assumption that the fabric will be weak or brittle in places.

The before and after photos below show the transformation from a musty, heavily creased, beige-colored, heavily soiled dress to an odorless, off white spectacularly clean dress that required only a nip and tuck in the hands of one of our skilled seamstresses.

1930s silk wedding dress before back 1930s silk wedding dress before front
1930s silk wedding dress after back 1930s silk wedding dress after front

1930s silk wedding dress after open back

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