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

The cleaning and restoration of an heirloom Christening gown (circa 1949)

Our client brought in a 3 piece christening gown that has been used by various members of her family over the past 60 years.

This 3 piece set, consisting of gown, bonnet and slip, has a rather interesting history ...

The gown, bonnet and slip were handmade in 1949 or 1950 by our client's grandmother who was a dressmaker in Sydney, Australia.

The lace for the gown and bonnet came from our client's mother's wedding gown and the silk from her maternal grandmother's wedding gown.

Unfortunately, the gown had soiled and yellowed over time due to improper cleaning and storage. And, as a direct consequence, the silk had acidified and appeared to be rather weak.

The challenge on this restoration was to restore the gown to as close to "white" as possible, while, simultaneously, preserving the "strength" of the fibers. Improper handling and cleaning could have resulted in a pile of threads.

Our client picked up the christening gown last night. To say that she was overjoyed with the results would be an understatement.

The christening gown is to be used this coming Sunday. Thereafter, our client is going to return it to us for recleaning and archival preservation.

The following before and after photos reflect the transformation ...


Gown before 1782 Gown before 1787
Gown before 1783 Gown before 1788
Gown before 1785 Gown before 1789
Gown before 1786 Gown before 1790
Bonnet before 1791
Slip before 1772 Slip before 1769
Slip before 1773 Slip before 1770
Slip before 1775 Slip before 1771



Dress after 2113 Dress after 2117
Dress after 2114 Dress after 2118
Dress after 2115 Dress after 2120
Dress after 2116 Dress after 2119
Bonnet after 2127 Bonnet after 2128
Slip after 2121
Slip after 2122
Slip after 2123
Slip after 2124


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1 comment(s) for “The cleaning and restoration of an heirloom Christening gown (circa 1949)”
  1. Gravatar of DWSupplies
    DWSupplies Says:
    Wow this is some amazing cleaning you guys do. I only wish we could use your products on some of the carpets we get to see!
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