Taking proper care of couture - modern or vintage - safeguards its beauty and value. Neighborhood dry cleaners rarely possess the expertise and training that couture preservation demands. Each piece of your collection deserves the very best care to insure its longest life. This is true whether you wear it once each week, once every season or once in a lifetime.
At The Bridal Conservatory, our knowledge of collection care is strengthened
by our appreciation for the history of couture design. We combine 50
years of professional cleaning experience in the US with ongoing training
in new techniques and special expertise in preservation. We recognize
that every item in each collection is unique and that each piece requires
careful scrutiny. We work regularly with costume conservators, restorers,
and museum professionals. Our knowledge of their standards is always
reflected in the methodology we use to care for your clothes. Our respect
for the delicacy of fine fabric, for the art of design, and for the
craftsmanship of construction ensure that your garments will receive
the best, most appropriate care.
Special garments have special needs
Our fine apparel preservation begins with a complete examination
and documentation of your garment. We get to know it inside and out.
We take measurements and analyze fibers, structures, and dyes. This
is important because different fibers and fabric finishes need different
treatments. Silk and rayon faille may look similar, but they react
distinctly to water and organic solvents. Cottons may be finished
with any number of starches to achieve a special look and texture.
Linings and interlinings can shrink at different rates. We also assess
any damage that has occurred. We are thorough about identifying the
chemical composition of stains; each often requires special treatment.
We find even the smallest rips and tears. And we are careful to identify
the composition of non-fabric components such as buttons, zippers,
beads, and trim. We know that plastic buttons may melt, sequins dissolve,
or beads explode if they are handled improperly.
Our Condition Report records this information so we can use it to determine
the best treatment for your dress. We will inform you before we carry
out any procedure where the outcome may be uncertain. Attention to detail
makes our process the most informative and reliable source in the industry.
Different fabrics require different techniques
The Condition Report guides us to the best cleaning solutions, and
we act on those findings. Although dry cleaning is an appropriate method
for some textiles, it can be harmful to others.
In-depth testing allows us to make informed choices. Our laboratory
incorporates a full range of cleaning technologies and is equipped with
both aqueous and organic solvent cleaning systems. These have been designed
to accommodate the special needs of fragile and one-of-a-kind pieces.
We can treat both synthetic and natural fabrics safely. Our highly skilled
technicians are expert in the art of stain removal. We know which solvents
can be harmful to buttons, beadwork, and other ornamentation, and how
to avoid dye loss or bleeding. We understand how heat might adversely
affect certain trimmings or fibers.
It's more than just cleaning
But fine apparel preservation isn't only cleaning. Packing and storage are also essential elements of fine apparel preservation. We use the same materials for you that museums use in the US. Your garment is returned in a special archival-quality box, carefully supported with a bodice mold for long-term storage. These boxes, which are inert and chemically stable, meet the most rigorous conservation-quality standards. They protect your apparel from common sources of accidental damage such as excessive light, unexpected floods or insects. When you entrust your finest garments to The Bridal Conservatory, you are assured of the best and safest treatment. We understand couture and offer the expert handling that will ensure its continued enjoyment.