FAQs
 

(1) How much do you charge to preserve my wedding dress? Is cleaning included?

Please see our pricing policy.

 

 

(2) I need professional advice on cleaning an antique / vintage dress so that I can wear it as my wedding gown. Can you help me?

In most cases, because they have not received museum-standard care, these dresses have already sustained permanent damage that cannot be reversed. Our restoration service for old/damaged textiles is not in our public menu because it is very costly. We do serve many smaller museums as well as individuals on a case to case basis. We suggest a personal consultation and specimen evaluation by our textile conservator. Consultation Service fees apply.

 

 

(3) How do I get my dress to you? Should I dry-clean my dress first?

You may drop it off at our office, or enlist a reputable courier to ship it to us. We ask that you closely supervise the packing process. Avoid dry cleaning your dress beforehand; the chemicals and processes tend to be too harsh and often inflict irreversible damage to fabrics and beadwork. Find out more about our specialized treatment.

 

 

(4) What materials do you use to store my dress?

We pack your dress in a completely archival, and acid-free, textile storage bag. A chemically inert polymer, it is non-absorbent, pre-treated to provide complete moisture protection, and resists fluctuations in relative humidity - environmental variants that can cause permanent damage to fabric and non-woven dress components such as metal closures and trimmings. The dress is taken to the cleanroom (dust and contaminant-free environment) where it is packed together with garment preservatives and an internal environment monitor and then hermetically sealed. The sealed package is then laid in an archival box to protect the gown against excessive light and the bag against accidental punctures.
For brides who prefer a more compact packaging option because of storage limitations, we accommodate these requests through the removal of the bodice mold and replacement of the box with our proprietary weather-proof, tear-proof, and UV-protective paper. Service charges remain the same.

Addendum:

While standard museum storage materials are suitable for dry weather, it simply will not do under the Philippines' very humid, and polluted metropolitan climate. Our research has shown that even acid-free storage materials, when stored outside a cleanroom, develop mold and fungus, because they are permeable to humidity in the surrounding air. Our technical partner in the US has developed a system of packaging which effectively creates a climate-controlled microenvironment for the garment. Our proprietary Internal Environment Monitor (tm) visible from outside the bag gives you a real-time reading of the conditions inside the package. Each preserved gown comes with its own Internal Environment Monitor (tm).

 

(5) Is "vacuum-packing" a comparable alternative to The Bridal Conservatory's packaging?

No, it is not. There are two important points for consideration.

(a) All vacuum plastic bags commercially available in the Philippine market are NOT chemically inert, nor acid free. They will degrade with long-term storage and will produce Hydrochloric acid, which will literally "eat" through your gown's fabric fibers on contact.

(b) "Vacuum packing" simply removes air from a closed container, resulting in an observed collapse in container volume. In a non-cleanroom environment, even "vacuum packing" can leave and trap environmental contaminants (which are mostly invisibile to the naked eye) inside the bag. These contaminants include dust particles, water vapor, pollen, insect eggs, and any foreign matter, organic or inorganic. With time, these contaminants will react with most natural fibers (silk, pina, cotton, etc.) and metal trimmings and produce conditions conducive to bacteria/fungus growth, insect infestation and metal corrosion.


 

(6) Can I look at and handle my dress after it is preserved?

Absolutely. The reason for the clear packaging is so that you can always look at your dress after it is preserved. Should you need to open the bag, remember that your skin contains oils and salts that can damage delicate fabrics. It is important that you wash and dry your hands carefully before handling your dress. Museum professionals often wear plain white purified cotton gloves to eliminate cross-contamination. A complimentary pair is included in the box for your use. Immediately after handling, bring the opened package to us for resealing. Sealing fees apply.

 

 

(7) Do you offer a warranty?

The Bridal Conservatory offers a 10-year guarantee* on preserved gowns assuring you that no discoloration or weakening of the fabric will occur as a result of our processes. Our guarantee, like our in-depth testing and cleaning services, is an indication of our commitment to fine apparel preservation.

*Continuing service subscription required.

 

 

(8) What are the shipping and handling costs?

International shipping costs vary widely according to country of destinatiion. Please e-mail or call us with your shipping address and estimated gown weight and we will give you a free estimate. Philippine customers outside Metro Manila enjoy a flat-rate nationwide insured return shipping fee. We charge a per-shipment handling fee of $10 for international or PhP500 for domestic shipped gowns.

 

 

(9) Should I send my petticoat and other accessories?

We ask that you send only your wedding dress for preservation. Dress accessories such as crinolines and corsets, or the rest of your outfit such as the garter, shoes, and bag are items are made of many different kinds of materials. They are not designed to last forever and often include inexpensive materials that will deteriorate more quickly than the wedding dress itself. However, we do accommodate requests to clean, and/or package them using our custom techniques and materials to prolong their shelf lives, for a minimal fee. See Shoe Cleaning Fees & Sealing Fees.

 

 

(10) After the cleaning process, may I inspect the dress before it is sealed?

Absolutely. When you send in your dress, arrange for a personal viewing appointment so that you may inspect the dress thoroughly before the sealing process begins. Should you forget to advise us beforehand and the gown has already been sealed, opening the package for inspection will require resealing.

 

 

(11) How and where do I store my wedding dress after it is preserved or packed?

Our special preservation storage materials were chosen to protect your dress from exposure to moisture, dust, acidity and light, but successful long-term preservation depends on you. Where and how you keep the dress will have an effect on its condition. Store the box flat, with bodice front side facing up. All fibers degrade under high temperatures and humidities, and many may discolor permanently. Therefore, it is not wise to store your dress in an attic or a cellar. Choose a storage place within your living quarters, but choose a place without much traffic.

Just like museum collections, your preserved gown needs regular, albeit minor, maintenance. Ask about our 10-year continuing service plan.

 

(12) How do I select a company to preserve my gown?

There are a few things you should know before selecting a company to preserve your wedding gown. Beware of new and inexperienced companies (or individuals) who offer gown preservation and who claim to be able to duplicate The Bridal Conservatory's fine apparel preservation results. Signs of deterioration or damage resulting from improper preservation methods become apparent after about two years of storage. Inferior cleaning methods do not include treating different stains with different cleaning agents. For instance, sugar stains previously invisible to the naked eye will appear as brown spots later when left untreated (rendering the fanciest storage containers useless). Inappropriate long-term storage methods and materials will leave fabrics brittle, yellowed, or riddled with fungus and insects --- in other words, permanently damaged. And if you are told that your gown is to be packed once, therefore being "preserved forever" and never to be dealt with again -- be wary. (Museum curators' jaws will drop in disbelief!) Ask to see and inspect actual two year-old (or older) preserved gown samples (perhaps from customers from two years ago or more) and compare. To see is to believe.

Hear what our brides have to say. Read Brides' Testimonials

 
 

RELATED PAGES


Pricing Policy

Care of Couture Collections

Glossary of Styles

Glossary of Fabrics


 

 
Copyright (c) 2006 The Bridal Conservatory. All Rights Reserved. Acknowledgements