Thursday, April 22, 2010

Veils :: Caring, Cleaning, & Storing

As a Certified Textile Specialist, I would be remiss if I did not include information on caring for wedding veils in any blog series about these special pieces. 

At one of my training sessions for wedding gown preservation, I heard a story about one family and their heirloom veil, worn by 5 generations of brides that they stored in a jar.  Although very unconventional, it worked for them!

My brother's bride wore the veil that I wore on my wedding day. It is a special tie between us. I do not have any daughters, but my brother and sister-in-law just had a baby girl last September. I will keep the veil and offer it to her for her wedding.

Veils can be fragile and once tulle is torn, it cannot be repaired easily or without notice. 

Once crumpled and wrinkled, tulle does not iron or steam completely smooth.

The better quality fabric and details on your veil, the longer it will hold its shape and look beautiful. 

Because veils tend to be one of the pieces of a bridal ensemble that is most likely shared between friends, sisters, and cousins; and also most likely passed from one generation to the next, it makes sense to purchase a quality veil and care for it properly. 

Our gown care and restoration company, Great Lakes Wedding Gown Specialists, can clean, steam, and properly store your veil for you.  We also frequently whiten heirloom veils and we can dye and repair some veils, also.

If you need to clean a veil and do not have access to a professional, here are some tips:

1.  Fill a sink with lukewarm (never hot) water and add a mild detergent.
2.  Do not crumple or twist the veil, but gently fold it into the water and swish it around. 
3.  Use your finger and additional detergent to gently massage any stains.
4.  Rinse veil under running water and hang to dry.

Never try to iron a veil.  If a veil is wrinkled, it is very difficult to restore it to an unwrinkled state.  In some cases, cleaning it with the above method may help.  Your best solution is to bring it to a gown specialist or a reputable drycleaner and have them try to steam the veil. 

To store a veil, we suggest having it cleaned and preserved with your wedding gown.  We always gently fold veils at the top of the box so that it can be easily retrieved.  After a second wearing, clean the veil and gently fold it back in the preservation box. 

With care, a veil can last through many generations and be a very special tie between brides.

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