Wedding Gown Preservation Means Future Generations Can Wear Your Beautiful Dress Too with The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists
In our most recent issue of Celebrate Weddings (Spring ‘23), we talked all about wedding gown preservation. And that’s for a very good, very simple reason — it’s important. You spend so much time finding the right dress. You spend so much money, so many memories shopping with your besties. And it’s one of the most memorable tangible aspects to the day for many of us. Of course, we had to consult with the industry expert on the topic — Sally Lorensen Conant, Ph.D. and Executive Director of The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists (“AWGS”) which is endorsed by the Association of Bridal Consultants. Conant proved to be one of the most valuable resources for us on this topic. Now we are bringing you more on the Association so you may benefit from their knowledge and skill set — cleaning, preserving, and restoring wedding dresses for generations to come. Because, of course, you want to hold on to it for as long as possible and then pass it down because those are memories worth having!
From 1987 to Today
Over 30 years ago the founding members of AWGS set out on a mission to “provide the best specialty gown care available by following museum standards for cleaning and using archival, museum-quality materials for preservation.” Now they have members in eight countries and every one of them honor the lifetime (and international) guarantee of their fellow members (which includes pressing at no charge !).
And in time, it was proven that their mission was well-achieved. In a blind test of four leading preservation services, it was determined that their services were unmistakably the best. In fact, the Association membership is actually recommended on the care labels of many designer gowns.
The AWGS Cleaning and Preservation Process
So what makes what the Association does so special? It starts with their cleaning process — their specialists carefully handclean every gown with gentle chemicals that dissolve the different kinds of stains, then they rinsed it in pure solvent until it is completely clean. They pride themselves on taking extra steps to be sure that all stains, whether seen or unseen, are removed. And it ends with their packaging — they use their own trademarked MusuemCare and ZeroCarbon preservation approach using a wedding chest that is completely acid-free, not just pH neutral, because ordinary boxes and tissue are heavily acidic and cause yellowing. And the upside is that while the dress stays safe, you can still see your gown through an oval window made of oriented polyester, a chemically-inert material that will not yellow or damage your gown.
AWGS Member Pratt Abbot Garment Care’s Before & Afters
AWGS Member Janet Davis Dry Cleaners’ Before & Afters
Reducing their Carbon Footprint
Now you may be wondering if they safeguard the planet the same way they do your wedding dress. To offset the carbon emissions from the process of cleaning and preserving wedding gowns as well as the bride’s travel to and from the nearest Specialist, they work with Carbonfund.org. They asked them to calculate the carbon emissions generated throughout the cleaning and preservation processes and donate to the organization to offset the entire carbon footprint.
So why not clean and preserve your wedding dress for future generations — it’s the ultimate heirloom?!
Generations to come enjoy the work of AWGS Member Oakwood Cleaners.
Benefit from their Experience
Photos courtesy of AWGS and members of The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists
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