Since we use exclusively natural materials, our gowns are extremely comfortable to wear. Even better, they are hand and machine washable, unlike most synthetic wedding dresses. No expensive toxic dry-cleaning required!
You should clean your gown as soon as possible after wearing. The longer you wait, the longer the stains can set. If you use a washing machine, wash on gentle cycle in cold water with mild soap. We use castile soap, but fine washable laundry soap also works well. Never use chlorine bleach on silk or silk blends; it can yellow the fibers and may weaken them. Beware of using an alkaline shampoo or a soap that contains ingredients such as wax, petroleum, or their derivatives, as these products may leave a residue on your gown and cause “oily” spots. General Stain Removal Guides are available through many sources, including books or online searches such as Google. Here’s a fabulous page of advice of stains from A-Z.
Hang your dress to drip-dry. Reclaimed silk needs only a warm iron once dry. If your dress is made of hempsilk or cotton, iron on a high setting while damp. Like our cottons, the hemp/silk blends are extremely durable, thanks to the addition of the hemp. Always try your iron out on a small, inconspicuous area first. If you wait until the hempsilk is fully dry before pressing, you’ll likely need extra steam and mist for best results. Very Important: Use only distilled water for pressing. If your iron doesn’t have a mist setting, then filling a clean spray bottle with water and misting the fabric as you iron it can make all the difference. It’s also a good idea to press from the underside until you’re sure of your iron.
We’ll include sizeable scraps of matching fabric along with your finished dress for experimentation, at no extra charge. Throw the scraps into the washing machine, hang them and press them to learn what works for your gown.
Storage: keeping your wedding gown beautiful
As with all fine natural fabrics, the best long-term storage methods are either in a cotton or muslin sheet (unbleached if possible), a cardboard box and tissue paper (acid-free most certainly) or otherwise natural wrapping. You can also re-use the packing materials sent with your dress; our tissue paper is preservation-grade and acid-free. There is a theory that exposure to the sun’s radiation damages silk fibers, similar to the way that sun exposure can damage hair. Hemp is resistant to ultra-violet light, even if silk is not; hemp increases the fabric’s durability. Beware of plastic bags or boxes; they will prevent the fabric from ‘breathing’ and can emit fumes that lead to yellowing or mildew. While hemp is very durable, silk needs consistently dry, room-temperature air: 60-70F (15-21C). Basements or attics may be too damp for long-term storage.
While we know that moths will attack silk and wool, we haven’t seen that they would be interested in hempsilk blends. That said, moth damage still might be possible. One natural (and good-smelling) moth-repelling method is to make little net or cotton bags and fill with lavender or cedarwood. Tie a ribbon at the bag’s “neck” and attach it to the gown cover.
We do not recommend hanging your gown for the long term; the weight might stretch the seams. However, if hanging is required then we recommend using padded hangers and suspending your dress from the inner loops provided.
Conscious Elegance is committed to excellence. Each dress is created with our hopes for the recipient’s happiness and joy in the wearing. Some ancient teachings tell that a part of the heart is gifted in the items we create. We believe that this is true and we are honored to dedicate the gowns we create from our hearts to yours.