Common Sense Rules for Summertime Storage

Now that winter is over, it’s time to store away all those winter clothes until next season. Follow these simple rules to keep your winter fashions looking good season after season.
•Wash and dryclean everything before storage. Some stains that are now invisible may darken with age. Dirt and food are also invitations to insects.

• Make all necessary repairs—sew sagging hemlines, replace missing buttons, and fix split seams— before cleaning and storing for the season.

•Store all items in a cool, well-ventilated area. Hot attics, damp basements, and garages are to be avoided.

•Store away from natural and artificial light. A cool, dark closet is a good location for storage. Store woolens in cedar chests or other airtight containers. Second choices for storage are cloth or canvas bags and cardboard boxes. If you store your garments in a closet, drape a cloth sheet over your clothes to protect them from dust and light. Do not store leathers, furs, and woolens in plastic. Plastic encourages moisture, which can create mildew.

•Pack airtight containers (other than cedar chests) with mothballs suspended above or separate from the clothes—never place mothballs directly on the clothes. Cedar blocks or chips also discourage moths.

•To decrease wrinkles in sweaters, fold them and wrap in white tissue paper before storing. If you hang your sweaters, fold over the cross bar to avoid shoulder stretches. Down, like all winter clothing, should be cleaned (either washed or drycleaned according to the care label) before storage. Down should be stored loosely to allow for air circulation.

•Furs should be stored on a wellpadded hanger in a cool, dark place, ideally with a professional fur storage company or a St Croix Cleaners with fur storage capacity.

•If you do not have proper storage space, ask us about box storage. You can get your clothes cleaned and properly stored all at the same time.

 

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The History and Style of Golf Fashion

Have you ever wondered why golfers dress the way they do? What makes each golfers look stand out from the rest? Let’s dive into the fashion of the past and some of the crazy styles currently!

In the early 19th and 20th centuries golfers would wear knickers or short pants that ended below the knee and heavy tweed jackets. Their ensembles would also include starch shirts, neckties and matching tweed caps. Golf wear was meant to show authority and wealth, and the more formal the outfit the more money you had. Sometimes these jackets were brightly colored to warn passersby of flying golf balls. As the years went on the tweed jacket switched to a cotton single-breasted jacket because of the heat, and the knickers moved on to flannel trousers. They were often white or gray since men usually went golfing after a day at the office. Around the 1930s, Neckties were no longer worn. By the 1940s the heat was becoming unbearable and the styles of today’s golf wear were introduced. Men wore short-sleeved knitted shirts and lightweight slacks similar to today’s age.

Women’s fashion back in the day was the opposite of light and comfortable. Women in the 19th and 20th century were not allowed to play golf as a competitive sport but only as a leisure activity. Victorian golf dresses included crinolines, bustles, and multiple petticoats not to mention heels. With all those layers it was not easy to get a swing in! It wasn’t until the 1920s that woman could have fewer layers while golfing. They were allowed to wear a single layer skirt cut below the knee and stocking with a suit style jacket. Golf shoes for women were still not invented, and in many photographs, they were still shown wearing heels. 1933, was the first time women were seen wearing trousers on the course. It was considered incredibly scandalous and didn’t become common dress until the 1960s.

In today’s age, most golf courses require men to wear a collared shirt, and women must wear a similar style, but they are not required to have a collar. Pants should long and made out of a cotton or polyester or shorts with a pleated or flat front. Traditional workout clothes are not permitted on most golf courses for both men and woman. Footwear is an essential part of the game; the shoes should have spikes on the sole. Many courses require a soft spike made out of plastic or rubber to not damage the course. Hats are not required, but are worn by most golfers to protect them from the sun! Baseball caps and visors are the most popular on the course, but there are no formal rules on golf headwear.

Now a day’s golf fashion is trendier than ever! With major fashion houses designing stylish options, and companies like Loud Mouth Golf making funky alternatives to the traditional look, you can style your look on the course in some many different ways! Regardless of what you wear on the course let us take care of the cleaning afterward!

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What’s up with Dryer Sheets?

Dryer Sheets: How they’re Made and Why we use them.

You use them every laundry day, but do you really know why? Are dryer sheets doing anything to your clothes or just a force of habit? Let St Croix Cleaners break it down from the beginning.

Dryer Sheers were invented in the late 1960s, by Conrad Gaiser and his wife Audrey.  They lived on the top floor of an apartment duplex with the laundry all the way on the ground floor.  Audrey would have to run at the last minute to get the fabric softener in the load before it dried completely! Conrad, who worked in the cleaning industry for quite some time wanted to make things easier on his wife.  He applied fabric softer to a piece of scrap fabric and named his creation the Tumble Puff.  (Source: C&EN)  He sold his invention to Proctor & Gamble in 1969 and after a few changes, it became known as the Bounce dryer sheet we see in stores today!

Now, what are they really doing to your clothing?  For the most part, dryer sheets break down the static electricity in clothes.  When two materials rub together like a sweater & a top they can build up an electrical charge.  This can cause the loss of electrons from one fabric to another.  With too few electrons the items get a positive charge, and with too many, the garment gets a negative charge.  As the saying goes  “Opposites Attract” therefore the two garments stick together.  Dryer Sheets prevent this process from happening by balancing the electrons with positive ions.  They also reduce the soap residue that may be left on the garments from washing.  When soap residue is left on the garments, soap eventually breaks down the fibers, giving your clothes a shorter lifespan.

How are dryer sheets made? They start off as a non-woven polyester material coated with a softening agent and fragrance.  There is very little difference between brands, usually only the surfactant that is used is different.  A surfactant is a compound of fatty acids that contains a positive charge.  (Source: ACS) Some dryer sheets may also contain a calcium clay, this just protects your clothing from getting any stains from the fabric softener on the dryer sheet if it releases the surfactant to early!

If you don’t want to use a dryer sheet, the best way to reduce the electricity is take your clothes out of the dryer before they dry completely.  Water is an excellent conductor so it gets rid of the charge before it can build up.  There are also lots of recipes online for homemade dryer sheets that are a bit softer on your clothes and the environment for those not wanting to use the store bought dryer sheet.

Whether you use a dryer sheet for just the laundry, for everything from the kitchen sink, or not at all, the dryer sheet has a long and interesting history! The laundry world is always coming up with new things, we can’t wait to see where the future of dryer sheets will take us!

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Let St Croix Cleaners make this the Best Prom Ever!

You spent weeks searching for the perfect dress, now how to keep it perfect for prom.  St Croix Cleaners has you covered with all our before and after Prom Services!

Alterations

As soon as you get your gown from the dress salon you’ll want to set up an appointment with your local St Croix Cleaners’ Alteration Specialist.  Most prom dresses are designed to be altered and are made several inches longer than other formal gowns.  This means that hemming is pretty common when you buy your dress. All of our alteration specialists can take-in, let-out and completely redesign your dress if necessary.  You’ll want to start this process 1-2 months before prom depending on how much work you need to be done.

Wrinkles

A week before the big day you can bring in your dress to St  Croix Cleaners so we can release any wrinkles that may have happened during transport or alterations.  On the day of the prom, you’ll want to make sure your gown is pushed to the side of your seat as much as possible.  This reduces wrinkles from the car ride and makes sure no one sits or steps on it!

Small Stains

Now leading up to a few days before prom, you might decide to get a spray tan.  If you do, make sure to do it 2-3 days before the dance.  It gives the dye time to settle into your skin so it doesn’t transfer onto the dress.  Spray tans love to stick to fabric and can permanently stain the dress if it doesn’t get cleaned off.  If any spots of make-up or food get on the gown, as you are getting ready or at the dance, we have a little trick to getting them out! This trick is only for polyester or synthetic gowns. If your dress is silk, cotton, or another natural fiber you will want to bring it to St Croix Cleaners as soon as possible. Take some warm water and lightly dab the spot.  Then put some pH neutral soap; such as blue dawn dish soap, or a Woolite pen on the spot and rise with water.  Let the dress air dry for a few minutes and you should be good to go.

After the Ball

You’ve danced the night away and had an amazing time, now what?  The day after the dance you’ll want to take a good look at your dress and determine if there are any saturated stains, tears, or any damaged beading and sequins.  If you spilled anything clear like soda or sparkling grape juice on your gown it will dry like nothing is there but will eventually discolor the dress and make it very hard to get out.  Once you’ve looked over your gown you’ll want to bring it to your local St Croix Cleaners. Most gowns need individual care to best remove hemline stains and other spots.

It is best to send it to a professional dry cleaner rather than cleaning at home! Any dress with beads or sequins can get severally damaged in regular washing machines. Most of the time beads are attached on large strands by monofilament thread; similar to fishing line, making it prone to breakage. Silk and other natural fibered dresses like cotton and linen have to be dry cleaned, washing this type of gown will cause shrinkage and distortion of the fabric.

Last Steps

After the cleaning is done, whether your planning on keeping or selling the gown, you’ll want to take the St Croix Cleaners’ biodegradable plastic bag off the dress.  Make sure to keep the gown on a padded hanger if you plan on keeping it in a closet, this will take some of the weight off the fabric so that it does not deform the dress.  A better option would be to lay the dress flat in a spare bedroom or closet, this takes all weight off the dress.  You’ll want to put a cotton sheet over it or a fabric garment bag to prevent dust and discoloration.  For long term storage, anything over a year, you’ll want to consider an acid free box with acid free tissue paper.  This ensures no discoloration or distortion for the life of the dress.

Whether you just got your dress or the magical night is over, St Croix Cleaners has you covered from start to finish! Let us be a part of your high school rite of passage!

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80’s Gown Redesigned for Modern Bride

During its time, this gown was right on trend. But now it’s a little hard to relate to the gigantic bows and puffed sleeves! Treasured Garment Restoration has been lucky enough to redesign old gowns to meet modern brides’ tastes and still serve as a great tribute to a mother or grandmother.

Lori Dress Before (1)

This dress (pictured) is a great example of 80’s bridal fashion.  It features everything from the large puffed sleeves to bows and ruffles. By just looking at this dress, it’s hard to envision an idea of how it could be redesigned. Our highly trained alteration specialists can walk you through a redesign and help you create exactly what want for your big day. Don’t believe us? Check this out:

Lori Dress redesign 1

It’s hard to believe this is even the same dress. Our creative specialists removed the sleeves, bows and ruffles.  They updated the neckline and added new elements to the skirt while keeping the integrity of the original dress.  Brand new lace was added along with new pearl trim. All motifs from the original dress were kept, just readjusted to suit the new design. Look closely the waist line  and you can see that it was changed from the “sweetheart” to a more modern waistline . If you have questions or are interested in doing something like this to your dress give us a call!

We love a new project. To find a location nearest you visit our location page or call one of our 2 bridal alterations’ specialists: 1)Woodbury location off Valley Creek Road (651) 315-8870, or 2)  in Minneapolis-Loring Park (free parking on site) at (651) 927-8198.

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116 Year Old Heirloom Restored

Customer Heather MacLeod remembers seeing this dress for the first time when she was just a little girl. Pulling it from its box, she was immediately attached to its history and sentimental value to her family.  It’s typical for garments over 100 years old to be in less than ideal storage conditions, which can sometimes make cleaning/restoring much more difficult. This heirloom, dating back to 1899 was clearly in more favorable storage conditions making it easier to restore. The before and after pictures speak for themselves:

Before & After template3

What is the background story of the woman in the dress? Mary Ella McIntosh grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. On December 27, 1899 at age 27, she married British-born James Paris Scott (age 33). They settled in James’ home in Massachusetts, and later had one child – a daughter, Elaine, born in August 1914.

When was the first time you saw the dress? I remember my grandmotherMary Ella’s daughter, Elaine – showing me the dress when I was a young child; I was probably about six years old the first time I saw it. After that, she was willing to show it to me any time I asked (at least a few times a year). When she passed away in 1992, the dress was passed to me.

Why did you decide to get your great grandmothers wedding attire cleaned? The dress had been in the attic for many years, and fortunately remained in very good condition. But I realized that a dress that was 116 years old needed proper cleaning and packaging in order to prevent degradation.

Why did you bring your great grandmothers wedding attire to a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists? It was important to find someone who could be trusted to clean an antique dress without doing any damage. Treasured Garment Restoration did a fantastic job of cleaning the dress, and packing it appropriately so that it will last for many years to come.

Mcloed 3

Duane, the Treasured Garment Specialist who worked on this dress, says “With older dresses that have oxidized so much over time, it’s sometimes a mystery what color the dress truly was, but with this dress we were able to really brighten it up and restore it. [You can see that this dress was constructed using 2 very different fabrics—1) cotton linen, which restored all the way back to its original color, and 2) silk (the trim) which will brighten a bit, but usually will not restore completely back to its original color.) ] Since this dress is over 100 years old we had to be careful to make sure we didn’t distort any of the fibers in the process. We carefully test all fabrics to make sure we’re using the right process with them. This is especially important to ensure the longevity of the dress for years to come.”

It’s truly an honor for our team at Treasured Garment Restoration to restore garments such as this dress.
We find joy in taking items that mean so much to our customers and restoring them to their original beauty. Our goal is to preserve garments so they last for years to come and can be passed down for generations.

If you have a wedding dress or other vintage garment you’d like us to take a look at– contact us!

 

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FAQs

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN **DRY CLEAN ONLY** AND **DRY CLEAN**

When reading the instructions found on care labels, we often see the phrase “dry clean” or “dry clean only.”  Many people believe that these instructions are interchangeable, but that is not true.  There is typically a difference between fabrics, and more care is often needed for clothing marked “dry clean only.”

“Dry Clean Only”
A garment that is marked as “dry clean only” is made of material that demonstrates a tendency to deteriorate when cleaned by any other method.  It’s a clear warning to the consumer that no other cleaning method should be used if they wish to maintain the integrity of the garment and allowing it to be useable after the cleaning process.

“Dry Clean”
The purpose of the “dry clean” designation is to give the option of some sort of hand cleaning/washing and drying for the garment at home.   This designation is used when the fabric involved has been demonstrated to hold it’s shape, color and not likely to change if cleaned by hand washing and air drying at home.  The “Dry Clean” designation is intended to convey that gentle cleaning methods other than dry cleaning may be acceptable.   At the same time, there is still risk in doing them at home and the best method is to dry clean the garment professionally.

–IF IT SAYS DRY CLEAN, CAN YOU CLEAN IT AT HOME?

Garments with care labels that say Dry Clean or For Best Results Dry Clean AND are made of natural fabrics like cotton, linen, cashmere and even some silks – may be done at home with a little extra care and patience.  AVOID or use caution if doing this with synthetic blends (rayon, viscose, acetate, etc.)

—HOW DO YOU CLEAN IT?

This depends on the fabric type.

* Keys to cleaning are: hand wash cycle (minimal agitation)

* NO extraction (spin) cycle used at all

* Air Dry/Fluff Cycle or hang to dry or dry flat (no heat)

* Reshaping may be required with some garments

For example a 95% cotton blazer with 5% Lycra a that has a care label that says “Dry Clean” could be done at home on a gentle hand washing cycle in cold water.  Avoid any extraction cycle (because of the Lycra and use an air fluff (no heat) cycle to dry it or hang dry.

Cashmere – would be similar –  a hand cleaning cycle with minimal agitation and no spin or extraction process– lay flat on a towel to dry (no tumbling) and reshape

–WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THE STAIN OUT? BLOT? DAB? RUB?

Blot, Dab or Tap … NEVER EVER rub and avoid “wiping”

—IS THERE A STAIN A DRY CLEANER CAN’T REMOVE?

Yes, sadly there is.  While we love being the Super Stain Fighting Heroes – there is a stain or two that a dry cleaner may not be able to fully remove without possible damage to the garment (usually can get it to lighten).

It depends on a number of factors including:

  • Fabric type (delicate fabrics may not be able to handle certain stain removal techniques w/out risk/ damage)
  • Nature of the stain
  • How long the stain has been there
  • Any treatments already tried
  • Home remedy attempts often make a dry cleaner’s job more challenging
  • The knowledge and skill of the stain remover

Example:  curry sauce spilled on a sheer silk garment with unstable dyes in the silk fabric meaning that color on the fabric may be pulled would be difficult to fully remove. Why? Curry is a natural dye. Silk is a porous fabric and naturally soaks up and adheres stains, dyes to the fiber.

Example:  ground in dirt / tar on the hemline of a silk dress (wedding, long dress or formal) may be difficult to fully remove (some “shadowing” may be left when inspected closely)

Example: Coffee w/cream that had club soda poured over it – while it may flush out some of the coffee color – the club soda acts almost as a shilac over the acidic part of the stain and sets it in.

Another truth is…A dry cleaner may not always be sure if they can get it out until they are able to give it a try.

–ARE THERE ITEMS THAT SHOULDN’T GO THROUGH THE DRY CLEANER?

That may depend on your dry cleaner but typically no.  Most full-service dry cleaners utilize both dry and wet clean cleaning methods as well as wash and fold (laundry) services.

Even if the item says do not dry clean (example many down coats say this on their care labels) – your dry cleaner can STILL clean it!  We simply use a special wet cleaning method to clean the coat instead.  Even if the item says Spot Clean Only – your dry cleaner can take care of this for you.

We  see everything from cushions, costumes, Prom dresses, drapes to dog beds and doll clothes and more!

–HOW OFTEN DO YOU RECOMMEND COMMON ITEMS GOING TO THE DRY CLEANER?

IN PARTICULAR, MEN’S SUITS, WOMEN’S FORMAL DRESSES

SUITS

How often you should dry clean really depends on how often you wear the garment and how well you take care of it between getting it cleaned.  If you only wear your suit 2 times a year and only for a few hours at a time and do not spill anything on it, you don’t need it cleaned as frequently.  However, if you wear the same suit at least once a week – we recommend cleaning it every 3-4 wears to keep it looking it’s best.  And of course if you spill anything on it – bring it in right away to be treated!

FORMAL DRESSES

Pretty much the same as above…it depends on how careful the wearer of the dress was when they wore it.  You may be able to get up to 4 wears out of it before needing to clean it.  Some formals after one wear have beverages spilled on them, the hems look like they danced in the parking lot all night and there are visible perspiration stains!

If there are no spills, no major perspiration or deodorant marks (which can cause color fade and fabric to weaken)… then you’re probably ok to just hang that lil black dress till the next time you need to wear it and just steam / iron out the wrinkles (or take it on for a professional press only in between wears).

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5 Tips for Storing Summer Clothes

The first day of fall is nearly here, and soon we’ll be trading our shorts and sundresses for warm coats and cozy sweaters.   Here in the midwest, we often store our summer clothes for  6 months (or more!).  Having to pack away our summer wear can involve more than just tossing them into storage bins and shoving them under the bed.

 

Tip #1 Proper Care

Take the time to properly care for your clothes before storing them and they’ll last you for years to come…plus you’ll also be less likely to have to deal with nasty pests like moths, which can eat holes through sweaters and other fabrics – which you won’t see until after they’re cleaned next year!

Tip #2 Sort

Sort through your clothes first to decide what stays or goes.  This is a great time to create your “donate” pile and dispose of or recycle any clothes that are ripped or torn that you don’t plan to mend.  Other items to consider removing from  your wardrobe would be anything that doesn’t fit properly, clothes you’ve fallen out of love with, unworn items, and clothes that don’t make you feel amazing.

Tip #3 Clean Everything

Before you pack those summer clothes away, it’s important to clean everything. Not only does this keep your smelling and looking fresh (dirt left on clothes can leave permanent stains over time).  Cleaning everything prevents unseen moths and other pests from taking up residence.

As you sort through the clothes you’re keeping, separate out the hand-wash and dry clean only items and your regular laundry items in another.  Be sure to clean and care for the remaining clothes according to the care label instructions.

Tip # 4  Fold

After you’ve cleaned the garments you want to keep and store, fold and stack your items from heaviest (on the bottom) to lightest (on the top).  This will help keep your fabrics from developing too many creases.  If you want to help keep fabrics from creasing, you can put a layer of acid free tissue paper between the folds of each garment.

Tip #5 Protect & Store

There are a number of options when it comes to storing clothes.  For short term (6 months or less) storage – plastic storage bins work well, cedar chests or an old suit case.  The one material to avoid would be cardboard.  It’s a natural attractant for pests.

It’s also important that you protect your clothes during storage.  Be sure the storage container you’re using is clean and dry and free of any dirt or bugs.  Place your folded clothes in the container.  Be careful not to stack in there too tightly.  You want air to be able to circulate around the garments.  Place a layer (or two) of acid free tissue paper over the top of the clothes in each storage bin.  You can also toss in a cedar block or sachet on top of the acid free tissue – just be certain the cedar doesn’t come in direct contact with your clothes

If you have a garment you wish to hange for storage.  Use a thicker, padded hanger to avoid indenting or creasing the shoulders.  Cover the garment with a clean cotton or linen sheet to help protect it during storage.

Be sure to keep your stored clothes in a dry, cool location away from direct light and heat.  Closets or under your bed are good options.

Happy packing!

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Kathryn’s Wedding Gown Preservation

Kathryn didn’t want her dress ruined over something as silly as not getting it preserved. In hopes of her daughter someday wearing it, she brought it to the experts at Treasured Garment Restoration. Read more about Kathryn’s wedding dress journey below!

When was your wedding and where did it take place?
My wedding took place in Woodstock,IL, the ceremony was at St. Mary’s Church and the Reception was at Bull Valley Country Club on June 20th 2015
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”
I went in knowing exactly what I wanted, Something that would be timeless, and still be popular in 20 years. The main style I wanted was A-line and because I had a religious ceremony it had to have some form of straps. I only had to try on 6 dresses before finding the one, it honestly made me look 6 sizes smaller then I was, it was definitely that timeless look I was going for (plus I knew it would totally make my fiance at the time cry when he saw me! Ha!)

Kat_Nick_0170-165-F-crop-Gtap-OL

What is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?
Honestly, the fact that all my friends and family from all over the country were in the same place at the same time. You just never think that’s possible till it actually happens, and the fact that I’ve never seen Nick (my husband) so happy in his life, I always knew he’d be the guy I’d marry so it was awesome to finally get it done!
Why did you decide to get your wedding attire cleaned?
I literally love my dress, and I would hate for any hidden stains to ruin it in several years. Plus if I have a daughter I would want her to wear it or use some part of it in her dress. It’s one of the few parts of your wedding you can hold on to for a lifetime, and I wouldn’t want to ruin it just over not cleaning it.
Why did you bring your wedding attire to a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists?
It was recommended by my bridal salon in Madison that I need to get it professional cleaned after the wedding, Treasured Garments had the best reviews in the area so I knew it would be in safe hands there. I was definitely not willing to take a chance of my dress getting ruined, and I didn’t see that happening with the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

Kat_Nick_0681-625Photography Credit : http://wemakebridescry.com/

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Nichole’s Wedding Gown Preservation

A wedding dress is one of the most important purchases a bride will ever make. To kick off our Real Brides Blogs, we have an extra special interview with Nichole who had her dress redesigned prior to her wedding & preserved after by our specialists atTreasured Garment Restoration. Read more about Nichole’s wedding dress journey below.
Thanks Nichole!
Real bridePictured above is Nichole’s redesigned dress (left/middle) and her Mother in the original (right)

When was your wedding and where did it take place?
The wedding was at the Barns of Lost Creek in Beldenville, WI on June 27, 2015
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”?
The dress was my mom’s. My grandma (dad’s mom) made the dress for my mom 38 years ago. My grandma died when I was 14. So, I thought that it would be special to wear a dress that my mom wore and my grandma made.
Real brideWhat is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?
My favorite memory was having my friends and family to celebrate the wonderful day with us.

Why did you decide to get your wedding attire cleaned by Treasured Garment Restoration?
The lace on the dress had yellowed and need to be cleaned to appear white again. 
I wanted to have the dress restored and altered/updated a bit from the 1970’s look. Therefore, we had it restored and changed to be more in style.

bridePhotographer Credit: Studio 220

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