process

expert analysis

As preservation specialists, we are trained in the art of textile conservation. Our work begins with a complete inspection and testing of your dress, because just as every bride is unique, so is every dress. We take measurements, analyze fabrics, dyes, and weaves, and note ornaments and their composition. Our detailed notes determine which preservation techniques and cleaning methods are the best for your dress, so that fabrics retain their shape and do not discolor, and embellishments (beads, sequins, and other trimmings) remain affixed.

special treatment

This thorough evaluation leads us to design a written treatment plan specifically for your gown. We understand that during your wedding you were focused on a variety of important things - not what might have spilled on your dress. Our sophisticated testing techniques allow us to identify stains and spills - even those you can't see. Makeup, champagne, wedding cake, and perspiration all affect fabric differently We identify and treat those stains individually before cleaning because if left untreated, sugar stains (like those caused by champagne) and chloride salts (perspiration) will oxidize over time and appear as brown spots months or even years later. This causes irreversible fabric deterioration. We can eliminate these stains without causing harm to any fibers.

Although dry cleaning is an appropriate method for cleaning most natural fibers, some dyes and finishes can dissolve in standard solvents. Beads and buttons made of certain plastics can discolor in the same solutions. Care labels are often misleading or erroneous. Aqueous, or water-based, solutions can cause some dress fabrics or linings to shrink. Sequins that have a gelatin base will dissolve when immersed in water. Our in-depth and extensive test allow us to design a plan specifically to accommodate the needs of each fragile garment we care for - we use only the cleaning treatment that is best for your gown. Because we carefully identify the composition of all materials before treatment, we eliminate the risk of damage during the cleaning process.

the right support

After cleaning and preservation, the most important step for your gown is packing it properly so you can store it for months, years, or decades. We fold your dress carefully to avoid damage caused by excessive creasing and use the finest archival materials available to support and protect your gown - the same materials we employ for rare museum costume and textile collections.

Our wedding-gown preservation boxes meet the most rigorous conservation standards for quality. Most gown-cleaning companies stuff your dress into an inexpensive cardboard box, that, claiming to be acid-free, actually decomposes over time. This, of course, increases the possibility of damage to your cherished dress. We use only archival-quality boxes that resist water and mildew and protect your gown from light, insects, and changes in relative humidity. Because they are truly acid-free, our boxes are the safest and best storage containers to keep your gown in pristine condition. Some dry-cleaners forbid you to open the box after treatment, or threaten to void their warranty if you do. At J. Scheer & Co., we say, Go ahead and open the box! We know that viewing your dress will bring back wonderful memories of your day. We ask only that you repack your gown carefully, in the same way we did, to keep it protected.

At J. Scheer & Co., we understand and appreciate the relationship you have with your wedding dress. Our highly respected preservation techniques ensure that your gown will always remain the dress of your dreams.