BY MARTIE EMORY
That dream gown is more than just an outfit; it’s the dress you’ve dreamed of and wished for, long before you even said “yes!”
Feeling that same nostalgic sentiment about wedding gowns, Craft Dry Cleaners has been in business for more than 65 years, and Kathy and Tom Gleason, who took over the company in 1993, have been cleaning wedding gowns for more than 35 years. That’s a commitment to extending the life of your cherished bridal attire while building a reputation as the premier wedding gown experts in the area.
“Craft Dry Cleaners is family owned, has a great team and we truly love our customers,” said Tom. “During this exciting time, we want engaged couples to have fun, and leave the cleaning concerns to us.” The Gleasons share tips and ideas on the process:
- Worried about stains on your gown from food and wine at the reception? There’s no need to try a home remedy, which could make the stain even worse. Trust the professionals and bring the gown in to be cleaned as soon as possible. This prevents stains from setting in or caramelizing, making the cleaning process more difficult.
- The most typical wedding gown stains are from grass or dirt from outdoor photography, or simply the hemline dragging the floor, but stains from makeup, spray tan, red wine and sweat are very common. Don’t fret – all those are signs of a fun wedding celebration!
- Each gown is thoroughly inspected for stains, rips or loose beads and then pre-treated for any noticeable stains. “We then dry clean or wet clean the gown, depending on its condition,” said Tom. The gown is expertly pressed and checked once more for stains, loose buttons, sequins or lace, and its overall condition, before being either bagged or preserved.
- Craft Dry Cleaners highly recommends preservation if you intend to keep your wedding gown – to prevent any signs of yellowing or deterioration. Even if you intend to sell your gown at some point, or donate it, you want it to be in the best shape possible!
- Let’s talk preserving that dream gown as a family heirloom! It should always be stored in a climate-controlled area to maintain its true color. “Many people think the preserved garment is airtight, similar to a museum piece,” said the Gleasons’ daughter, Katie. “It’s not airtight, but rather in an acid-free box with acid-free components, which prevents the gown from yellowing over time.”
- To complete the preservation process, Craft Dry Cleaners prefers a month or so, since the entire technique is completed in-house. They also recommend preserving your gown on a bust form to help maintain its original shape.
- For simple cleaning of your wedding gown, the time can vary, but it usually takes two to three weeks for completion.
Craft Dry Cleaners is also a full-service cleaner offering alterations and fittings for brides and their wedding parties, with impeccable customer service as the mainstay of its 65 years of serving the community. They expect nothing short of the best from their staff and, in turn, deliver only the very best to you!
For first-class care of your wedding gown and professional service for all your dry cleaning needs as you begin your new life together, get to know Craft Dry Cleaners at all five of their locations, and online at craftdrycleaners.com. For wedding gown care, visit the Winston-Salem location at 205 South Stratford Road, or call 336.725.6404. Hours are Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.