Wedding Dress Cleaning & Preservation

Wedding Dress Cleaning & Preservation
He’s finally asked the big question, and the day you’ve dreamed of since you were a girl is now just around the corner. So many things to organize: the venue for the ceremony and the reception, how far and wide to send the wedding invitations, dresses for the bridesmaids and, of course, your wedding dress.

Today’s weddings are more expensive than ever, regularly comparing in price to a new car. Not the least of the expenses is the wedding dress. For many married women, the wedding dress is far and away the most expensive article of clothing they will ever wear. While the occasion certainly warrants it – after all, it’s a rare event in one’s life – a wedding dress is typically expensive to acquire and, potentially, just as expensive to clean and preserve.

Although one never sees it in photos taken by a professional photographer several days before the wedding, the potential for your wedding dress to acquire stains is significant. Depending on weather conditions, inside temperature and the nervousness that is to be expected on your wedding day, you may have sweat stains form in the bodice area and elsewhere. Stains from food and wine at the wedding reception are another distinct possibility. Some of the most common ones, such as sugar stains from champagne and cake icing, are nearly invisible at the time they are created, and these stains can set and darken over time.

The good news is that, although your wedding dress will not likely survive the big day entirely stain-free, taking steps ahead of time to ensure that the dress is professionally cleaned and preserved within an appropriate timeframe will greatly improve the odds of your dress being restored to its original condition. Taking the dress for cleaning within one month of the wedding is sufficient for many wedding dresses (so no need to shorten the honeymoon to save your dress), assuming there are no stains that need immediate attention. Otherwise, arrange to have it cleaned within a few days or as soon after the wedding as possible.

All brides-to-be should understand the cleaning and preservation process for wedding dresses so that appropriate arrangements can be made prior to the day of the wedding. While considerably more complicated than that of most other special-care garments, a good bit of planning and forethought will ensure that your cherished wedding dress and future family heirloom will survive the decades as well as the new life you are about to begin.

First and foremost, understand that the care for such a garment will be considerably more specific and expensive than for most other dry-clean-only or other special-care garments. If the process seems a bit overwhelming and you feel as though you have been tasked with preserving a treasure, it’s because you have. With that in mind, you will want to begin by consulting with a specialty wedding dress cleaner. One way that you will know you are dealing with a reputable company is that they will not charge a flat fee for all wedding dresses. Different dresses have different cleaning and storage requirements, and the right wedding dress cleaner will recommend a telephone consultation or that you bring in your wedding dress to be inspected before they provide a quote for the cleaning and preservation.

Where preservation is concerned, you will want to make sure that your wedding dress cleaning company makes a point of preserving your wedding dress in acid-free tissue paper when storing it in an archival box. The museum preservation method is another option, but it usually costs more. Once you have had your wedding dress cleaned and preserved, be sure to store the dress in a cool, dark area free of moisture and sunlight. Avoid storing the dress in areas of the house such as the attic or basement, as they typically do not benefit from the climate controls in the main living space. If storing in a rented storage space, make sure that it is climate-controlled.

As with many other aspects of your wedding plans, it may seem as though the devil is in the details when it comes to having your wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved. By knowing those details beforehand and making arrangements with a specialty cleaning and preservation company, you can rest assured that the dress in which you have made a substantial investment will be just as beautiful several decades from now as the day you walked down the aisle.

Imagine handing your precious wedding gown into the protection of the safest, most caring hands there are; gentle hands that will love it, respect it, nurture it and expertly clean and restore it, preserving the exquisite memories invested in every thread now and for the future.

Dulais Specialist Wedding Dress Cleaners
At Dulais wedding dress cleaning, we are renowned for being at the very cutting edge and forefront of bridal wear care and we are committed to protecting our position as the best in the business. Which means you know that your cherished dress will be treasured now and for generations to come. We treat every dress as unique, whether it’s classic or contemporary, modern or vintage, hand-painted or handmade. Every cleaning process should be unique also, so here at Dulais, our highly trained technicians treat every dress as an individual, creating a bespoke cleaning process for your gown and your gown only.

Our techniques are painstaking, time-consuming, and highly successful, which is why our brides tell their friends about us, building our reputation through word of mouth alone. We are also used and recommended by some of the country’s most reputable wedding dress retailers and consultants within the bridal industry.

To find out more about having your wedding dress cleaned and preserved why not contact Dulais specialist dry cleaners now on 0800 028 3088 . Whether your dream gown cost £400 or £40,000, whether it’s by Maggie Sottero, Iain Stuart, Vera Wang, or couture Dior – we understand best how to treat it and care for it so that you can always reach out and touch your special memories now and in the future.

Room Integrity Testing

The Importance of Having Valid Enclosure Integrity Certification
It is a requirement of the BFPSA that all protected enclosures have valid enclosure certification; it’s also a requirement of all major commercial institutions. The benefits of ensuring room integrity are widely recognised by insurers and regulatory authorities, who frequently require room integrity testing to prevent critical system failure on valuable assets such as server rooms and data centres.

For most extinguishing system types, a retention time of ten minutes is the minimum period the suppressant agents is required to be retained for within the enclosure. NFPA 2001, Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, requires that a minimum concentration of 85% of the adjusted minimum design concentration be held at the highest level of combustibles for a minimum period of 10 minutes. This is usually long enough to prevent re-ignition for most deep-seated fires and should provide adequate time for the emergency services to attend and prevent the fire taking hold.

In the relevant ISO standard BS EN15004, it states that it is ‘mandatory that room integrity testing is carried out annually on all enclosures protected by a gaseous fire suppression system’. If you don’t have valid enclosure certification you may negate your buildings insurance in the event of a fire. In all instances the integrity certification should always be attached to the front of the protected enclosure/s to show it has valid certification and to clearly show the dates of the next test. The certification also has other useful information that should be adhered to at all times. If you don’t have integrity test certification fixed to the front of the enclosure, then the chances are that your enclosure may not have valid certification.

In many cases the stakeholder may not be aware that any modifications have taken place to the server room envelope, which may have reduced the integrity of the enclosure envelope. That is why it’s always best to plan any works within protected enclosures so that everyone’s aware of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the enclosure envelope and to ensure that in the event of a fire, the gaseous suppressant doesn’t leak straight through the building envelope via excess air leakage paths. Also, if a room integrity testing plan is followed at all times, then the integrity test can be programmed straight after service works have taken place.

To reduce the chance of potential fire damage to your valuable assets, it is essential that a room Integrity test plan is adhered to at all times. APT can formulate a testing schedule and warn you of any impending tests to ensure you have valid certification at all times.

Remedial Works to Improve the Air Tightness on Protected Enclosures
In our experience the majority of room integrity test failures are caused by the lack of enclosure integrity, and/or the ability of the enclosure to adequately retain the extinguishant agent. Often the correct initial design concentration can be achieved but the enclosure is not able to retain the extinguishant agent for the required holding period due to the large amount of air leakage paths.

If the enclosure has failed the room integrity test, remedial work should be undertaken to reduce the air leakage paths within the building envelope, this may include;

  1. Sealing all cracks or penetrations leading into or out of the protected enclosure.
  2. Sealing all pipe chases and cable trays to be sealed around the outside and inside where they penetrate the perimeter boundaries of the protected enclosure
  3. Walls to be caulked around the inside perimeter at the floor and ceiling junctions.
  4. Sealing of porous blockwork walls – this can be remedied by painting and ensuring the mortar joints are full.
  5. The addition of door sweeps or drop seals, weather stripping around jambs.
  6. Sealing of windows/glazed sections to the area
  7. The sealing of the underside of doorways within the floor void.
  8. Ensure that air conditioning dampers are closing properly.

Smoke Testing to Highlight Air Leakage Paths
Smoke testing is one of the best ways of locating air leakage paths. Smoke generators or smoke pencils are used to help identify air leakage paths in the case of a Integrity test failure.

APT’s highly trained and experienced Enclosure Testing Engineers will be able to locate the problem areas and identify where air is leaking out of the building by walking around the test enclosure with a localised smoke puffer, pencil checking the most common problem areas first.

If required we can also undertake a large scale smoke test using a large capacity smoke generator, however this is only usually required on protected enclosures such as large data centers, however on 95% of projects we usually find that by using our experienced Air Tightness Engineers and a smoke puffer the air leakage paths can be accurately located.

The smoke won’t cause any damage to the building; however the building does needs to be emptied of all people for basic Health and Safety reasons, i.e. people falling down stairs or tripping over cables due to the poor visibility. Also, it is very important that the client contacts the local Fire Brigade to inform them of the smoke test to avoid unnecessary call outs and subsequent costs.

By combining our fan testing equipment, we blow the smoke out through any penetrations in in the enclosure envelope; this makes the air paths more visible. Smoke leaking from the enclosure can also be seen outside, and photographed to provide a record of any external leakage paths.

Pressurised Smoke tests are ideal for identifying both generic and torturous areas of air leakage.

Once the smoke test has been completed and a smoke survey report forwarded to the client, targeted remedial works can then be undertaken to seal the building envelope. Once the appropriate remedial work has been undertaken then the enclosure should be retested to confirm if an acceptable level of integrity has been reached.

If you would like some more information in regards to Room Integrity Testing on your protected enclosure, please contact us now at or call us direct on: 01525 303905.