One of the most common questions we get from brides is, “why do wedding dresses turn yellow?” and there are a number of reasons for this. Many dress materials can cause your dresses to turn different shades, such as lace or tulle, which will often change color over time. This post aims to help you understand why your wedding dress may have turned yellow and how you can prevent it in the future.
Why do wedding dresses turn yellow?
The wedding dress can experience discoloration due to contact with sunlight or other light sources. The main reason for this is the sodium hydroxide used during the bleaching process. Soap residue can also cause yellowing if not properly rinsed out.
You might be wondering how wedding dresses turn yellow and why wedding dress rental companies condemn wedding gowns as “yellow bridesmaid wedding dresses.”
The yellowing of wedding dresses is caused by unstable dyes that break down over time. The cause of the dye breakdown is usually due to exposure to sunlight, perspiration, or even atmospheric conditions, such as smoke or humidity. Dresses made from white fabric are most likely to suffer from discoloration than those made from colored fabric. Fortunately, there is a way you can restore your wedding dress to its original color, so it looks great again for your next special occasion, such as your wedding day or your engagement party.
How to restore the color of your wedding dress
The first step in restoring the color of a wedding dress is bleaching. This restores the wedding dress to a whiter shade, but it usually leaves a yellow tint behind. For an even better result, use hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine bleach. The wedding dress will lose its luster in the bleaching process, so don’t overdo it, or you’ll turn the wedding dress completely white.
Rub off the yellow stains
Use super fine steel wool to gently rub off any yellow stains on your wedding dress fabric. This is best done with white wedding dresses because colored wedding dresses may have discoloration from this method that won’t go away after being repeatedly washed and exposed to sunlight. Use a silver polishing cream once you’ve restored all of the colors back into your wedding gown. It’s also a good idea to seal in your wedding dress fabric with a wedding dress protector.
Which are the best types of wedding dresses?
Always try to find wedding dresses that are labeled “wrinkle-free” or “no-iron.” You’ll have a much easier time keeping wedding dresses bright and white if you can avoid using iron on them. If you do need to use an iron, set it at the lowest possible heat setting because high temperatures also break down dye in wedding dresses.
Don’t assume that wedding gowns made from synthetic fabrics will automatically yellow over time. There are now wedding gowns made from materials like taffeta, which resist discoloration better than other wedding dress fabrics. Other materials wedding dress companies use now are polyester taffeta, silk tulle, or polyester organza. Before purchasing wedding dresses, ask wedding dress companies what wedding gown fabrics they use, and then check wedding dress labels for any information on keeping wedding dresses from yellowing.
Cheap wedding dresses are more likely to turn yellow after multiple washes because synthetic fabrics break down faster than natural fabrics do. If you want your wedding dress to last as long as possible, choose a wedding dress made from satin or silk instead of chiffon or taffeta. These wedding dress materials resist wrinkles and stains much better than other wedding gown fabrics, so they stay fresher longer even when the color starts fading away.
If you can’t find a wedding gown that’s labeled “no-iron” or “wrinkle-free,” iron your wedding dress a little bit at a time or have wedding dress cleaners do it for you. Remember to always use deficient heat when you iron wedding dresses and take care not to touch the wedding gown fabric while the wedding dress is still hot.
How can wedding dresses be prevented from turning yellow?
Have you ever hung up your wedding dress in the closet, preparing it for your daughter to wear someday? Of course not. But how do you keep wedding dresses white and save them the agony of eventually yellowing over time?
Before a wedding dress is worn, it should be cleaned and any chemical finishes removed. This will prevent soap residue from remaining on the fabric. If wedding dresses have been dry clean only previously, they may need to be steam cleaned before being worn so as not to damage the delicate fabrics.
Before wedding dresses can turn yellow, they usually start out by turning pinkish or reddish. If you’ve noticed this with your wedding dress before it goes yellow, don’t fret! Although wedding dresses may look like they’re ruined at first, there are many ways to prevent wedding dresses from turning pink even when they’re brand new.
To prevent wedding dresses from turning yellow
– leave wedding dress at room temperature (room temperature keeps color molecules intact)
– wear a wedding dress garment bag when you are not wearing it
– get wedding dress dry cleaned instead of washed
How to Keep wedding dresses white
– avoid putting wedding dresses in the sun
– don’t hang wedding dress in the closet all folded up (hang in the open room)
– don’t use chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide (it won’t actually help and will only ruin the fibers in your wedding dress)
– make sure your wedding dress is acid-free (check the tag on the garment for this information). If your wedding dress says it is acid-free, then use a mild cleaning solution that has no agents that can turn pink or yellow. Use cold water until the water runs clear, then apply fabric protectant when the wedding dress is dry to keep the wedding dress from yellowing.
Wedding dresses are expensive, and they can be a significant financial investment for many women. That being said, when the time comes to purchase one, it is important to do your research so that you know what questions to ask vendors in order to get the dress of your dreams without going over budget or risking an unpleasant surprise. Remember that wedding dresses should not only look good on you but also be something that will suit the style of both you and your groom-to-be.