Why Should I Clean and Preserve My Gown?
You’ve invested in a special garment to be worn on a special day. If not cared for, it will become yellowed and damaged with the passing years. Hidden stains like perspiration, champagne or sugar will usually yellow in less than five years if not removed. And improper storage can be as damaging as doing nothing. Someday, your daughter or granddaughter will probably wonder where it is. Give your gown proper care now and your gown can be her gown in the future! Return to Top of List
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and similar regulatory agencies in other countries, require that garments have Care Labels, in order to inform consumers how to safely clean and care for their clothing. Rules from the FTC mandate proper wording for care labels. The rules disallow any manufacturer from requiring that any one care provider be the only option for a consumer. Nor do the rules allow that a label give vague care instructions that are not easily understood by consumers and care-providers. Any damage that may occur due to improper labeling often becomes the liability of the retailer, the manufacturer and/or the drycleaner who handled the garment. But it is the consumer who loses, if a precious item is damaged due to improper care. Return to Top of List
Drycleaning is a professional technique of removing soil from clothing, generally using a liquid solvent called “perchloroethylene” (PRC). Drycleaning is called “dry” because PRC has no water (H20). Drycleaning, and the elevated temperatures required to remove the PRC, can cause melting or dissolving of delicate beadwork and other trims. Drycleaning often misses hidden, water-based stains, such as perspiration, champagne or sugar. Drycleaning is safe for coats, suits and skirts. But not for most gowns. Return to Top of List
First of all, Wetcleaning is NOT “washing”. Washing includes agitation, extreme temperatures, alkaline detergents and wringing or extraction of the water. Wetcleaning is a bath. Every gown is handled individually, one at a time, by hand. It is completely safe for all types of fabrics and trims, including sequins and teardrops, even silver lined bugle beads. Wetcleaning will not dissolve the glues that are sometimes used to place trims. And wetcleaning removes hidden stains such as perspiration, champagne and sugar before they can show up as yellow or brown streaks on your gown. Wetcleaning is the technique used by The Smithsonian Institution during its recent restoration of the First Ladies Gowns, and has been applauded by environmental groups such as Greenpeace as being safe for humans and Planet Earth. Return to Top of List
A name. Only a name. “The Zurcion Method” has been named as a recommended method for handling certain wedding gowns. This has caused confusion to many consumers, bridal retailers and professional cleaners. Why? Because there is no such thing! Zurcion is a registered trademark of Nationwide Gown Cleaning Co., a cleaner in the state of New York. This company has used as many as six different names in the marketplace, including Prestige, Continental and Gown Cleaning Services. (None of these companies are in any way associated with Imperial Gown Restoration Co.) Trademarks are nothing more than protected trade names of companies doing business. Special or unique processes or substances are protected by Patents, not trademarks. Zurcion does not qualify as a process or a substance with the US Patent Office. By their own admission, Zurcion is drycleaning. And Nationwide is the company that was named on “The Leeza Show” as refusing to honor a warranty for a bride who received a damaged gown. Return to Top of List
Not by finding the closest drycleaner or the lowest price! There are specific questions you must ask before selecting a professional to handle your gown. These are general questions that every consumer must ask. These are the same Seven Questions that our president, gave to viewers when he was invited to be a guest on NBC-TV’s in 1995. These questions address important issues such as reliability, reputation and guarantees (and the warranty loopholes to avoid). Remember, if you pay less, but your gown is destroyed, you save nothing! You don’t go to a pediatrician for brain surgery. Don’t use anyone but a bridal gown professional for your bridal gown! Return to Top of List
This is an important question. But it is only the most important question. A true professional will want to see your gown before quoting a price. Gowns are made of different fibers, fabrics and trims. Some gowns have no train, others have trains up to 20 feet long. Some gowns have only hem soil, others have had an entire glass of red wine spilled on the bodice. If any company quotes one price for all gowns, they are providing one level of service for all gowns. Please read our list of Seven Questions to understand how to select a gown cleaning company you can trust. Remember, you save nothing if you pay less but your gown is destroyed. Return to Top of List
Taped in August and first aired in September of 1995 (and several times subsequently), Leeza Gibbons had a show on NBC-TV which featured seven women who had been victims of various bridal scams. Four of these women had been victimized by gown companies. One, Shelley Brown of New Hampshire, had been featured in a story in The Boston Globe before appearing on Leeza. Brown had her gown cleaned and preserved by Nationwide Gown Cleaners (See: “What is Zurcion”, above). Brown told viewers that when she opened her gown preservation box after four years, she found it covered with yellow stains, blood and ink. She had the gown with her on stage. When she contacted Nationwide with her “Lifetime Guarantee”, they informed her that her guarantee was voided due to her having opened the box. Steven Saidman, president of Imperial, then gave viewers the questions that must be asked before selecting a gown preservation company. Leeza then asked Saidman to assist her in unpacking her own bridal gown, which had been sealed for several years. To the shock of Leeza and the entire audience, she found that the box contained only her veil and petticoat. Her “sealed and protected” gown box had no gown in it! Return to Top of List
Can I Break the Seal on My Preservation Box?
Easy! Call 1-800-WED-GOWN. Imperial will arrange with you for a No-Cost, No-Obligation, fully insured free pickup and delivery of your wedding gown from anywhere in all fifty United States and Puerto Rico. Brides in Canada and the Caribbean may also take advantage of Imperial’s quality for a nominal shipping charge. Imperial will provide you with all packaging materials and handling charges so that you may receive a free consultation and quote on having your gown handled safely and properly. Return to Top of List