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Wedding Gown Yellowed With Age - Restore

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

We recently took my grandmother's wedding dress out of storage while going through her things, and we found the dress discolored with yellowing. If not for the discoloration, it would be a gorgeous Victorian lace wedding dress. Actually, it's so beautiful that it would be wonderful to wear to a party or special occasion. But, to make it white, I was thinking of washing it with bleach, or would that ruin it? What else can I do?


Ruined gown

Dear Ruined gown,

Do not wash it with bleach as that could ruin the fabric. You have a couple options with the dress:

1. Wedding Dress Restoration: look for a wedding gown preservation or restoration specialist in your area. They should be able to restore the gown back to its original condition. The price is quite high, so be sure and get an estimate before agreeing to the restoration.

To find a specialist, see the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists website at or call 1-800-501-5005.

2. Dye the Dress: If you do not plan to use the dress for your wedding, you could dye the dress a darker color using liquid RIT dye which is available in dozens of colors. Pick your favorite color and follow the dye directions carefully.