Leave No Stone Unturned
Good advice to follow while shopping for a vintage wedding dress:
1. Musty or mildewy odors, don’t be afraid to smell the fabric, musty odors can be impossible to remove. Rustle the dress about and sniff the fabric.
2. Under arm odors; rub the under arm area of the dress between your fingers and create friction in the fabric, several times if necessary. These particular odors can become trapped in the fabric only to be released upon wear or washing and near impossible to remove.
3. Inspect the left side and back of the bodice for broken zippers, missing eye hooks, missing buttons, etc. Zippers which are too stiff or bumpy can explode upon wear. Missing vintage buttons can be costly and impossible to match or replace. Vintage dresses prior to 1960’s should have metal zippers.
4. Bodice or bra padding which may be deteriorated and crumble like salt and leak through the dress fabric.
5. Stress fractures in fabrics, especially silk. Do a stress test; hold fabric firmly between your hands and gently tug in opposite directions. Any signs of stress could indicate “fabric rot” and this is non-repareable.
6. Check hemline & netting for deep stains, rips & tears.
7. Smoke odors can be overly pungent and impossible to remove. Garments which are stored long-term near wood stoves or fire places are the worst.
Most damage can be repaired, even odors, however, it can be tedious and require expensive professional assistance.