So what do you do with your christening gown or christening outfit after the big day? Here are a few suggestions for preserving your child’s heirloom for future generations:
- Dry clean or hand-wash the christening gown or christening outfit as directed on the clothing tag. Stains and body oils can irreparably discolor the fabric. If you hand-wash, avoid using harsh soaps, chlorine bleach, fabric softeners, and starch. Rinse the christening dress or outfit well to remove detergent residues.
- Once your christening gown or christening suit is completely clean and dry, stuff it with clean, acid-free tissue; this will help prevent hard creases that can weaken the fabric. Fold additional tissue into pleats and slip it between layers of fabric.
- Place the christening outfit or gown in a 100% cotton unbleached muslin bag, we have three different lengths to fit your needs. Plastic or vinyl bags are unacceptable for long-term preservation since garments need to breathe. For this same reason, you should not seal or wrap a cardboard box containing heirloom christening clothing. Never pack mothballs with your christening apparel since they can ruin fabric over time. Also avoid storing the christening suit or gown with metal items. If you have purchased a bracelet for your special occasion, you can find the perfect display frame at One Small Child.
- Label your storage container (if it is not already monogrammed) with a name and date.
- Store the christening outfit or christening gown in a dark, cool, dry place (for example, in a closet or under a bed). Avoid storing the box or bag in places where temperature or humidity may fluctuate seasonally (for example, a basement or attic). The ideal storage place has a relative humidity of 55 percent and a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check your heirloom christening gown or christening outfit once in a while to ensure that it is maintaining its beauty. When you handle your christening heirloom, wear cotton gloves –- skin oils can discolor fabric.
- When you wish to use your treasured christening gown or christening outfit again, remove it from the storage container and air it out for several days. You may need to steam the item to remove wrinkles; iron only as a last resort, and only on a very low setting.