Bleaching a Wedding Dress

I will be wearing my mother’s 1968 wedding dress for my wedding. Is it possible (and if so, a good idea) to have a professional use a mild bleach on it to brighten it up a bit? If so, how can I go about finding such a professional in the Boston area, and if not, is there anything I can do to brighten it up a bit? Thanks, Erin

Dear Erin,
There is nothing that you can do that will produce a guaranteed outcome. If you want to experiment, you could soak it in a solution of OxiClean® and then send it to the cleaners for a professional press job. Keep in mind that you may not be pleased with the outcome – some possibilities are:
1. it remains the same color
2. it shrinks from a water-based process, even if it is cool or slightly warm water
3. it lightens unevenly
4. it can’t be pressed back into pristine shape.
If you don’t want to risk any of these outcomes, you could accessorize with a brighter or a sparkly white or lighter color in order to lighten up the whole thing. Do not try chlorine bleach! With fabric this old, no matter what its content, you could make a mess.
blessed wedding,

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