Care of silk christening gowns and romper suits
Christening gown care – now that you have purchased your beautiful silk Christening Gown or Romper Suit from Honfleur, you will want to ensure that you preserve it in the best possible condition; treasured as an heirloom to be worn by future generations of your family – your descendants and those of your baby, as well as by other babies in the current generation.
Silk is a natural fibre and the slight irregularities in the weave, texture and colour of the fabric are part of its charm and you should not consider these to be defects.
If looked after carefully, this beautiful garment will become part of your family tradition for centuries to come.
To prolong the beauty of your baby’s silk gown, you need to take certain precautions in the care and storage of the garment, in order to minimise deterioration and to preserve the fabric in the best possible condition.
Christening gown care – after wearing, you should have the garment cleaned as soon as possible, ideally within several weeks at the most. The longer marks remain in the silk, the more difficult it will become to remove them effectively.
Remember that stains which are initially invisible may discolour and even damage the fabric over the years.
Food stains, may not always be visible to us, but might still attract insects.
Sugar stains, although initially drying clear, will, over time, turn brown and become difficult to remove.
Even perspiration, if left in the fabric, will oxidise, turning the fabric yellow and causing permanent damage.
You should always have your silk christening gowns professionally dry cleaned by a drycleaner specialising in such garments. You should point out any known stains and marks to the cleaner with details of their type.
Storing your gown
Use as large a box as possible in order to avoid excessive folds.
Always use white, acid free tissue paper to line the box and wrap your gown, as the acid in ordinary wrapping material will weaken the fabric over time.
Pad any folds with acid free tissue paper and place crumpled tissue in the sleeves and bodice. Cover the garment with tissue.
Alternatively, you can wrap your gown in white cotton sheeting which has been washed and thoroughly rinsed. You should wash and rinse this every year to remove acid build up. As described above you should pad the folds, sleeves and bodice.
If you store your gown in a drawer, rather than in a box, you should ensure that nothing heavy is placed on top of it, which could cause creases to be pressed into the fabric.
To store your gown vertically, use a strong hanger well padded with cotton material and with a stainless steel hook.
Pad the bodice and sleeves of your garment with crumpled acid free tissue paper or cotton material. You should cover the gown with a cotton cover, which should be washed annually.
Do not use plastic materials to store your gown as they can trap condensation, leading to mildew, which can be extremely difficult to remove. Also the chemicals contained in such materials can produce damaging fumes.
Likewise any synthetic material will generate static electricity, thereby attracting dust.
Avoid contact with metal fastenings or hangers which may corrode.
You should store your gown in a cool, dry, well ventilated environment, not subject to wide temperature fluctuations and away from the light.
Check your gown once a year. Wash and replace any cotton wrappings. Repack the gown with the folds rearranged.
It is possible that some yellowing of the silk fabric will occur naturally over time. This is not entirely undesirable, as it lends an air of age and history to the garment.
Above all, enjoy your gown, in the knowledge that you have contributed to the heritage and tradition of your family.