Many brides keep their wedding attire for sentimental reasons, and some pass on their cherished dresses to their children when it’s their turn to get married. Alas, some fabrics like tulle turn yellow with age, and bringing them back to their near-pristine condition requires some effort and know-how.
Here are tips to whiten an old tulle wedding veil:
- Cut off a small portion of the tulle. Take it off from an area of the veil that is usually not seen. This will enable you to test out the different whitening substances before using it on the whole veil.
- Soak the veil in a lemon juice solution. Mix in a tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of water. Make enough solution to immerse the veil, and then gently wash it. The acid in the solution is strong enough to repel any odor while eliminating mildew growth.
- Immerse the tulle in a detergent solution. Soak for two hours and keep the soapy water warm. Run water over it afterwards but avoid squeezing or twisting the fragile material dry.
- Use the lemon juice method on the tulle. If you find out the lemon juice is inadequate for whitening, use a light bleach-and-water mixture then soak the veil in it. Follow the instructions for the proper concentration and procedure.
- Soak the tulle in starch and boiling water. Mix a teaspoonful of starch in boiling water then submerge the veil in the solution. Place the veil on a dry towel then roll the towel. Unroll the towel, place the veil on the other side then roll again to get most of the water out. Hang it on a rod or line to dry.
- Submerge the tulle in oxygen cleanser and fabric wash. Fill a basin or tub with warm water, a teaspoonful of cleanser and some drops of fabric wash. After letting the tulle soak in it, gently move it around the solution. Dry the veil using the towel roll system.
- Bring it to a professional cleaner. Old wedding veils are fragile, and many expert cleaners have the experience to handle it gently while possessing the necessary chemicals to whiten it. If the veil starts to fall apart using your home whitening method, stop immediately, dry it with the towel method then look for a cleaner in the yellow pages or online. Ask the operator if they can process your tulle, and don’t press any further if they refuse. Your veil is too valuable to risk except for the most confident cleaners. You can also ask your colleagues to recommend you a good cleaner.
If the tulle veil is too deteriorated to be reused as part of the bridal dress, it can still be recycled as part of the decoration. Turn it into the centerpiece of the church setup or decorate the main reception table with it. This way, a valuable family heirloom can still take part of a special celebration that bridges generations in a family.