Usually there are only a couple of things that can make your wedding dress smell funny. The first is when its brand new and “fresh” from the bridal store.
Since almost all wedding dresses are made in China and then shipped to the U.S. they must be chemically treated in China. This treatment is to keep unwanted insects from being accidentally transported with the wedding gowns. So they are chemically treated to kill these insects. The insects won’t be in the wedding dress itself, but will have gotten a free ride on the outside of the shipping bag.
You would probably describe the smell as being a bit fishy smelling. Not so much like rotten fish per se but just kind of a fishy odor. Its a different enough odor, youll know it once you’ve smelled it.
Dont be alarmed or scared about some insect getting in and eating your wedding dress or even crawling around inside the bag. The manufacturers all have a very clean environment when producing their wedding gowns. They have to to keep the dresses clean. Obviously everything has to be extra clean to keep your wedding gown in perfect shape and beautiful.
The chemical treatment is a requirement for all garment and fabric importers from any foreign country. And when you consider how important this is enviornmentally its a good precaution. So if your wedding gown has a peculiar smell, be glad it does.
Under most circumstances by the time your wedding gown arrives in the U.S. it doesnt smell any more because the smell has dissipated. If you can still smell the chemical then just a quick spray of a fabric care product like Febreeze will do wonders.
The second reason your gown may smell is after it has been dry-cleaned.
Dry-cleaning solvent called “perc” can cause an odor. The older the perc and the poorer the dry-cleaner’s filters are the more the perc picks up various smells and the more concentrated the odor become.
(Your local dry-cleaners place various fabrics and garments in together to be cleaned. This can also transfer odors from one garment to another causing your wedding gown to smell – not like the solvent smell of perc, but with pecular ordors.)
The dry-cleaning equipment has special filters. These filters are designed to keep the solvent clean. The problem comes when the longer it goes between cleaning the more concentrated the solvent smell. These filters are expensive and each time they are changed a considerable amount of solvent can be wasted. The cleaning solvent is expensive. Dry cleaners want to use the perc as long as possible, this is important for the profitability of the dry-cleaner.
Dry cleaning smell can also be removed using a commercial fabric spray like “Fabreeze”. It is best to follow directions by the manufacturer.
If your wedding gown is cleaned and preserved it should not smell at all. And you’ll have the cherished memory of your wedding for years and years to come.