Bespoke christening gowns are apparel worn by Christians during baptismal ceremonies. Most of them are white in color but from many different clothing materials like cool organza, tricot, tulle, silk, and satin these materials are very sensitive clothing and therefore they need special care when handling the gowns. In traditional times in the UK pure silk was preferred but in modern times cotton and linen has taken over. Caring for the gown is very critical to preserve the gown for generations to come.
Christening gowns made of pure silk should be very carefully handled and well stored. They should be dry cleaned by an established dry cleaner, who is very much aware of cleaning and taking care of christening gowns and is experienced in cleaning them. The gowns are never to be dirty at any single moment. When storing them you should first launder them because dirty stains attracts insects such as silverfish and moths. A gentle moth or silver repellent like lavender can be applied to the gown when storing them to keep the insects away. In hand washing of the garments, a mild soap or baby shampoo in lukewarm water should be used, then rinsing the it thoroughly in cold water, squeezing gently without wringing to remove the soap residue completely. Utmost care should be observed not to twist or tub because this at times causes piling, In case of excess water you should roll the gown in a towel and dry the water. When drying, lay the gown flat away from direct sunlight and heat and never spin or tumble dry, direct sunlight or heat makes the gown yellowish damaging it.
Bespoke christening gowns should never be folded, they should be hanged in a wardrobe with a preservation cover, a cotton cover, a cotton pillowslip that can be hanged, or in a cardboard box containing acid free tissue. No need of ironing the gown before storing it because it can make the garment to wear out fast. During embroidery, special care should be taken to embroider carefully on a well padded surface at cool temperatures. Bespoke christening gowns should never be stored in plastic covers, because plastic causes terrible damage to the gown.
At home the place where you store your gown should be critically considered. It should be a dry place with enough air circulation, attics at times get too hot and basements can get too damp. Textile conservators recommend that bespoke christening gowns should be used as little as possible and carefully stored when not in use. In case of holes and stains caused by insects an infill of the holes can be done using similar materials and of the same color to avoid damaging or changing the color of the gown. Choosing a christening gown that suits you can be difficult but it needs careful consideration, how to care for it being at the core of the factors of choosing. Traditional gowns can be easily hand washed but most modern fabrics have to be dry cleaned.