How to Steam a Wedding Dress


Investing in the wedding dress of your dreams is no trivial matter. So, when the time comes to steam it, it is critical to know exactly how to go about the process.

Generally speaking, fabrics like tulle, silk, polyester, and satin can all handle steam for smoothing out wrinkles and creases. Other fabrics, however, aren’t meant to be steamed. When you expose embroidery to steam, for instance, there are chances of the fabric shrinking. Other materials such as dupioni, shantung, and taffeta are more prone to creases if steamed. 

Therefore, if you decide to take matters into your own hands, it’s best to first ensure the fabric doesn’t face any damage in the process. Here’s a detailed guide to steaming your wedding dress with care. 

A Quick Step-By-Step Guide to Steaming a Wedding Dress

Here’s a 7-step roadmap to erasing those wrinkles for a wedding dress:

1. Put the Dress Carefully on a Hanger

For this step, make sure you find a space where you can freely move the steam wand around. The back of a door, for example, can be the perfect place to hang the wedding dress. As an added precaution to protect the shoulders of your dress, you can hang it on padded hangers.

2. Get Your Steamer Ready

Fill the steamer with distilled water. Then, run a test by holding it about 8-10 inches away before you start it up. Again, the amount of steam you need to enable will depend on the fabric your dress is made of. Heavier fabrics, for instance, would need added moisture. Lighter materials like tulle or chiffon would need less moisture. 

3. Get Rid of any Excess Condensed Liquid

This precaution is important if you want to avoid any water droplets from staining your fabric. Don’t point the steamer nozzle at your dress the moment you turn the steamer on. Instead, wait for about 30 seconds until those first few droplets evaporate and flick off any additional liquid before aiming the steamer at your dress.

4. Get the Steamer Settings Right

Before steaming your dress, make sure you set the steam setting to your fabric type. Next, move the steamer from top to bottom and across the length of the fabric. Before moving on, see how the steamer’s effect on the creases turns out. Continue the process with the same settings if you’re satisfied with the results.

5. Time to Erase the Wrinkles!

For this process, gently pull the fabric in one direction and start the steaming process. Hold the device about 6 inches away for a couple of minutes. Remember to work in sections and start from the top. For a long sleeve dress, you can start from the sleeves. Once you’re done steaming one side, it’s time to turn the garment over and begin working on the other side. If your dress is made from fabrics like chiffon, lace, or tulle, make sure you direct the steam in small circles and not long strokes.

6. Don’t Skip Steaming the Veil

The veil is often more vulnerable to wrinkles than your dress. Your wedding dress might look clean and crisp. But if you neglect the veil, it simply eclipses the overall beauty of your wedding attire. On the other hand, steaming the veil makes way for an enchanting, airbrushed look. Since veils are extremely delicate, it’s best to set the steamer on a lower setting.

7. Let the Dress Dry

Make sure you let your wedding dress dry for at least 10 minutes before putting it on. Steamed fabrics can look and feel damp if not dried thoroughly right out. When they’re not dried well enough, they end up inviting more wrinkles.

Should You Go for the Hot Shower Option Instead? 

Not all fabrics can withstand heavy steam. This is where the need for the good old hot shower steaming method comes into the picture. This process is all about hanging your dress in the bathroom with a hot shower running. The steam from the shower begins to accumulate which then helps smooth out wrinkles without any risks or difficulties. 

But how should you go about this process?

Start with hanging the dress high up from the floor. Make sure you place it away from the walls. Place some clean towels right below the dress on the floor to keep your dress protected in case it falls. 

Start running the hot water by keeping your bathroom door closed. Leave the wedding gown in there for about 20 minutes. By now, enough steam has accumulated to prep your dress for de-wrinkling

Finally, wrap a clean towel around your arm and run it down your dress’s length. This will help smooth out the wrinkles as your arm journeys down and across the dress. 

Some Helpful Tips to Make Note Of 

A wedding dress is a heavy investment. To ensure it doesn’t suffer any damage during the steaming process, here are a few precautions to take:

Cover the Steamer with a Sheet

One of the biggest concerns with using a steam machine is the possibility of water stains forming on your dress. More often than not, condensed water from the machine settles around the steam hose which can in turn leave unpleasant water rings on your dress. To avoid this mishap, you can simply cover your garment with a crisp white sheet. This hack will help you smooth out the wrinkles without having to worry about any stains or damages in the process. 

Keep the Nozzle Horizontal

Another critical factor to take into account when using a steam machine is to hold the nozzle in a horizontal position. This will ensure the condensed water doesn’t drip onto your dress but slips right back into the hose instead. 

Test Out a Small Area First 

Not all fabrics can withstand steam. To ensure the fabric of your dress can take the heat of a steam device, test it on a small corner underneath the first layer of your dress. 

Let the Steamer Warm Up for About 30 Seconds Before you Start

It is inevitable for tiny water droplets to condense on the steamer nozzle. If ignored, these droplets can leave unpleasant water rings on your dress. To avoid this, make sure you let the steamer warm up for about 30 seconds after you start the process.

Successfully Steaming Your Dress

Steaming a wedding dress requires care and patience. Hopefully, these tips will help you steam a wedding dress without leaving any room for damage. That said, if you’re looking to invest in a wedding dress, NewYorkDress offers a wide range of high-end designer wedding gowns from international fashion houses. Hop right here to explore and find the wedding dress of your dreams!

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