I was a bad bride. I ironed tulle.
I wanted a long, raw-edge veil that could be lifted up dramatically behind me by the wind:
A gorgeous, flowy veil…le sigh. Photo by Christian Oth Studio.
I researched my options: I could make my own veil, or I could order a used veil from another bride. Buying a new one from a bridal shop was out of the question—veils seem to fetch a pretty high price around here. Feeling overwhelmed by the process of making invitations and tissue paper garlands, I opted to purchase a used veil—besides, reduce, reuse, recycle, right?!
I found a beautiful Vera Wang walking length veil that another bee was re-selling. The price was great. I ordered her veil, and waited patiently for her wedding to pass so she could ship the veil to me. When the veil finally arrived, it was pretty wrinkled in the shipping envelope. I was really excited to try it on, but the wrinkles bugged me. So I began to iron out the wrinkles with my roommate’s regular old household iron.
I was completely oblivious that ironing tulle is a total faux pas. After I had run the iron across the whole length of the veil several times, I noticed that a hole had begun to form towards the bottom of one of the tiers of tulle. I stopped right away, but there was no way to undo the gaping hole.
Iron + tulle = mess. Personal photo.
Really, this is not a big catastrophe. Since the veil has a raw edge, I just trimmed off the bottom 3 inches of that tier of tulle, and it looked just like new. It mostly took me by surprise. I laughed for several minutes straight. I’ve never been involved in another wedding, so how would I ever know any better? The veil is still beautiful when you take a couple steps back:
A full view of my slightly damaged veil. Personal photo.
Let this be a word of warning to those of you who haven’t yet gotten their hands on tulle veils and dresses. I found out that most tulle is made of nylon, which can melt from too much heat. The very easiest way to remove wrinkles from a veil is by hanging it in your bathroom the next few times you take hot showers. The steam from the shower will release the wrinkles without damaging the tulle. After my little mishap, I did this, and the veil looked fresh as ever.
I’ve also read that you can use a regular iron on a very low setting, but test out the iron on a scrap piece first. You can also buy a hand-held garment steamer to iron out the wrinkles, but this can still be a little risky. A safe bet is to take the veil to a dry cleaner, and leave it up to the professionals.
Have you learned about the danger of ironing tulle the hard way? What silly novice mistakes have you made during your wedding preparations?