The pictures are done, the gathering, the ceremony and the party are over.
Here you are, holding a beautiful and special piece you want to keep and take care off. Be this a Christening Gown or Blessing Gown, a Flower Girl dress, or a Wedding Gown. You are thinking they may be other occasions, someone in the family will use it, or your child’s child may wear it in time.
The issue is how to do it?
How to put these special pieces in storage and keep it safe from elements that will damage the dress, gown, or romper such as humidity, mildew, moths, etc…
We include with every Special Occasion piece we ship a card with care instructions we thought to share:
Care & Conservation
Light – Low light levels are preferable for storage. Sunlight and fluorescent light are specially damaging.
Humidity & Temperature – Moist air, (over 60% humidity) warmth & lack of air circulation encourages mold, stains & deterioration. Basements and attics may provide extreme fluctuations in humidity levels, which is to be avoided. Plastic bags can trap humidity & result in mildew.
Insects – Inspect the garment regularly, furniture and carpet beetles & webbing clothes moths are specially attracted to silk.
Materials – Protect the textile piece from direct contact with wood, (avoid cedar chests especially for cotton and linen) ordinary cardboard or metal. Layers of acid free tissue or unbleached cotton muslin can be used to line boxes or containers. Ideally, wash the muslin or change the tissue once a year. Flat storage or rolled in acid free tissue is better than hanging.
If you want more information or details on how to storage your heirlooms safely, we have compiled a list of additional resources you may want.
If acid free tissue is not available. Replace with white tissue & renew every year.
Archival boxes (acid-free) can be purchased from conservation supply businesses.
Bachman, K. (ed.) Conservation Concerns: A Guide for Collectors and Curators. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1992.
Keck, C.K. Care of Textiles and Costumes: Adaptive Techniques for Basic Maintenance. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History (Technical Leaflet 71).
Mailand, H.F. and Alig, D.S. Preserving Textiles: A Guide for the Nonspecialist. Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1999