Collections 102, Part 3: how do I store…textiles

So you’ve inherited the family textile heirlooms, now what? Textiles include clothing, rugs, blankets, lace or other fabrics. Bottomless quote generator, Ben Franklin noted: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It certainly applies to textile care; small measures now ensure good long term preservation. Let’s get started.

The quick version:

  • Don’t store in a basement, attic or garage (really, you’ll regret it)
  • Remove dry cleaning bags and wire hangers
  • If a textile is sturdy, hang it up
  • If it is heavy (like a quilt), box it up
  • If it is fragile, roll it up

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Collections 102, part 2: how do I store… vintage plastics

So last week tackled preservation materials and storage environment best suited for maintaining heirlooms and treasures at home. If you haven’t seen it, check it out real quick before you read this.

Vintage plastics

Whether Bakelite jewelry, celluloid toys, PVC fashion dolls, or mid-century kitchen chairs, plastics can be particularly tricky to store and preserve long term.

The quick version:

  • Don’t store them in sealed plastic containers or bags
  • Store them flat and avoid jostling or temperature fluctuation
  • Avoid cleaning with water or other wet solvents. Wipe with a dry micro fiber cloth
  • Odor indicates active degradation: sickly sweet “plasticy”/camphor/vinegar

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Collections 102, part 1: preserving family treasures at home

So you’ve inherited family heirlooms. Now what? This post covers the most cost effective supplies to preserve your treasures and the best places in your home to store them. Next week’s post discusses specifics for books, photos, textiles, jewelry and plastics.

If you just want the quick version, remember two things:

  • Archival supplies will preserve your treasures. Regular office supplies will destroy them (I’m looking at you, cellophane tape, rubber bands and paperclips).
  • Your heirlooms are most comfortable at room temperature.

Want the scenic route version? Buckle up, let’s go! Continue reading