Whether it is Grandmother's heirloom dress or Paris runway Couture, we've done them all- one dress at a time. We carefully go over each dress- remove and /or cover beads and ornamentation- clean thoroughly and make repairs as needed. Then the garment is soft -pressed by hand before preserving it in a Museum Quality Heirloom Package.
Projected 200 Year Life for Textiles
Museum and archival quality boxes and tissue paper are now being used by museums and historical societies for the preservation of fabrics and costumes, by the federal and State governments for the preservation of historical costumes, and by libraries for the preservation of rare books and magazines. Archival board is used for the backing in framing pictures.
This archival box is made from double wall corrugated board of a solidly dyed bridal white color, averaging approximately .10 inches in thickness to provide a strong rigid storage box (220lb test) meeting museum and archival quality requirements.
The paper used in the manufacture of these boxes is of special lignin free, neutral pH quality and of excellent strength characteristics. It has been buffered against acid migration. The archival tissue is lignin free, neutral of pH and porous.
The boxes are vermin resistant. The paper itself contains chemicals which kills insects such as silver fish and moths upon ingestion.
The boxes are water resistant. They can be submerged in water for 48 hours and remain intact.
From endurance and acidity tests it has been projected that archival boxes should last 500 years. a highly polluted industrial environment, or prolonged exposure to the ultra violet rays of the sun can reduce the lifetime of the box.
Museum conservators hope to extend the lifetime of textiles 200 years or more by storing in archival box with archival tissue.
The box should be stored in an area where temperature and humidity levels are as constant as possible, preferably a closet located on an interior wall. Attics and basements are not recommended. Close proximity to heating - air conditioning vents, or pipes should be avoided, as well as direct sunlight.
Every 2-3 years the box should be opened and the gown inspected. Before handling your gown, wash your hands with a small amount of baking soda mixed with warm water. When opening the box examine each protective layer: box, tissue and cotton fabric. if you see any spots or discoloration on storage materials, or your gown, contact your cleaner. It is not necessary to remove the gown for initial inspections. Examine top layer of gown, and in between a few folds.
In the first 10-15 years the cotton liner and cover should be washed. Place a clean sheet on a bed, remove the gown onto the sheet.
Washing instructions: Gentle cycle, warm water, low alkali detergent (we recommend Tide Free- 8.3 pH), air dry and press. If you need repackaging instructions contact D D French.
After the initial washing, rewash every 20 years.
Tissue should be replaced every 25-30 years. Once again, check with D D French (214) 521-5631.
What is the Origin of the Archival Box
Museum Conservators have been concerned for a long time about the apparent deterioration (yellowing, brown spots, staining and friability, ect.) of some of their textiles that were stored in standard card board boxes.
They finally realized that the boxes had become highly acid, causing the degradation of the papers and its consequent discoloration. the yellowing, browing and streaking of the paper was staining the textiles in contact with it as well as acidifying the textiles themselves.
Therefore in October 1978, museum conservators met with representatives of commercial paper firms to discuss producing boxes safe for costume storage. Requirements were that the boxes be lignin-free with buffered to help maintain permanence. Museum Quality was formed as a result of these meetings.
This box and tissue have been developed, selected and tested to meet specifications set by the most authoritative conservation specialists from major institutions in this country and abroad. Every component of our storage materials is of archival quality. They have been selected and produced with meticulous care to rigorous standards.