Save Your Stuff – Textiles for Tuesday’s Tip
Genealogists are family archivists and sometimes they’re museum curators too. If you need to preserve family textiles – Grandma’s quilt, Mom’s wedding dress, Great-great-grandma’s needlework sampler – then here are six quick tips for you.
1. Textiles like the same environment you do. No basements, no attics, no garages, no place where the temperature and humidity cycle up and down constantly.
2. Gravity is not your friend. Store textiles horizontally and roll rather than fold. If you do have examples hanging vertically, take a tip from museums and let them “rest” horizontally from time to time.
3. If you have to fold, pad the folds with acid-free tissue paper from a reputable dealer like Hollinger.
4. Avoid letting your textiles be exposed to direct sunlight and incandescent light. Sunlight comes into your house and on to your walls differently according to the seasons, so make sure that exposure is safe year-round.
5. Buy wardrobe boxes from reputable archival supply vendors like Hollinger to store dresses. Don’t hang them up.
6. Check the backs of framed textiles and remove cardboard, wood, and other highly acidic backing materials. Replace with acid-free mat board.