Carrie and I had a nice chat about my background in textile preservation, the kinds of services Museum Textile Services offers, and where listeners could go to learn more about MTS.
I explained that in the Resources section of our web page is a brand new MTS Handout entitle How to Archive Your Wedding Gown, which anyone can download. There is also a step-by-stop slideshow called How to Pack Your Wedding Gown.
As I explain in the Podcast, beware of any gown preservation specialist who seals your dress in a box and tells you not to open it. What are they afraid you will find? Proper archival storage products are dye and acid free, made of inert plastics, and preferably opaque to protect the contents from light. Although many archival storage boxes are made of acid-free cardboard, At MTS we prefer archival polypropylene storage boxes. They are durable, opaque, pest resistant, and remain pH neutral forever. Cardboard boxes are more fragile, an easy target for pests, and they reacidify from their contents and environment.
I was recently contacted by journalist Carrie Hayward, host of the Disney Wedding Podcast and author of PassPorter's Disney Weddings & Honeymoons. Carrie was excited to interview me on how to care for your wedding gown without being scammed by gown preservation companies. Click here to listen to the Podcast, called How to Preserve Your Wedding Gown.
Where you store your gown is as important as how you store it. Never keep your gown on a hanger or in a garment bag. If you want to preserve your gown for future generations, it needs to be placed in an archival box after it is cleaned. The box should be kept in the part of the house where you are comfortable living—not the basement or attic. It should be in an area where the temperature and relative humidity are stable without the highs and lows that encourage dimensional change and pest activity. A spare closet, or even under a bed, are both good places. Inspect your archival storage box every year for signs of pest activity or mildew—late spring and late summer are good times. If you notice any change in the appearance of your wedding gown, consult a textile conservator.
For these and all MTS Handouts and Slideshows, visit the Resources section of our website and follow the link for Individuals.
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