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Tips for Preserving Clothing and Textiles

  • Take it (wedding dress, family quilt, etc.) off the hanger
  • Protect it from light by placing it in an acid-free box
  • Inside the box, it is important to use acid-free tissue, as well. Place rolls of tissue between the folds of the textile for support
  • Do not store textiles in an attic or basement. Instead store in a cool, dry area that is not susceptible to extremes in temperature and humidity and that is free from pests and dust
  • Handle with clean hands
  • Before handling remove bracelets, necklaces, rings, tags, or anything that could catch or cling to a textile or its surface

Source: Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, Handling Textiles & Costumes.

Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California, and his family, 1868, Los Angeles, California