How to Preserve and Protect Specialty Items and Materials

We all have something that we consider a specialty item or material. It might be your wedding dress, or something that was passed down to you. It does not matter what material it is, or where it came from, you are going to want to preserve and protect it well.

When you have specialty items and materials in your home, such as hand made quilts, or doilies and other needle work it is important that you learn to preserve and protect them. So, how can you preserve and protect specialty items and materials? Try some of the following:

1. Clean before storing. If you store the item dirty, the item is more likely to break down, attract pests, stain, etc. So, before storing anything have it laundered. Do it yourself if the item is not too fragile, or send it out if you must. Be sure that you get any stains out that you do not want set in, and make sure that it is fresh. You will want to brush dust off it, etc. Depending on what it is will determine how it is best to clean it, and what needs to be done to make it clean. If you are unsure, take it to a preservationist for cleaning, as you would not want to ruin something that you can’t replace.

2. Read labels. One thing you want to do when trying to preserve and protect specialty items and materials is read the labels. If they still have a readable label, read it. This will give you some good instruction on how to clean and care for the item. If there is not a label, see if you can determine what the item is made from, and find something with a label from the same material.

3. Let breathe, but protect form moths and other pests. You will want to make sure that your specialty items and materials are placed in a breathable storage container, or that you are on top of things enough to open and let your containers breathe once a month. You do not want to put your stuff in cardboard though because it attracts moths, mice, etc. So, while you want your specialty items and materials to be able to breathe, you also want to protect them from moths and pests, so take the steps to do that as well. Then store. If not stored, be sure to protect them from moths and pests by checking on the frequently.

4. Talk to a preserver if it is something extremely special, such as a wedding dress. One of the best things you can do to protect and preserve specialty items and materials is to ask a professional. Some professionals have solutions they will spray on items like a wedding dress to keep them from yellowing, special methods of storage that keep the materials from breaking down etc. Often times the expense is worth it.

5. Do not store in sunlight. The sun has a way of fading things, and breaking them down, so if you have something that is a specialty item or material, be sure that whether it is stored or displayed that it remains out of direct sunlight.

Preserving and protecting your specialty items and materials is the above 5 steps away. You will want to take care to follow them carefully, as you can never replace some of the items you may have. So, consider having storage cases made specialty for these items, and talking to a professional about what else you can do to protect and preserve.

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