Monday, May 21, 2012

Storing your vintage clothes and quality textiles.

Acid-free, unbuffered, archival boxes and tissue
from the Container Store.

Much to our excitement, The Container Store opened up near us recently. My husband and I went on a little spree - if you can call storage container shopping a spree, that is. He did the garage and I went for the sewing room.

About a year ago I did a really thorough go-through and cleaned and organized the sewing room. Sooo much better than the mess of fabrics it was before. I got stacking cube things from Target and now I have boxes for everything: silks, linens, buttons, passementerie, thread, etc. The only mess that was left was where to put the finished costumes and my collection of vintage clothes. They hung in my closet for a while, but they just take up so much room! I decided to get boxes and store them properly, so they don't get dusty and nasty. 

In a recent post I mentioned how important it is to store textiles in an acid free environment, so I was thrilled when I found archival boxes and tissue at that store - usually I have to order everything online. I bought boxes and tissue and got to packing. I started with the vintage textiles, but I intend to store all the costumes I have like this. 

Start with clean garments. Dirt and nasties can damage textiles over time, making them weak. Layer your garment on the tissue, top with tissue and neatly fold so that there is tissue between each fold of fabric. This helps reduce creasing and wrinkling. You can even layer extra tissue or washed, unbleached muslin around folds to further reduce the chance of creasing. 

Place in the box that has enough room so the garment is not squished. Store your boxes in a cool, dry place, that is climate controlled - no garages and attics, they go from hot to cold to extremely with the season. It is also important to air out your textiles on occasion, taking care to refold them in different places to give the fabric a rest. 

Don't forget to label so you know what's in the box! I found paper on roll, like tape, that work great for labeling the outside of the boxes. 

For more in depth instructions on at-home archival quality storage, click here to visit the Smithsonian's page, and if you don't have room for boxes, you can wrap with tissue and set aside a drawer or cabinet to store your things. Be nice to your completed sewing projects and vintage babies! Keep them at their best :)


  1. I just love to open up my computer each morning, and find one of your new posts! Always informative, interesting and enjoyable.

  2. Very timely, I need to store my vintage outfits, thx!