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Monday, October 27, 2014

NEW, New Address! Free Sachet or Tissue for Dropping By! Whoppee...!  ; )*

We have a NEW new address! The shop is now located at:
204 Union Street
P.O. Box 447 (US MAIL)
Occoquan VA 22125

TEXT ONLY 5 seven 1.five 7 two.two two 0 7

In addition to the supplies and kits available online, we also have an ever changing selection of antiques, painted furniture, vintage finds and collectibles. Areas of special interest include vintage Pyrex® and mid.century crystal, barware and teak. We also have an interesting selection of art, wall art, shelves and mirrors and our in-house bookseller (and finder) stewards a Little Free Library. 

We think you will be surprised by our very reasonable pricing (dealers buy from us!) and enjoy the friendly feel and great customer service, so stop by for a browse; mention having read this blog post for a free sachet or some acid free tissue paper. 

If you are looking for something special for your home or for that special someone(s), TPS has a 'Seeking' Book, a Bridal Registry, a Baby Registry, a 'Hint' Service and Gift Certificates in any amount. All credit and debit cards are welcome and returns and exchanges are never a problem. Consults for preservation and storage concerns and simple restoration are always free of charge.

Will Try to do Better! LL&P, ADD Debra

In my defense, after 17 years, I rarely get questions about care, preservation, storage and/or restoration not already covered (or at least to some extent or analogous in some way...). Now that the progeny are onboard at the shop, I'll delegate something to someone and troll the e.mail histories to see if I can find some post.worthy Q and A. Read on!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

From Elaine H. on OVER regenerating desiccant and some kind words

First the kind words:

"I love dealing with your store.  I always get superb service and friendly hints to make the products I buy perform at their best.  Another store wouldn't include a card that explains how to restore desiccant.  They would prefer to sell more."

RE:  Elaine accidentally over-cooked her desiccant, which is something I did not know to be possible.  It's probably happened to others and they just re-ordered without letting me know. Elaine took the time to describe what happened for me so that we can perhaps help you avoid ruining your desiccant.  Here's her description:

"It's more brownish (burnt) than bright yellow.  I put the faded (pink) desiccant into little Pyrex  baking dishes which I placed in the oven at 275 for 3 hours.  I turned the oven off but didn't take the dishes out of it right away.  Between the time they were restored to the perfect blue and clear colors and the time I took them out, the blue disappeared and the brown took over."

Thank you Elaine! I have sent her replacement desiccant at cost ; )*

The instructions again are:

When indicator beads are fully light pink, either microwave in multiple short periods until blue or place in a slow oven (at or below 275ยบ) for up to 3 hours or until beads are blue again.  Use Pyrex or similar heat-proof glass.  Allow beads to cool before handling and then use or store as needed.  When storing desiccant for future use keep it in a glass jar just large enough and at moderate steady temperature.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time Flies + NEWS!

Hard to believe it's been so long since I last posted! The thing is, when you've been doing this as long as I have, there's just not a whole lot of new stuff going on. I receive very few new consult questions (always free!) these days, as folks take my suggestion and search the blog for answers before asking.

Please do not hesitate to ask if your query is not covered here or on the site. This is what I do! If you aren't sure, ask and I will help.

That said, I want to let everyone know that The Preservation Station has moved shop!

We are now at
301 D & E Commerce Street
Occoquan VA 22125

We are in the rear down the walk if you enter from Commerce Street or enter from Poplar Alley and we are directly behind Cock and Bowl.

Winter hours are Wednesday thru Sunday 12 to 5p.m. (longer on workshop nights)
and by appointment.

In addition to carrying everything we do now:

  • acid free tissue paper in 2 sizes
  • the most amazing, long-lasting lavender
  • pH test pens
  • 3D archival sleeves
  • indicating silica gel in packets and bulk
  • Eucalan wool and fibre washes
  • Sweater care kits
  • Garment Preservation Packs for wedding gowns, uniforms, costumes and quilts, linens and baby garments and memorabilia...
We now also have:

  • antiques furniture and home furnishings
  • mid.century furniture and home furnishings
  • vintage furniture and home furnishings 
 of all kinds!

We also have a mini.mall with launching nanobusinesses:

  • Salvage Surprise
  • Kountrie Lane Antiques & Collectibles 
  • HandCrafted Matchbooks and Crafts
  • Optimus Libri, Bookseller and Finder
  • Affordable Product Photography
  • Southern Charm Deco

Too much to list, so please visit the site at or go directly to the new page at

Mention having read this post for a free package of archival tissue paper with any purchase.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eucalan Now has Videos!

Click here to see them.  As you know, we feature Eucalan's fantastic washes in our textile care and storage kits, including the Wedding Gown and Baby Garment Kits and our Sweater Care Kit.  The 4 no-rinse washes are eco-friendly, wonderfully effective and actually act as a conditioning treatment for the fibers of your items!  From everyday items to fine lingerie and heirloom linens, there simply is no better fabric wash.  As an added benefit the all-natural fragrances are wonderful.  Eucalyptus has well-known insect-repelling properties (a plus when storing), as does Lavender. Lavender also has calming and relaxing aromatherapy properties, making it especially nice for lingerie and for bath and bed linens. Grapefruit is wonderfully fresh and has antiseptic properties, making it especially nice for baby clothing and table linens. For sensitive individuals, the Natural has all of the fabric-friendly benefits with no added fragrance.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

From 'Gilligan' at about 2 gram desiccants and regenerating.

Q. Been ordering from you for a few years now. I travel to the Philippines and use these packets in my underwater camera housing. Should they be kept in the refrigerator when not in use? The last batch started to turn pinkish while stored in the bag they came in after about 3 months. It is a very humid climate there.

(in response to many requests, packets are available at The Preservation Station)
A. Good Afternoon, Gilligan!
You should not keep the packets in a fridge. Conditions fluctuate in there with every opening and it can be very humid or very dry. Extremes are best avoided for desiccant storage.
If stored in a cool, dark place (like an fully interior closet or cabinet) the shelf life should be at least one year. Of course, that's in temperate conditions with stable humidity.

If this is not possible, then I recommend keeping the desiccant in a glass jar with as little airspace as is possible. It would still be best to store as temperately as is possible, even in the glass. When you take out a working amount keep the jar open for as short a time as is possible.

If you use small glass jars, you could divide the desiccant packs amongst 3 or 4 of them to further minimize exposure time. Baby food jars and little jars that caviar and pimentos come in come to mind. The lids of baby food jars are generally not meant to be opened and closed many times, so the others might be better. One can go along with you in your gear and the others will be undisturbed until needed.

Another idea you can try - I'll include some small barrier sleeves in this order that you can use them to double-bag your working quantity.

Thank you for the feedback.  As soon as I get a moment, I'll do a blog posting so the information is out there for other photographers.  I'm sure others have run into the same problem. Come to think of it, a dive site is pretty much by definition a hostile environment for desiccant!

Thanks for your fast reply. I did keep the unused ones in a glass jar with a seal type lid. I filled any empty space with paper towel but several small jars with as little empty space as possible may be better as you suggested. No baby food jars where I go in the Philippines :-)

Even though they are not the rechargeable type I have used a hairdryer on some of them to try to rejuvenate them. Any chance you would ever put the rechargeable desiccant in those little packets? I know a toaster oven or microwave is too hot for the wrapper but the hairdryer didn't seem to harm the wrapper? Maybe the hairdryer is not hot enough to recharge the desiccant?

I use a Canon G10 camera in a Canon housing. Many people use the Canon cameras as they are about the only company that makes a wide variety of cameras along with the housings. Their housings are very compact and leave little room for the desiccant packets but I manage to get three in mine. Fogging is a problem in these small housings so the desiccant is a must. I also hold my housing up to the A/C unit for about 10 seconds before I seal it up. One of the Filipino dive instructors who does not have A/C puts his in the fridge for about a minute or so then seals it up. It seems to help to get the humid air out of the housing before sealing it. It is also IMPERATIVE to keep these housings out of the sun or they will fog up after they get put in the water.

Nevertheless it still is a great product at a great price. I plug it on where a lot of underwater photographers hang out. My nick there is "Gilligan".

I was out of the shop yesterday - at home making oodles of mini fruitcakes for the holidays. They take 4 or more weeks to cure (with twice-weekly brushings of booze!) and so they have to be laid in right after Thanksgiving at the latest. Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever succeeded in getting them done earlier!

Thanks so much for all of the constructive information.  Will definitely do a post. Here's what we have found regarding recharging:

The gel is not recommended for recharging by the manufacturer.  The micro-perforated film is, however,  polypropylene, which has a fairly high melt point. With that in mind, I experimented with microwaving and found that it is possible to get the gel back to blue.  You can even use high power! The gel does not seem to be as efficient as when new and the packet gets a bit brittle. Still, it is possible to use them.  The gel does fracture at temps over 235° and that can allow very small bits to escape the substrate.  I need to work on a way to convey the possibility of regenerating (for at least one cycle) while cautioning about the possible dusting. Perhaps I can suggest that the regen packets be use only for other purposes.  Purposes where the possibility of micro-grains floating about could cause no harm? The gel could also be emptied, microwaved and then twisted in paper or Tyvek?
The Preservation Station

Friday, August 20, 2010

Storing Model Kits for a Year or 2 from Martin K.

Q. Thanks for your quick reply Debra.
 Perhaps you might be able to assist me with some general information regarding long term storage / collecting.
The reason for my purchase is the following:

I am a collector of model kits (Example:

Here is my plan of collecting:

I currently live in a smoking home and plan to store these model kit boxes in the closet of my bedroom (in which I don't smoke). In about a year or two I plan to buy my own place in which these kits will be displayed in the open, however, until that time, I need to keep these in mint condition along with some books I collect and prevent cigarrete smoke from damaging the items.

I was planning to wrap each box in your archival tissue and place the wrapped box inside a large size ZipLoc bag, sealed and placed inside a large, airtight Rubbermaid tote to prevent damage from cigarette smoke. I have read your FAQ and noticed that you do not recommend contemporary Ziploc bags. Would you be able to recommend a alternative solution to Ziploc bags?

A. Since we are not talking about long-term storage here, I think you can go ahead and use them.  The PE film that Ziploc bags are made of does deteriorate and crumble over time.  If, however, you store the Rubbermaid boxes as you propose to - in a closet in a climate-controlled area for a relatively short time, you'll be fine.  The archival tissue will act as a buffer for environmental contaminants (including the smoke) and will reduce the possibility of moisture damage.

Cigarette smoke is insidious - and PE film is not the greatest gaseous barrier, so you might want to use the freezer variety or double-bag the regular type.  When your order ships, I will see if I can scare up some PP film or Mylar bags for you - the PP sleeves we carry now are probably not large enough - but we used to carry larger sizes and there may be a few I can locate.

Many collectors use silica gel packets to guard against odor - and we do carry those.  If you use them. Use just one or 2 per model, as it's never a good idea to dry paper products out too much.  Activated charcoal in a closed container (find online or in aquaria sections of pet stores) works quite well as an after-measure - in case you already have a few that are aromatic.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Protective Storage of Native American Dolls and Artifacts from Anne C.

Q. Do you have any advice for what products I should buy to preserve my collection?  I have a  large collection of handmade dolls and other Native Alaskan items purchased over the last 20 years when I lived in Alaska.  Most are made of or dressed in leathers, furs, feathers and other "natural" materials.  When I lived in Alaska I displayed them in a glass case that did fine.  It wasn't airtight, but the humidity up there is very low.  Now I live in Florida.  The collection is beginning to look a little "ratty" and today (horrors) I found a live bug in the case.  I'm sure he was loving all the fur and stuff in there.  My new case is not airtight - it's more of a wooden and glass furniture piece with glass shelving. What can I do so that I can keep my collection on display but not lose it to the critters?

A.There are a few places on the site where you can get information - and then, of course I am happy to answer any specific questions.

Guidelines for good conditions are here:

Florida is notorious for bugs.  Our Simply Scentsational Sweater Blend is a combination of just about every herb and spice known to repel insects.  The price is the same as for our Pure Lavender Sachet.  If you want to try it just order Lavender and let me know in the closing dialog box that you want to sub - it's not separate on the site yet.

Our tissue is safe for all materials.  It's acid and lignin-free but not buffered.  Buffering agents can react adversely with natural materials, disrupting their naturally protective acid mantle.  It can also cause colors to shift.

Sounds like a wonderful collection.  Be especially sure to use UV filtered lighting and keep away from bright ambient light and sunlight!

Please let me know if I can be of further help.
and follow-up...
Q.Thanks so much, Debra.  I have just put in an order for the sweater blend.  I will use it in both of my doll collection cabinets.  I also ordered the desiccant packs - hopefully they will help keep the humidity stable. I'm sure I will be back with more questions! 

A. Questions are wonderful, Anne:

Don't hesitate as they arise!

We anticipate getting this out for you today.

Take it easy at first with the desiccant.  The sachets of SSSB will act as a bit of a buffer in that regard - just due their bulk.

You do not ever want to go too dry with organic materials.  Aim for eliminating the growth of any mold or mildew.  Your collections sounds quite precious, so I recommend purchasing a small hygrometer that you can put in the case.  Organic material collections can tolerate up to 60% relative humidity without danger of molds.

Storing Leather Baby Shoes from Gillian M.

Q. I recently ordered the Sweater Care Kit and the Preservation Pack for Babies (clothes) and they are amazing!  I love your products and won't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. It was so much fun getting things ready for future generations. I do have some questions about preserving and storing baby shoes that I hope you can help me with. I have several pairs of Robeez brand baby booties.  They are all leather with a suede sole.  I washed them in gentle detergent and air dried, as per their web site's directions but I'm concerned about the leather becoming too dry in storage.  I wonder if I should use a leather conditioner on them before stuffing and storing them.  I also thought I would put them in the breathable sweater bag and place it on top of the other tissue wrapped items in the Sterilite box.   Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on this?

A. You are right to be concerned about the leather over–drying.

It's best when cleaning leather to use leather cleaner.  That can be tricky when you have pieces, such as your booties, that have both leather and suede.

Before storing them, brush the suede gently, then mask it with paper or painter's tape to protect it while you condition the leather uppers.

Depending on the type conditioner you use, you might be able to skip the masking.

I recently bought a passport cover at Wilson's Leather and the sales clerk cleaned it for me with a new cleaner/conditioner they market.

She assured me it was safe for both the outer leather and the inner suede, but I asked her not to use it on the suede - just not certain it would not leave an oily staining!

After letting them breathe a bit, give them a final buffing, stuff them gently with archival tissue and wrap.  The sweater bag will shield the other contents of your box while protecting the booties.  Do not recommend using desiccant packs with leather.  You'll be storing in a temperature controlled area, and so will not need it.  Check on everything periodically.

Storing Newspapers (again!) from Jane S.

Q. (too many to post) I just answered 12 e-mailed questions from a reader, spread over a week, regarding storing newspapers and newspaper inserts. This is not a customer of The Preservation Station, but a reader who had already purchased her supplies from 2 other companies and could not get help from customer service at either establishment. Was happy to help, but really! I'm posting a portion of my 12th response here to save future time:

A. To better illustrate my recommendations for safe, inexpensive storage of newspapers (and similar media) I will tell you how my own things are stored:

In a Sterilite underbed box; in general with our archival tissue under the bottom-most paper and a sheet or 2 between each item being stored (not each page). Pages with color have a single sheet interleaved.  Very significant (to me) newspapers have every page interleaved to prevent newsprint (which is not very stable) from touching and possibly smudging or blurring the opposite page.  The entire works is then covered with a few layers of tissue. The box is stored on a shelf of a dark closet (on an interior wall) in a room of our home that is lived in and thus has relatively stable temperature and humidity.  I have lavender in a corner of the box to guard against pests and mustiness. I take it down and check on it when I straighten the closet. That's it.

If I had loads of money, the only thing I would change is that I would interleave each and every page and place each paper in an archival sleeve with a sheet of Archival Intercept. The fact that I do not do that, even though I can purchase the products wholesale, gives some indication of the fact that, in my opinion, this would really be over-kill for contemporary newspapers.

Wishing you the best,  Debra

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Plastic Storage Boxes vs. Archival from Mary P.

Q. Dear Debra,

Just left Fabric Link's web site and they do not recommend plastic storage boxes for long term storage. Why do you recommend them. I'm confused.

A. Everything depends upon the material the box is made of and where it will be stored.  Look for a '5' in the recycle code triangle or 'PP'.  Rubbermaid and Sterilite make boxes of this inert polypropylene resin. The boxes are widely used in museums.

The key is to store at room temp, away from exterior walls and do not tape or otherwise seal the boxes.  Fuller instructions can be read here and here.

Check on contents periodically to catch anything needing attention early, when corrective measures are easiest.  You should also do this when using archival board boxes.

The polypropylene boxes are also terrific because they offer more protection in case of roof or pipe leak and against pest infiltration.  They are also easily found (home improvement and department stores nationwide) and stack well.

There are even some underbed ones with a separate little compartment for lavender or cedar! Under bed in a climate-controlled bedroom is a great storage spot.  Shelves on interior walls of closets are also good.

Though I have a letter on file from Rubbermaid confirming the safety of all of their boxes for storage, I do recommend the white boxes.  Coloring agents make me nervous.

Difference Between Buffered and Un(or non)buffered Tissues

Q. Is your acid free tissue paper non-buffered safe for silk and wool?  Does your "liginin-free" paper change pH over time and become acidic?  If so, can you say how often it would be prudent to change it (fabric storage, mostly linen and cotton)?  20x30 seems small for table linens, do you carry, or plan to carry larger sheets?  Thank you, Jacqueline

A. We have carried larger sizes in the past, but they are unweildy for most uses.  After surveying our customers, we settled on the present size as the most versatile.

The paper is nonbuffered.  We do carry buffered for customers who prefer it, but removed it from the site as differences were confusing customers.  We were spending quite a lot of time answering questions that we thought were well-addressed on the site.

Unbuffered tissue (the type on our site) is safe for all materials.  

The chemical buffering agent in buffered tissue can cause color shift in prints made with older photographic methods (and even today's color photos).  It can also interact with some vegetable dyes, especially those used in older textiles, threads and yarns (even some buttons).  In addition, the alkalinity neutralizes the natural protective acid mantle of organic materials (silk, wool, leather, fur and feathers).

All archival papers will become acidic over time.  The manufacturer suggests changing every 1-3 years for nonbuffered and every 3-5 years for buffered. Much depends upon ambient storage conditions and the material being stored.

That said, we have test samples here, stored under various conditions, that we pH test regularly.  We actually have some 10 year old samples that are still active.  If you want to get best and longest use, I suggest getting a pH test pen at a craft or scrapbooking store and testing a small scrap every year or so. Just tear off a small bit of the paper using gloves or a plastic baggie over your hand (so that your skin pH does not interfere). Pens use differing test media, so consult provided information to read your results.

March Was Crazy!

Due to unexpected press from several quarter simultaneously, we were absolutely swamped through March and April.  The blog took a backseat, but we're back now!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Preserving Newspapers from Mavis W.

Q. I like to save newspapers which feature special events or people of interest.  Do you know what would be the best kind of container to preserve these for as long as possible and whether such a container might be the size of a newspaper?  Do you know whether Rubbermaid containers are made of a material which would not harm newspapers if used for long term storage?

A. Newspaper pulp is very acidic and so ages rather rapidly.  Light accelerates this process.  As far as storage goes, there's a wide range of what is possible, depending upon how special the paper is to you.
I recommend Rubbermaid® or Sterilite® (or similar containers with the recycling code '5' or 'PP').  The material is polypropylene and is completely inert and thus ideally suited for safely storing all manner of things.  We have a letter on file from Rubbermaid™ attesting to the absolute safety of all of their products for storage. Do not make the boxes airtight and store them in a dark, temperate area of your home. Check periodically to be sure all is well. A shelf on an interior closet is an ideal location (to avoid temperature and humidity swings) or under a bed in an unused (but climate-controlled) bedroom, with a dust skirt to block light.

Polypropylene boxes are used extensively for conservation.  They are in my opinion, superior to expensive archival board boxes, as they offer greater protection from water damage (burst pipe, leaking roof, weather disaster) and greater resistance to pests.  They also stack easily.

The underbed boxes serve very well for newspapers, as they have enough room for either 2 stacks of folded papers or 1 of unfolded. 

What further methods you use should be determined by how precious the papers are to you.  You may store whole papers still folded (not the most valuable to you) and wrapped in nonbuffered archival tissue. The tissue acts both as protection against environmental acids and as a moisture buffer.  It also further shields the papers from light.  Do not use buffered tissue, as most colored inks used by newspapers today are soy-based.  The chemical buffering agent can interact with some of these dyes and alter the colors.

If the articles are very special to you, then you should store them flat or as individual sheets or articles.  Line the box with tissue and then place a sheet of tissue between each as they go in, finishing with a final layer of tissue.

Newspaper is going to yellow and become brittle eventually, so if the articles are historically or personally very significant, you'll want to go a bit further.  First, copy the article onto white ink-jet paper.  Almost all are acid-free, but look for 'archival' on the label to be sure there are also no lignins present or finishes of any kind.  Store the copies separately and you will have a record if the originals decay too much or are in some other way damaged or lost. If you have a scanner, also save a scan of the original(s).

For items that are already significantly decayed or very fragile when you copy them, you can try this trick to stabilize the original (after copying and/or scanning):

Stir 2 TBSP of Milk of Magnesia into a bottle of seltzer, club soda or distilled water, seltzer or club soda. Allow to sit until thoroghly blended. Pour some of the solution in a glass baking pan. Place the article on a sheet of plain white paper (see above) and gently lower into the solution.  After a few minutes, use the underlying paper to gently lift the newsprint out of the solution.  Allow to air dry and when thoroughly dry, sandwich between 2 fresh sheets of paper and press under a heavy volume for a few hours. You can also dry the item by placing it carefully between 2 thick layers of white paper towels and weighting. The alkaline solution will neutralize the acids in the paper.  This method may also be used to stabilize new articles, which is especially useful when scrapbooking.  Be sure to have a back-up copy of the article, especially if it has any color, as the alkalinity may change the colors as noted above.
Archival sleeves of the type used in scrapbooks may also be used for individual articles.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Preventing 'bleeding' of signed baseballs from David J.

Q. Try this one!

I have a unique collection.  I have autographed baseballs...not of sports
heroes, but of MY heroes.  My grandfather, my dad, an uncle, and some others.  The signatures on a couple of balls is NOT fading so much as"bleeding."  The ink from the pens is sort of bleeding into itself.  Is there a spray or anything that I could use to retard this process? A spray lacquer?  Any ideas?
Thanks for any help you can give me!

A. This was a tough one and I think your collection is terrific - what a great idea for young families!

After researching this for a bit, I have settled on an answer found at Sweet Spot Online Charles Kaufman writes on the site:

"There is a way to protect your collection from UV light. Krylon. Crystal Clear Krylon (Product 1305) is no invitation to take your collection to the beach, but its chemistry is touted to protect autographs from fading as well as anything else. This product is used by graphic artists and photographers who want to protect grahite and other artwork. Experts recommend a light spray to protect the ball and to preserve the natural appearance of the autographed surface. Place the item on the cap of the can and hold the can about 14 inches away; spray lightly, maybe two seconds. Just a quick shot is all that's needed. Consider two more coats, but users should use their own judgment. Warning, some people challenge the use of Krylon on signed baseballs, arguing that any coating will act the same as lacquer of old."

The Krylon would also stop the bleeding by sealing as you suggested in your question.  So you'll be stopping the bleeding and protecting from fading at the same time.

When I contacted him for permission to publish he added:
"Collectors should NOT attempt to "repair" a signed item by writing over the signature. It's a slightly different, but similar, issue."

Good to know!

Hope this helps, David
and thank you for the unique question, Debra

Preserving 19th Century Leather Bound Books from Dan W.

Q. I have several 19th century leather bound books which I would like to preserve as best as possible, what would you suggest?

A.You may want to consult with a local conservator, AIC has a finder.

In general, it is important that the books be kept free of dust, insects and mold spores and that they be kept in a temperate area with relatively stable humidity in the mid-range.  Aim for temperatures comfortable for you and humidity in the 40 to 60% range.  Humidity above that encourages mold. Try to shelve on an interior wall, if possible. This avoids temperature swings possible along outside walls, which both stresses the leather, boards and paper and can cause condensation.

Periodic gentle vacuuming (cover the end of the tube with nylon) will accomplish the first.  (If you  know you are sensitive to mold, you of course will use a vac with HEPA filtration or seek the services of a professional conservator.) Soft-bristle brushes also work well. After vacuuming, dust regularly.  Use Renaissance Wax or a natural vulcanized rubber sponge for cleaning.  The sponge is wonderful for pages edges and inner boards. Do not be alarmed if the color lightens appreciably as years are cleaned away!  Use a conditioner to feed the leather.  When cleaning and treating be especially careful of gold leaf and other ornamentation.  Cover pages with waxed paper or foil to protect them when working with the leather care materials.

Wooden bookshelves should either be sealed with an inert sealant or there should be a buffer layer of glass or other inert material beneath and behind the books.  This will protect the books from the oils naturally present in the wood and and from polishes and wood treatments. Large and moderate-sized books should always be stored vertically with books of similar height for support and just a bit of ease for air circulation.  Very small or thin books or pamplets may be shelved horizontally.

When storing or moving, use only nonbuffered packing materials.  Buffered materials can interact with some leather dyes, causing a reaction that could alter color in some areas.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

From Dan G. on storing smelly game jerseys

Q. I have a collection of smelly Game Worn Flannels with the original dirt, sweat, tobacco, blood etc.
 They don't get washed ever.  I have them in Sterilite storage containers lined with your tissue and (since I am getting married soon) am wondering if I should put some of your lavender in with them.

Thanks for all the previous replies. I guess my final question (hopefully for your sanity) is do you
think in this particular game worn smelly scenario the lavender is good and would definitely
dissipate when aired or should I go the baking soda route (although I would hate for
an open box to fall over in the storage container)?  Don't want lavender scent to diminish their value.

A. Does this mean you have the DNA of famous athletes? Wow.  I do think I remember noticing that Joe Theisman's final game jersey was displayed (Smithsonian?) as-'yucky.'-is.  Wonder if the curators went a few rounds on that one!?

To answer the question, lavender is a very volatile oil and so dissipates fairly quickly into the air.  In your boxes, it cannot go anywhere (or only do so slowly.)  Once in the open it will start to fade.

A few days airing should be enough to accomplish this to a reasonable degree. You could speed it up, if needed, by placing a uniform in a clean pillow case and putting it in the dryer on 'air only', no heat.  That might disturb the trophy stains, though. A bit of time hung to air would accomplish the same thing.

Since you are storing these in your house, and you are getting married, yes, I do definitely think the lavender is a good idea. Your getting married, is not, however, the main reason.

With all of those organic substances on the fabric, you need to discourage pests.  Lavender very effectively repels clothes moths and carpet beetles, which the baking soda alone would not accomplish.  I understand why they need to remain 'as is', but generally, storing dirty clothing is the opposite of a Martha 'good thing.'  The rigid polypropylene of the containers will at least discourage pests of the four-footed kind, but do check on the contents often.  Be sure not to make the containers airtight and to store them in climate-controlled areas.