Preservation Testing in The Wall Street Journal

July 27, 2011

I have talked about the different methods of preservation that are out there on my previous posts. The Wall Street Journal has done a wonderful article on the testing of four different preservation companies.

The article talked about the “poor packaging” by one of the assembly line plants. I have yet to see an actual acid-free box come out of one of these plants. This article called them flimsy which is not good for storage in a closet. The plant is wholesaling and needs to keep costs down. They also choose to shrink wrap the box. Is this to hide dirt and stains still left on the dress? The dresses tested here were unsuccessfully cleaned as discovered when opening the plastic and VOIDING the guarantee. They even offer to reseal for another fee!

There is no purpose to shrink wrapping the box except to keep people out of it. How can you change the folds around every 2 ½ years to prevent permanent creasing? How can you change the acid-free tissue out every 10 years (if they are even providing acid-free anything) or frequently check for any carmelization on the dress? What this plastic can do is keep moisture inside which will cause mildew. If there is a purpose to this method why does the Smithsonian not use it? Their textiles are much older than your wedding dress or child’s baptism gown that you wish to preserve.

If you care enough about your garment to have it cleaned and boxed then select a reputable cleaner. There are many across the country and we are happy to always recommend the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. They use only archival materials for Museum Quality preservation and you can find them at www.weddinggownspecialists.com.

If you ever have any questions feel free to email us at k.daniels@foster-stephens.com.


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