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Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

Article about: Greetings. With my humble collection expanding beyond items that are predominantly steel, silver, zinc, nickel, enameled, plated, and wood, etc., I am most interested in other members though

  1. #1

    Default Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    Greetings. With my humble collection expanding beyond items that are predominantly steel, silver, zinc, nickel, enameled, plated, and wood, etc., I am most interested in other members thoughts and practices with regards to preserving textiles both natural and man-made: woolens, cotton, leather, ersatz, nylon, mixtures, and the threads and stitching that hold them together.
    How stains/soiling are best dealt with?
    Is cleaning ever better than leaving substances that will degrade or discolour a garment over years and decades. If so, when? (I dont trust dry cleaners with my old leather jacket let alone something worth more than sentimental value to me).
    I am not looking to ignite debate on the debate concerning "restoration", but how to best slow the ravages of time (expensive skin creams seem to work well for my wife)
    I have had dealings with a member (a compatriot) in Qatar who works with antiquities. Do we have trained experts as well as members with many years of experience. My experience is that moths/silverfish are certainly attracted to vintage materials over anything of more recent origins.
    I hope other members will find any responses useful. Thanks, Paul

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    You should look at the various British textile preservation thingies connected with the London museums for guidance.
    I actively protect textiles through excluding especially sunlight and dust. Humidity where I live is less critical.
    I never clean the metal insignia on caps, but I surely use a hat brush on caps, and keep them free of dust and u.v. rays.
    I worked for several years both in military museums and in archives whereby I learned some conservation doctrine, but others here are better.
    My capabilities to store the material according to the most exacting norms is not perfect. Uniforms should likely be stored flat, and with acid free paper and such, but I cannot do it.
    My main fear is moths and other vermin.
    The care of alu insignia is also more problematic, as these are sensitive to moisture and degrade.
    Many collectors allow their items to be blitzed by the sun, and to be heaped with dust.
    I am not adverse to skilled hands (not mine, but those of my compatriots who are very adept) to fix things that get loose or need some slight patching.
    damit, basta.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    Vast quantities of pertinent, real expert, knowledge can be gleaned from here: CCI Notes

    Happy reading.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    Quote by asterperious View Post
    Vast quantities of pertinent, real expert, knowledge can be gleaned from here: CCI Notes

    Happy reading.
    Thank you. Wonderful site, indeed.
    damit, basta.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    Thanks to F.B. and asterperious for your input. Much to read and consider further. I share F.B.'s loathing for dust.... it leaves stains long after having been removed... a veritable cocktail of chemicals, abrasives and microbes. My nose is cursed by over-sensitivity, but a great indicator for when some action on my part is required. Regards, paul

  7. #6

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    One rule of thumb, of course, is to refrain from pulling things apart, digging in the bits and pieces, whereby the collector wreaks huge damage. This generalization especially applies to leather sweat bands that stand between the RZM tag and the stupefied collector with fat, sweaty thumbs.
    damit, basta.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    I used to have white gloves before I lost them, so now I just wash my hands before I touch my items. I also used to check the RZM tag on my DAF cap but I decided I would not do it anymore as the pressed paper sweatband is not in the best shape. My biggest problem is mould (The wet/cold Irish weather is the problem...). I found it on some of my cap's sweatbands when I took them out of their boxes so I had to rethink my whole way of storing them. Thankfully we moved into a warmer house so they dont suffer from mould anymore. Now my biggest problem is dust, but my cases keep out most of it.

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    Cheers, Pat

  9. #8

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    Very nice, Patrick.
    damit, basta.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Preservation & conservation of materials- woolen,cotton, leather, etc.

    Patrick - use dessicant pouches in your displays, or up under your cap brims, change them ever 6 months or so depending on how humid it is.

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