Preserving Your Collection: Ways to Make Your Treasures Last

posted by Karen Hood
Monday, December 19, 2011

No matter what you choose to collect, you’ll need a plan for protecting your pieces. There are ways to care for every type of collectible, from magazines to porcelain figurines. Here are some ways to preserve various types of collectibles:

  1. 1. Paper Collectibles

All types of paper will fade, turn yellow, and crumble with time unless properly preserved. This possible damage can affect photographs, books, newspaper clippings, magazines, drawings, etc. One basic way to help preserve paper is to keep it away from elements. Paper should be stored in a place free of humidity, moisture, sunlight, heat, acids, and circulating air. The best way to store paper is in an acid-free box or folder in a room-temperature setting. Mylar sheets are also an element-resistant way to keep your paper items looking like new for years to come.

  1. 2. Cloth Collectibles

If your collectibles contain fabric, such as vintage clothing, wedding gowns, or quilts, you’ll want to assure they won’t lose their luster with age. Displaying these items in open air can actually contribute to their deterioration, so storing them properly is your best bet. Before storing, you’ll need to assure that the fabric items are not only clean, but also free of all dirt, soap, or chemical products. Delicate dry cleaning is a great option. Like paper, you’ll want to keep fabrics away from all outside elements. Acid-free boxes and acid-free garment bags will work to preserve your fabrics longer than any other method.

  1. 3. Wooden Collectibles

Wooden collectibles refers to both furniture and smaller items made from wood. Wooden items that you intend to preserve should be kept away from direct sunlight, changes in weather, and moisture. Preservation experts recommend using a high-quality wood wax to keep wood in peak condition. Wax will create a seal around the wood and expel moisture and other damaging elements. Make sure to purchase a wax that is made specifically for the type of wood you’re treating to assure that the application will be effective.

Hopefully these tips will help you preserve your treasures. Proper methods of care can keep your collectibles safe for years to come.

Lisa is a collector of cat figurines and books. She’s keeps herself up-to-date with Boston storage and various storage methods.



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