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Garment Preservation

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This information is provided as a guide only, we cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of the information and/or any problems that you may attribute to this guide, it is recommended that you seek the advise of storage and preservation professionals / specialists before storing your garment.

1. Storage Preservation and Acid

Acid can cause permanent damage and decay to your precious keepsakes. Learn more about how to keep your memories alive for future generations.....

Your baby's christening gown and christening memorabilia hold some of the most important and cherished memories. It is for this reason that they need to be so carefully looked after in order to ensure that they will remain a source of such great pleasure whether simply sentimental or with the intention that the gown will  be used for the next baby or even handed down from generation to generation. Using Acid Free and Archival materials to store all your christening day memorabilia will help to prolong their life in excellent condition

What Is Acid-Free and Why Does It Matter?

rchival quality
This is a term used to indicate that materials have undergone laboratory analysis to determine and confirm that their acidic and conservation properties are within safe levels.

pH Factor
This refers to the acidity of a paper. The pH scale is the standard for measurement of acidity and alkalinity. It runs from 1 to 14 with each number representing a ten-fold increase; pH neutral is 7. Acid-free products have a pH factor of 7 or above.

PAT Test - Photo Activity Test - Photo safe
This is a term similar to archival quality but more specific to materials used with photographs.

Why Does Paper Deteriorate?

Until the mid 19th century, most papers were made of rag or cloth stock. Around 1860 the paper mills started using ground wood with acids, bleach, and alum-rosin sizing resulting in papers with a high acid content (low pH). These papers react with water and the atmosphere to produce self-destructive acidic compounds. These acids act on the paper, shorten the fibres, causing them to become brittle, discolour, and crumble into dust.

Acid Free Storage Solutions

Little SweetHearts aims to provide a total service to our customers and for this reason we have taken time to research the storage and preservation of baby's precious garments and memorabilia. We are able to offer our customers
a range of "Acid Free" storage solutions manufactured to Internationally recognised archival quality standards, a range of storage solutions that are not only used by some of the country's leading Archives and Museums for general storage and preservation but also supplied to the Royal Household.

You can use them to help protect and preserve your treasured memories and keepsakes for generations to come.

We have two products available that would make a wonderful new baby or Christening Gift:- 

Christening Gown Preservation Storage Box

Note: Artifacts not included

For more information or to purchase this product please 'click here'

Storage and Preservation Baby Box

  Note: Artifacts not included

 For more information or to purchase this product please 'click here'

2. General Guidance for Storage of Christening Gowns

The following preservation tips, combined with the Christening Gown Preservation Box will help ensure your precious memories are available for generations to come.

1. Consider changing baby into something more comfortable after the big event, this will not only help in saving the gown from spills and dribbles and may offer a more comfortable option for your baby. 'After Ceremony Outfits' will be available to buy from us shortly.

2. To keep your Christening Garment in excellent condition you will need to give it early attention following the Christening of your little one.

3. Within  a few days of the Christening, check the garment for any marks or stains, the longer any marks and stains remain the more difficult it will become to remove them effectively.  Please note that although some marks may be hardly noticeable they may over the years start to discolour and even damage the fabric.

4. Wash the garment according to the instructions, it is recommended that Silk and Satin christening gowns should always be professionally dry cleaned by a drycleaner specialising in such garments, however please check the label or seek advise from the designer or other specialist. Any known stains and marks should be pointed out to the cleaner with details of their type. If washing by hand (if the label allows for this) make sure that the garment is thoroughly rinsed, do this several times and do not use fabric softener. Lay the gown flat and allow it to air dry naturally

5. Remove any metal zippers, snaps or buttons to prevent them from rusting against the gown during long storage times. Place them in a small plastic bag and store them away from the gown.

6. Always use clean hands free of lotion, oils and perfumes to handle the gown. Archival quality cotton gloves can be purchased (presently not available through ourselves).

7. Always use "Archival quality materials" to store your garment. Line the acid-free box with acid-free tissue paper. Fold the dress as little as possible, folding it with the tissue paper and in doing so padding any folds. Place crumpled tissue in the sleeves and bodice to help retain shape during storage. Cover the garment with tissue.

8. Always use "Archival quality materials" (paper, adhesives, tape or embellishments) for your collection or for the decoration of your pages, box or collection. Archival quality pens and adhesives are available to purchase (presently not available through ourselves).

9. Store ideally in a dark cool dry place. Try and store to as constant temperature as possible such as 13-18˚C and the relative humidity should not exceed 50% for a prolonged period.

10. Check your garment regularly for any signs of damage, in doing so avoid excessive handling.

11. Read the general Do's and Don'ts below:

Do's & Don'ts of preservation


  • Don't store anything in direct sunlight or bright light, ideally store in the dark.
  • Don't use self-adhesive photograph albums.
  • Don't use newspaper to wrap documents or line boxes.
  • Don't use ordinary envelopes, files, tissue paper or standard cardboard boxes.
  • Don't use pens or felt tip markers on or near your artifacts.
  • Don't use standard polythene or plastic bags, PVC, plastic envelopes and files. There are some plastics (polyester) which may be used, but you need to be certain what is safe.
  • Don't use frames that have poor quality mountboard or are backed with wood.
  • Never under any circumstances use any standard form of pressure sensitive tape or adhesive tape.
  • Never laminate a photo or document to preserve it. Also never use standard glue.
  • Don't use rubber bands, staples, pins, or metal clips.
  • Don't store in areas high in humidity such as conservatories, near airing cupboards or places where condensation forms or near any heat sources.
  • Don't store anything in damp areas like cellars, sheds or garages.
  • Don't store boxes against external walls as these have high temperature fluctuations.
  • Avoid folding items or excessive handling.
  • Do not overfill box as this will harm the contents and it will be unsafe to handle the weight.
  • Do not allow the box or its contents to get wet.
  • Try and store to as constant temperature as possible such as 13-18˚C and the relative humidity should not exceed 50% for a prolonged period.
  • Keep originals in original and permanent formats.
  • Always handle photographic media gently and with great care to avoid finger marks on images
  • Try to ensure that you store your box in an area or room where air can circulate.
  • Ensure that you store your box in a pest and insect free area.
  • Always us "Archival quality materials" (paper, adhesives, tape or embellishments) for your collection or for the decoration of your pages, box or collection.
  • Remove any dust and mould carefully before storing.
  • If possible use a de-humidifier in humid conditions.
For more in-depth information on the care and conservation of a range of different materials or objects, see the excellent articles at www.conservationregister.com
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