We have recently received a number of wedding gowns that had been “preserved” previously in “acid-free” boxes. These wedding gowns had some significant yellowing and we are now in the process of restoring them. So how did this happen? Shouldn’t an acid-free box protect the gown?

We checked the quality of the acid-free boxes with a pH testing pen and discovered that the boxes were not acid-free. They may have been classified as acid-free when the gown was stored, but were probably not “lignin free.” Or they may have had an “acid-free” outer layer, but was not “acid-free” throughout. Over time the lignin and the acidic layers inside migrated, making the preservation box detrimental instead of protective.

Be sure your wedding gown or heirloom garment is safely stored. All of our preservation boxes and tissue are acid-free and lignin free. Our buffered boxes are buffered with 3% calcium carbonate which helps keep the boxes acid-free indefinitely. They are safe for most textiles. Read more about acid-free paper.

Because the calcium carbonate buffering could damage fabrics made from animals (i.e. silk, wool and fur) our Un-buffered boxes, made of inert polypropylene are safer for them. All of our preservation materials are the highest quality available, no shortcuts here.


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