Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Cause of Oxidation Stains In Textiles

Visit The Gatherings, to see all of the beautiful antique and vintage textiles I have ~ antique clothing, hats, accessories, children's clothing, vintage bed and table linens, antique children's toys, vintage sewing notions, quilts and so much more!

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Oh, those telltale signs of yellow stains on Grandmother's linens called oxidation. What causes this yellowing? I believe there are a number of factors that creates this streaking & spotting. However, simply put, much comes from the soil & stain left in the textile when stored. Over time this causes detoriation of the fabric. No matter how clean a piece looks before storage it is best to clean or dry clean before packing away. This will help insure no stains or soil (even the most invisible) will be removed before packing. After cleaning of the textile it is best to use acid free tissue or all cotton sheets (also laundered before usage) to wrap those precious keepsakes. Don't store in cardboard boxes as the box can give off an acidicty that will weaken fibers. Periodically remove the keepsakes to check for detoriation. Returning to storage with fresh acid free tissue or clean cotton sheeting.

Now under what conditions where does one store these treasures? As poor storage can also be harmful to any cloth item. It is recommended to store in an area, cupboard or closet that is relatively even in temperature. A hot attic would certainly not be appropriate. Not recommended either are closets that would be closest to the outside walls of a home as the temperature here would be greater than closets towards the interior of the home. Also store away from light source as this too can be harmful to textiles.

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