Oxidation and Textiles

Most of us are familiar with the term “Oxidation”.

Generally, we equate oxidation with iron and the rust it develops when exposed to air and moisture. But why does this happen?

Furthermore, what other types of materials succumb to oxidation?

In this blog post, we’re going to take a closer look at the oxidation process  and it’s lesser known role in the decay of garments and textiles.


Oxidation

Plainly stated, oxidation is the loss of an atom or compound’s electrons.

…What the heck does that mean?

Well, an atom is composed of neutronsprotons and electrons:

  • Neutrons have no charge (+/-).
  • Protons have a positive charge (+).

NucleusTogether, neutrons and protons form a positively charged nucleus.

Removing any number of protons from a nucleus changes the element entirely, while removing or adding neutrons from a nucleus has no effect whatsoever.


On the outside of the nucleus are negatively charged electrons ().

  • Remove one of these guys from an atom and it will become positively charged.
  • Add one of these guys and it will become negatively charged.

Atom w/ Electrons

That’s a weird concept to grasp, but know that the addition of an electron results in a negative charge.

It sounds counterintuitive that adding results in a loss, but that’s the way it goes!


So getting back to where we started, the removal of an atom’s electrons results in oxidation.

Protons and electrons cancel each other out – when the same number of each is present than an atom is neutral. When one of these numbers change though, it has drastic effects.

Metals like Iron and Magnesium are more prone to giving away their electrons. Because of this, they’re more likely to succumb to oxidation! This is important because oxidation changes the structure of an element entirely.


Garment Degradation

We’ve already covered the effects of rust and iron here. The rest of this post is going to cover a less examined phenomenon of oxidation – the decay of garments and textiles.

When you think of clothing you don’t normally think of rust. Most of us realize that clothing will decay over time, but we usually attribute it to wear and tear, sunlight and mildew.

WWII Aviator CapThese elements certainly play a role in garment degradation. From an everyday point of view – and for more modern clothing – these are the chief concerns when it comes to retaining a garment’s integrity.

Another factor that comes into play with older textiles is oxidation. Tapestries, carpets, quilts, clothing, flags and more are often subject to this caustic process due to the metallic content of the dyes that were commonplace in textile production during the time period.

 

For antiques and heirlooms, this a major problem!


Oxidation of TextilesDamaged Linen Collar

Let’s take the chemistry we learned a few paragraphs ago and apply it to…say…a 19th century garment.

If a textile manufacturer in the 19th century wanted to apply a dye to a garment and do it accurately, they used what’s called a mordant. A mordant is a substance that’s added to a dye and chemically combined with it. It allows a dye to affix itself to a fabric.

Mordants are a vital part to the dying process and they’re still used today! Unfortunately though, many older mordants contained easily oxidized metals, such as iron. These substances oxidize over time and set into effect a process of breakdown in the textiles, reducing the durability of the cloth and changing its color and chemistry.

Old ClothesWhile the use of iron mordants in the 19th century seemed like a fine idea at the time, their latent effects are being seen today. The use of easily oxidized metals in mordants is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t help today’s individual collectors and museums retain the historical articles that still contain them!

If you own an old quilt, tapestry or garment that’s been passed down in your family, the use of iron mordants in the object’s dyes is something you’ll want to look into before it’s too late. Realistically, they’ve already begun to oxidize – and this is a difficult process to stop.


Suit of ArmorSolutions

The most surefire way to stop the process of oxidation is by placing something in a climate controlled room, box or wall fixture. This, of course, is much easier said than done!

“Climate controlled” is about as expensive as it sounds. With the exception of serious collectors and endowment-blessed museums, this isn’t a realistic option.

Intercept Technology – the propriety tech used in all of PreservAll’s storage bags – provides museums and collectors alike with an effective means of textile and antique protection at a significantly lower cost!

 

How to Select the Perfect Storage Bag for Your Garments

Some of the most beloved clothing you own is likely to be clothing you don’t wear every day. Dress clothing, like tuxedos and formal gowns, are likely sources of fond memories, but not appropriate to wear to work or even to a dinner date. So what do you do with these beautiful, unique garments when you’re not able to take them out and show them off? You can’t just stuff them in your closet or fold them in a drawer. You need to find a garment bag to keep them as fresh as the day you stored them. Here’s how to find a perfect garment bag for storing your special outfits.

Choose the Right Size

The first problem that most people think of when figuring ogarment storageut how to store a garment is the question of how to keep it from getting wrinkles. Even if you fold or hang a garment with enormous care, all it takes is one shift in position to crumple it up into a position where it can easily crease and wrinkle. The same is true of the wrong size of garment bag. If the bag is too large, it will not hold the garment in a steady position, and if it is too small, it will crumple the garment and cause it to become extremely wrinkled, especially along the bottom hem. If you are storing a wedding dress or other precious dress long-term, it is especially vital to select the correct size of garment bag.

Material Makes a Difference

You might have considered simply storing a garment in the garment bag that it came in, or using a garment bag from the dry cleaners or other service place. While this isn’t a bad solution for the short term, such as a need to protect a few shirts while travelling, it is not at all a good idea for the long term. Low quality garment bags often contain dyes and additives that can be released over time, staining your clothing. They can also degrade and crack in the closet, leaving your garments unprotected. Be certain to choose a high-quality material for your garment bag.

Full Protection Is a Must

Not only is it important to keep your garment sheltered and protected from creases and wrinkles, it’s also important to protect it from other threats. A perfect garment bag will be sealed to prevent infestation by moths, mites and other creepy creatures that might regard your treasure as a snack. It should protect from mold and mildew, as well as sunlight, which can cause discoloration and fading. All forms of pollution can ruin your clothing, and you need to protect against them all.

How PreservAll Can Help

At PreservAll, we believe in keeping your clothing as beautiful and fresh as the last time you wore them. We create our garment bags with Intercept Technology fabrics that prevent discoloring, fading, mold, and mildew. So the next time you want to strut your stuff, you’ll look as though that garment hasn’t aged a day.

How to Preserve Your Wedding Gown After the Big Day

When all the excitement of your wedding day is over, and your gown is safely tucked away in a closet, it can be easy to forget about it. If you plan on saving it either for your daughter, to resell later, or if you want to bring it out to relive how amazing you felt when you wore it, you have to take steps right away. Find out how to preserve your wedding gown after the big day.

Whether your gown is made of lace, satin, or silk, it is much more than just fabric, and probably cost a few months’ salary. This is why you don’t want to procrastinate preserving it. Follow the 3 tips below to avoid common post-wedding gown mistakes.

How to Preserve Your Wedding Gown After the big day – Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes

  1. Don’t Wait to Get Your Wedding Gown Cleaned – Do it A.S.A.P.

Although you may be tempted to keep your memories of the big day in the wedding gown preservationform of scents – your perfume and your husband’s cologne, don’t do it. Stains have a way of setting (especially the ones you can’t see – clear soda, icing with sugar in it, and white wine) and can ruin your gown.

Tiny food particles and makeup stains can eventually ruin it too, and salt from perspiration can even cause the lining to become brittle over time. Make sure you get your dress professionally cleaned within weeks of your wedding – go to a dry cleaner who specializes in cleaning wedding gowns.

Don’t try to clean it yourself with DIY remedies such as club soda, because it won’t get out greasy lipstick and this can leave rings on the fabric.

  1. Don’t Treat Your Wedding Gown Like Your Other Dresses

Don’t hang your gown by the shoulders; use the ribbons. In fact, it’s actually not recommended that you hang it because it is not good for certain fabrics such as lace, which can get stretched out of shape. As well, it can get exposed to too much light, which isn’t good for the fabric either.

  1. Use the Right Tool for the Job – A Garment Bag Designed for Wedding Dress Storage

The best place to store you dress is in a bag specially made to keep your gown as beautiful as the day you found it in the store and fell in love with it.  PreservAll’s garment bags are the acid-paper free, non-toxic solution to affordably and effectively store your wedding gown. The use of Intercept Technology™ in our garment bags protects against mold, mildew and even air pollution such as corrosive gasses. Intercept Technology is environmentally friendly, ensuring your dress remains properly protected.

There are plenty of garment bags and storage solutions on the market, but just because it says “storage” doesn’t mean it’s effective. You need a storage bag that does more than “store”, you need a storage bag that actively protects your gown for years.

At PreservAll, we know the importance of preserving the things that matter the most. To find out more about our specialty garment bags, please visit our website.

Wedding Dress Storage Bags-Why You Need One!

Many women fantasize about their wedding dress much before they ever get married or even plan their nuptials. Brides may want to keep their wedding gown to give to someone close to them that gets married, like their daughter, or as a memento of their wedding day. PreservAll storage bags help keep these dresses looking as great as they did the day they were bought. They keep them free from dirt and dust, physical damage, insects, mold and mildew, and damaging UV light that leads to colors fading and breakdown of fabric and other materials in wedding dresses.

wedding dressesIt Keeps the Dress Clean

You wouldn’t want your wedding dress, a garment that you spent a lot of money on and which acts as a memory of your special day, to get dirty during moving or storage. PreservAll storage bags help to keep your wedding dress pristine and free of stains, dirt, and dust that can accumulate after a few years of storage. This may come in handy if you ever want to pass on your dress to a friend or family member, or sell it at a later date.

It Keeps the Dress from Being Damaged

Many wedding dresses can have delicate details such as lace, beading, or crystal embellishments that increase the cost of the dress and can be easily ruined if not stored properly. Don’t leave your beautiful dress open to the abuse of physical damage. Take care to store your gown in a storage bag to prevent any unnecessary destruction.

It Ensures Insects Won’t Get to Your Dress

Insects can summarily destroy clothing. You need to take precautions against bugs such as moths that can quickly chew holes and leave your dress looking ragged. Properly packing your wedding dress in a storage bag can keep these nasty pests from ruining and turning your gown into a meal.

It Keeps the Dress Free from Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are types of fungi that will not only leave unsightly stains on your wedding gown, they have distinctive, strong odors that will make the dress absolutely unwearable. Mold and mildew are usually caused by exposure to excess moisture and can be easily prevented by conscientious storage. Particularly humid climates makes proper storage of important clothing items necessary.

It Keeps the Dress Protected from Sun Light

Sun light can significantly impact the color of fabrics. It has the potential to bleach your wedding dress leaving noticeable spots of discoloration that you definitely won’t appreciate or be able to reverse. The materials of PreservAll storage bags help keep your dress protected from the damaging effects of UV light.

PreservAll storage bags will keep your wedding gown untarnished and looking as perfect as it did on your wedding day. It helps to keep your dress protected from a variety of dirt and contaminants, pests, mold, mildew, and sun light that can damage the gown beyond repair. If you’re keeping your dress, store is properly with a PreservAll storage bag. You’ll be glad you did this when you can proudly show off your wedding gown for years to come.

Garment Bags – What You Must Know Before Buying Them

People have been trying to protect their treasures for a long, long time. Once upon a time, we buried them in metal boxes, or just buried them in the ground. Surprisingly, many things lasted through the ages in this manner, but those things were not papers or clothing. Things like garments, made of silk, or cotton, or man-made fibers, need to be specially preserved so that they last a long time, but they might not fare much better in an ordinary garment storage bag or box than they would just hang in the closet. If you want to properly preserve your garments, go with PreservAll garment storage bags. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about garment bags.

Prepare the garment before putting it in the bag

First of all, don’t just think that you can throw the garment into the bag and it will be protected. Have it professionally cleaned first, by a dry cleaner that uses only virgin solvents and no harsh chemical cleaning solutions. Let the clothing dry completely before putting it away. Hang it in the closet for a week before putting it in the bag to be sure that mold will not grow, and the solvents will dissipate. Hang it out of the sun, and away from a window, and find a cool, dry place in your house to keep the garment bag for the long term.

garment storage bagsGarment bags can damage the item

Ordinary garment bags can actually damage the items stored in them. These bags may have chemical additives in them, which can be released from the bag over time and damage the sensitive garment inside, especially if the bag is kept closed for many years. As well, chemicals may have been added to the garment itself during the dry-cleaning process. If the garment, say a wedding dress, comes straight from the dry-cleaner and into the bag to be sealed and not thought of for 25 years, then the chemicals remain trapped in the bag with the dress.

A better way

Another thing to be concerned about is that the clothing item will still age inside an ordinary garment bag. Threading may rot, fabric can weaken, and dust, mildew, mold and insects can still somehow find their way into the bag. Damage to buttons, zippers, and other decorations can still occur if the garment is snagged on the bag, or pulled in some way. An ordinary plastic garment bag is no protection for your treasured items; using one will only make you feel better. Fine papers, old books and documents are actually protected and preserved by their coverings. Why can’t we do the same with garment bags?

We can. With a PreservAll garment bag, which was designed by people with a long history of understanding museum preservation, they have developed a new material called Intercept Technology™ designed to act as a barrier to atmospheric gases that can eat away at your wedding dress or other fabric treasures. It protects the garment as it stores it, and you will never have to worry about it for years to come. Don’t trust your treasures to a fabric bag that is not even close to the quality of the garment inside it.

8 Great Ideas to Help You Store Your Treasured Garments

The most wonderful memories are often defined by what we were wearing that day. Just looking at a dress can bring back the feeling of the day along with its smells, its sights and its sounds. The dress is a piece of that memory, and it is important to preserve it until some day when it can be a part of a new memory. Clothing is too important to just be hung in the closet where it can be damaged or spoiled. Lace can go yellow, anything can be eaten by moths, and coat hanger damage is everywhere. It is important to preserve these beautiful memories by storing them properly. Here are eight great ideas to help you store your treasured garments until you need them again.

1.  Never store garments when they are wet. Make sure they are completely dry to keep everything in your closet safe from mold and mildew.

2.  Make sure your clothing is clean before you store it. Dirt and other things can spread germs, can cause dis-coloration, or can just weaken the fabric. Storing a dirty garment in a plastic bag can trap the contaminant inside with the garment.

3.  Pay attention to what you are storing your garments in. Ordinary bags, boxes or dry cleaner bags may contain additives or chemicals that can damage your garment. Ironic, isn’t it? The thing you thought would protect it is the thing that could cause the damage. Make sure you are storing the garment in something that is clean, dry, and free of chemicals or contaminants.

4.  Find the right bag. Instead of just hoping your bag is clean, buy a good bag that is specially designed for the purpose. Our garment storage bag, for instance, is specially engineered to protect your treasure from any airborne contaminants, sunlight or ultraviolet rays, and pollution. It also protects from dirt, dust, insects, mold, mildew, and bacteria.

garment storage bag5.  Have the garment cleaned by a professional dry cleaner who uses virgin solvents and cleaning solutions. When the garment is returned to you, take it out of the bag for 48 hours so that the solutions can dissolve.

6.  Never hang any garments in direct sunlight. The UV rays can weaken the fabric and fade the colors. Don’t store your garment in the attic or the basement. It’s too damp in the basement and too hot and dry in the attic. Try to find a neutral spot.

7.  Be careful with any buttons, bows, or zippers on the garment. They may snag or tear the fabric.

8.  Store with the experts. For your very precious antique clothing, uniforms, or wedding dresses, take advantage of the technology that PreservAll can offer. Based on years in the document and museum preservation fields, we have put that knowledge to use in designing a special bag that will protect all your treasures from fading, mold, or mildew. We know how to store and preserve things properly. The bags are chemical free and specially designed for textiles.

Like your memories, protect your treasures. Preserve your garments properly and both will last a lifetime.

Preserve Your Wedding Day Memories with PreservAll

A woman’s wedding day is the most important day of her life. For such an important day, there are many things that need to be organized and completed. One of the first things a future bride must do is pick her wedding dress. The wedding dress, after all, is what makes the wedding. When a groom sees his bride coming down the aisle in her beautiful gown, he will remember that one moment forever. So when a woman is choosing her dress, it is a detailed and lengthy process.

When a bride finally finds that perfect dress, it is a special moment. This dress is the one that makes her feel comfortable and beautiful, and she’s going to want to keep that moment forever. This is why it is so important for brides to preserve their wedding dresses as best they can. Dress preservation is possible by using what is a called a wedding dress garment bag.

How does a garment bag add protection?

wedding dress garment bag

Garment bags are used for many different things—suits, designer clothing, uniforms, dresses, and wedding dresses. If you’re looking to store something that you aren’t going to be wearing every day, such as your wedding dress, it is important to have the best preservation option possible. The garment bag is an excellent way to keep your wedding dress intact.

Perhaps you want to renew your vows later on and want to wear the same dress. Or, maybe you want to pass down your dress to your daughter when she gets married someday. At PreservAll, we have an excellent solution for your wedding dress preservation needs.

Our wedding dress garment bag integrates Intercept Technology™. This technology will protect your wedding dress from unwanted elements, such as mold, mildew, fading, or other damage due to improper storing. While there are other garment bags and storage boxes available for your wedding dress preservation needs, many of them can often cause damage to your sensitive material, causing you to lose the pristine condition of your dress due to added chemicals and toxins in the materials used in the storage items. But with PerservAll’s technology, you won’t have to worry about any of that. Don’t let your dream dress fall victim to airborne contaminants, pollution, sunlight, ultraviolet rays, dirt, dust, insects, mold, mildew, and bacteria.

But is it affordable?

Nothing is too expensive when it comes to preserving your precious moments. However, price is not an issue when it comes to our PreservAll wedding dress garment bags. For the low price of $74.95 for a premium garment bag and $89.95 for an extended premium garment bag, you can’t go wrong. The prices vary due to the size of the garment bags, so depending on the size of your dress, you may need to purchase the premium or extended premium.

Choose PreservAll when preserving your memories

When it comes to preserving your special day, and the dress that made it all happen, choose PreservAll for your wedding dress storage needs. With our chemical-free Intercept Technology™, your dress will be as beautiful and refreshed as the day you wore it.