Skip to main content

We are here to help

Contact Us

Textiles : Preservation

Information about textile studies and resources for textile research.

Fiber Care

Includes Fabric University with lots of information on fibers, yarns and fabric, as well as fabric care, and trade information.

Fiber World Classroom
Basic information on fiber products, their manufacture and care. Also a section on fiber and the environment.

Textile Preservation

"Textile preservation refers to the processes by which textiles are cared for and maintained to be preserved from future damage." (Retrieved from Wikipedia, April 22, 2010).

Textiles are sensitive to the following elements:

  • light
  • humidity
  • temperature (hot and cold)
  • pests
  • chemicals or pollutants. 

If exposed to any one or more of these elements, textiles will inevitably deteriorate or disinegrate beyond repair. There are professional organizations that do provide conservation services, but the following recommendations can help you preserve your valuable textiles:

  • Always handle textiles with clean, dry hands (oils found in health & beauty products, as well as those created naturally by our skin, can stain textile fabrics); be sure to remove jewelry and tie back longer hair
  • Avoid storing textiles in plastic or acidic-based cardboard boxes
  • Keep textiles stored in a cool, dry, and low-lit place
  • Regulate the temperature and humidity levels to provide a stable environment for your textiles.  It has been recommended* to maintain temperatures of between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity between 48-52%.
  • Handle textiles carefully making sure the entire piece is fully supported


*These recommendations were provided by Diana Zlatanovski, Assitant Curator and Collections Manager for the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.

Books About Textile Preservation