Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vintage Pattern Preservation / Storage

Here are some things you can do to prevent vintage pattern envelopes, tissues and instructions
from becoming brittle and disintegrating during storage. 

When making repairs NEVER use regular tape or adhesives. Use acid free tapes and or adhesives, preferably archival quality.

To help prevent brittleness and disintegration you can spray pattern tissues, envelopes and instructions with "Make it Acid Free" a ph balancing aerosol spray. Please spray lightly, don't saturate.

Store each pattern in an archival quality acid free plastic sleeve.
If you want to add a cardboard backer make sure it is acid free cardboard.

Store patterns upright and loosely (don't pack them in tightly) to encourage airflow and prevent further damage.  

If you live in an area with high humidity you can add a silica gel packet to your storage container or drawer (silica is toxic so keep out of reach of  pets and children). It's best to store patterns in metal storage drawers or acid free containers.

Don't store your patterns in extreme temperature environments.

Never store patterns in a damp basement, it will encourage mildew growth.

Here's a link to info about the spray, you can find it on and I believe Joann's Fabric also sells it.


  1. Any suggestions as to where to acquire suitable acid free archival repair tape? I looked for some online awhile back, but couldn't find any that looked like it would work on pattern envelopes (all the tapes I found were opaque and most were really wide - more for book repair, I guess). Good tip about the spray - I'd never heard of that.

    1. Just sent you an email with the tape info :)

    2. Tina, thank you so much, but I did not get the email. Sorry to post here, but I didn't know how else to reach you. Would you mind resending it? I don't know why it didn't come through but maybe you could send through my etsy shop contact page:
      Thanks again!

  2. I had never heard of the spray, either. Great tips, Tina. Blog tweeted:)

  3. Thanks for the great tips Tina!
    I really need to get some of the acid free archival plastic bags - Any favourite suppliers who would ship to Canada?

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  5. Sorry, I don't have a favorite. I just look on ebay and etsy for the best current price.