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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Perserving your quilts and scrapbooks

Growing up in a home with parents who were antique dealers, I learned the value of preserving any item.  This value has stuck with me for years and has become not only a passion but it has extended itself to my main hobbies of quilting and scrapbooking.

I always found it fascinating a that articles of clothing and quilts had survived over the centuries. My young mind, wondered why and how did these items survived.  Simply said, before the industrial revolution and the boom in industry and technology life was green. Green equals preservation.

The reason that antique quilts and clothing survived was because they were made from natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool, and silk.  The natural fibers breath better, take longer to biodegrade if they are stored in an appropriate place, are more durable, and are renewable by their nature.  When using synthetic material, it is 100% man made are less durable, since they are synthetic the structure of the fibers are weaker, they don't tend to shrink, however the fibers wear out much faster.

Synthetic fibers began appearing in the late 1890's through the present. Polyester first appeared in the 1950's and gave cotton a run for it's money. However, in 100 more years the clothing and most of the quilts, unless it was produced from natural fibers, will not be around to see what the clothing and quilts were like from this time period.

With this in mind, when I am quilting or sewing anything I only use natural fibers. My favorite and the fiber I use the most is cotton. Cotton has a lower shrinkage rate, is durable and breathable which makes the material great for clothing and quilts. I use 100% cotton batting and thread when sewing my quilts. When a synthetic blend is used 50% cotton/50% polyester the synthetic fibers will eat away at the natural fibers making the positive qualities disappear.

Acid and ligin, every scrapbooker's nightmare, Why? Simply they biodegrade quickly and will ruin everything in it's pathway.  If you were to take a newspaper clipping and put it on an acid and ligin free sheet of paper, in time as the newspaper yellows the acid and ligin free paper will also begin to yellow and become more fragile and brittle.  Many of the old photo albums have PVC in the plastic and the pages have acid and ligin filled glue/paper. This is why the pictures begin to yellow.  Over time the pictures will be completely destroyed.

I always recommend that if you purchase a photo album please make sure that they are acid and ligin free and PVC free.  As a creative memories consultant and a scrapbooker I highly encourage preservation.  To ensure that your pictures survive many generations make sure all the paper, page protectors, and albums are acid, ligin, and PVC free.

Many times you will see on packages of paper or stickers that they are just acid free. The acid is very harmful however the ligin is more harmful and will yellow the paper and the pictures faster. All creative memories products are acid, ligin and PVC free. Many other companies are also acid, ligin, and PVC free; K & Company, Cricut/Sizzix paper goods, D&W, and many more. Read the labels. If it doesn't say best to not purchase the paper, albums ect.

I love brads however the metal in the brads are harmful for the paper as it will also slowly eat away at the paper and the pictures. I tend to use the  brads on cards and paperbag scrapbooks but not in my big albums.  If you use ribbon make sure it is cotton any synthetic will eat away at the paper and photos also.

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