Acid free paper is a principal component of wedding gown preservation. Acid free tissue paper is needed to fill the bodice of a wedding gown, and any other garment that you want to preserve, to protect them from wrinkles and creases while stored. If you need to have an archival preservation or storage it must be used. Unbuffered acid free tissue paper is the choice of most conservators,Collectibles such as Beanie Babies should also be preserved in acid free paper. Wrap them lightly in the tissue and store them in a Tyvek bag or an acid free box.
Several types of acid free paper are available. Soft, thin acid free tissue should be used. It is lignin free and contains no buffering agents. It has a pH of 7.0 Due to its softness it can also be used between the pages of color photographs, or to wrap wool and silk fabrics. It is used to cushion and pad other artifacts. Breaking and scuffing during handling and storage is prevented.
If you wish to use acid free paper to store a wedding gown you will also need an acid free preservation chest. You must first line this chest with the tissue. Stuff the sleeves of the gown using rolled up acid free paper. An acid free bust form covered with the tissue should also be used. An alternate method would be to stuff the bodice with wadded up tissue. You will then lay the gown face down in the box with much of it hanging out the sides.
Then you insert flat tissue to pad the folds and protect them from creasing. Next, you then carefully fold the train into the box while layering tissue paper into the folds and between the layers.
The next step is to place the bodice in the box and arrange it for the best look. If the sleeves or the cuffs have beading or decoration they should be placed along the waistline of the gown so it looks natural. If the train is fancy part of it should be placed so that it is visible.
In order to keep the gown from moving around in the box it will be necessary to wad up additional paper and place it between the gown and the edges of the box. You may also use muslin for this purpose. Congratulations! You have now protected your gown and you may store it safely. Tyvek wedding gown preservation bags are available if you don't want to store your gown in a box.
The Gownmedic has been professionally preserving wedding gowns for over 20 years. Come visit his website to learn more about acid free tissue paper and wedding gown cleaning.