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Care of Textiles

Sugestions for Care of Kimono and Antique Japanese Textiles


Display:

  • Out of the path of direct sunlight.  Natural aging will fade most colors but direct sunlight will hasten the process.  The colors that will fade first are the blues and purples.
  • Use a soft brush or low powered vaccuum to keep dust to a minimum

Silk:

  • Dry clean only - not all cleaners accept kimono or other antique/vintage textiles 
  • Use a reputable cleaner
  • Ask the cleaners how they will be handling the item
  • Cleaners that accept wedding dresses may be more willing to take kimono
  • A textile conservator is your best option for antique or fragile textiles.  They can either clean the item for you or advise you on the best method to clean your particular piece.   
  • Note of caution:
    If your textile has couching (gold threads sewn on to surface of the material), it may come off.  Thinner threads used to hold the gold threads in place are often very weak with age and tend to break with handling.

Cottons:

  • Some can be hand washed in cold water or dry cleaned. 
  • Always best to test an inconspicuous area first. 
  • The older dyes are natural and will bleed.  Machine drying is not recommended.  
  • Note of caution:
    If hand painted, paint may flake off or simply wash out.  

Long Term Storage:

  • Store flat
  • Best if wrapped in acid free tissue
  • Store in acid free box or small corrugated mailing box
  • Separate by colors
  • Store with cedar or moth balls (make sure they are not touching the fabric)
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