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I collect dolls, and old western items original from the 1800's. I have an old westren suit made of wool like Wyatt Earp would have worn in the 1870's. To look at the hand made stitches is just amazing, if you have never seen an authentic old western garment made this era. I have had it for years and have put in in a plastic bag like blankets come in to protect from moths and dust. Could this be harmful to a suit this old? This is a one of a kind of item, I have seen suits like that at the Gene Autry Westrern Museum, and mine is in better shape than some of them. I have shown pictures at the top of jacket and vest that the material is starting to deterorate. Notice how the handmade sticthes put the crotch of the pants together. The shirt is an authentic gambling shirt made out if cotton. It is wrinkled and I am afraid to iron it! Notice the authetic sterling silver cufflings the high rollers wore that are on it. The buttons are fascinating, they look like small gold buttons on front but look at picture that shows how it is put thru button hole in shirt like attached to another round thing. I am going to tell the button club to look at these photos of the buttons also. If anyone can tell me how to store this suit to keep from deterorating, let me know. I just touched a button on the vest and it is so fragile fell off. Then I stupidly tried to button suit for picture and another button fell off, really got me mad, I had no idea how fragile it is. But suit is wool and very heavy. Notcie the split tails on back of jacket just like Wyatt Earp wore in Tombstone. This suit is the real thing.

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Replies to This Discussion

Victoria,

What a lovely piece of history! But, please, please, PLEASE rescue it immediately! Textiles should never be put into plastic for long term storage. Store the suit in acid-free tissue paper, in a box in a dark place where the temperature and humidity do not vary. That means no attic and  no basement. Once a year, take the suit out, examine it, shake it out, air it out, and put it back into the box.

 

There's a story I do in my stand-up act (a true story!) about a silk wedding dress stored for years in plastic. It's a disaster story.

Best,

Judith

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