Storing Needlepoint

Originally posted 2009-12-27 10:28:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Yesterday was the day after Christmas and, like mushrooms, organizing supplies appeared in all the stores.

In my email I got a question from Mert, who asked:

Over 30 years ago my mother needlepointed a Christmas tree skirt, Christmas stockings, and many ornaments.  We have been storing them in plastic boxes for at least the past 30 years.  This year, getting them out it suddenly occurred to me that this might not be the best way to store them.  I have searched for the proper way to store needlepoint and I have not been able to find an answer.  Would you please advise me on the best way to preserve these for future generations?

Since I have lots of needlepoint for Christmas, I tried different things. I felt uncomfortable storing my needlepoint ornaments and stockings in plastic or in cardboard boxes, so for many years I have stored them in cotton pillowcases. I kept these on the shelves in my garage but not in anything.

But about a year ago we were moving and I needed to find permanent storage for a collection of vintage clolthing we have. I was worried about storing them in plastic, so I did some research. This is what museums do to store textiles.

Wrap the items in acid-free tissue paper. Kreinik sells it, as do several on-line merchants, It keeps the textiles from coming in contact with the acids in wood and regular paper. Them put the wrapped items into plastic boxes. These don’t need to be any particular kind, but they need to have tops and no holes. This keeps bugs out.

That’s it. So the paper protects the items while the plastic bin keeps the bugs out. And keep them mostly away from light.  Light, acid (paper), and bugs are the main enemies of textiles. So this method protects them from all three.

I was surprised, but it does make sense to me.

If you want to do some more research, I’d look for items about storing vintage textiles, especially wools. Needlepoint is essentially a textile, so the advice for them will work for needlepoint.


  1. Linda Sheahan says

    My question is how to store framed needlework pieces, mostly embroidery, cross stitch, and petit point. I have completed many over the last 30+ years and some are quite intricate using various threads,seed beads, etc. I want to avoid anything that would cause indentations in the linen fabrics or potentially harm the threads. Desperately looking for ideas. Help??



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