Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Everybody Ought to Know About Lignin and Wedding Gown Preservation



I've said in the past that the paperboard boxes used in our wedding gown preservation process are lignin-free and acid-free, but what does this really mean?

Sally Conant, the Director of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists puts it this way, "Lignin is a naturally occurring substance in trees and other plants.  It is acidic.  When paper or paperboard is made from wood pulp, more acid is added to the mix to facilitate the paper-making process.  A neutralizer can be added to the mix to bring the pH to neutral, but the neutralizer is water-soluble, and the paper or paperboard can re-acidify if it gets wet or is stored in a damp area.  Acid-free means all acidic content has been removed from the mix, and the final product cannot re-acidify because it contained no acid from the beginning."

Put another way, pH neutral boxes (not what we use) can re-acidify due to moisture in the air or contact with water. Acid-free paperboard boxes cannot acidify on their own because they contain no acids. Why is this important to preserving your wedding gown? Acidic preservation chests will cause your dress to yellow over time. Acid-free chests are one tool we use to properly preserve your wedding dress in order to stand the test of time.

Photo Credit: Dallas Krentzel (flickr)


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