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Storage of Textile Materials

Guidelines for storing textile materials

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Textile materials are prone to dangers such as moisture, heat, mildew, fungus, insects and rodents. Therefore storing the textile materials in the right store and condition is important.

Storage of Textile Materials

It is necessary to know the general principals of care and storage of materials because they differ greatly in their resistance to various dangers such as moisture, heat, mildew, fungus, insects, and rodents.

There are certain insects; however, that will eat almost anything. Mice build nests in almost any kind of stored fabric material and there are hundreds of fungus grows that thrive under most tropical atmospheric conditions.

Conditions in various parts of the world vary widely in regard to humidity, heat or cold and the presence of insects. Such conditions much are taken into account when you are storing and protecting materials.

The following ideal storage conditions should be attained as nearly as possible:

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  • A dry room with a temperature of 20o Celsius
  • An absence of direct sunlight
  • A storage room construction that affords protection against insects and mice
  • Air conditioning or some other method of humidity control (humidity 30% to 50%)

Characteristics of different materials

Nylon absorbs very little water, dries quickly is mildew proof and is not affected by most ordinary oils, greases or cleaning fluids. It is mothproof, and because it is not an animal fibre like wool or silk, does not offer food to hungry insects. However, if insect’s larvae develop from eggs laid inside the folds of stored fabric, they may eat their way out. Soiled or greasy spots in a fabric attract insects. Soot and other chemical fumes are highly injurious to nylon and direct heat and expose to the sun’s rays seriously weaken it.

Rayon has many of the characteristics of nylon. It is more easily damaged by direct heat or the sun’s rays and is more combustible than nylon. Rayon fabrics “take a set” (form a crease) more easily than other fabrics, and if left stored in folds for too long, they will form permanent creases.

Cotton fabrics, webbings and yarn, unless treated, absorb water readily. They dry more slowly than synthetic fabrics and are more susceptible to mildew and fungus growth. Mildew should never be ignored because it seriously weakens cotton or other fabrics. Heat is less damaging to cotton than to the synthetics. Bug or their larva will eat cotton or use it to make cocoons or nests.

In all cases fire is a constant threat to fabrics. Smoking should not be permitted where fabrics and yarns are handled and stored. Rayon materials are almost explosive when set afire. Nylon although harder to ignite, will burn, but does not explode in the process. You should be careful to learn the storage problems peculiar to any specific locality or climatic conditions to ensure safe storage of these materials.

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