Ideally, storage conditions should provide protection from light, chemical disintegration, insects, stress, and excessive handling.
Have the item cleaned to remove food, dust, beverages, street dirt and perspiration. The item should be checked after cleaning and before packing.
Hanging a costume or gown can cause stretching or sagging, or put undue stress on the shoulders where it rests on the hanger. Place the item in a sling made of acid-free tissue in an acid-free box. Layer the tissue between all folds to cushion the fibers. Stuff sleeves. Place acid-free cover containing slits over the box bottom. (The slits help expel some air that may otherwise be trapped in the box.) Store in a closet on an inside wall, allowing several inches between the box and the wall for air circulation.
A basement is undesirable because of the high humidity. An attic is undesirable because of wide temperature variations, the variations will cause expansion and contraction that will break the fibers.
Museum conservators suggest checking the stored costume regularly, and re-folding along new lines. Keep handling to a minimum, since natural oils are damaging to fibers. It would be best to wear white cotton gloves when handling it.
It is undesirable to store fiberous materials in plastics because moisture can form inside plastic and promote mildew (fungi). Sometimes, insects are more of a problem than moisture might be, so the owner must weigh all factors. Garment bags from cleaners are not made for long term storage. They give off acids over time and can cause yellowing and attract dust. Use old well washed cotton sheeting for storage if an acid-free box is not suitable in your situation.
Also, Tyvek bags are now available.
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