Something that every person who serves in the military comes home with is a uniform. Veterans, family members and loved ones might want to preserve that uniform as a memento. This takes a little work. Here is what you have to do to preserve a military uniform.
Have the Uniform Professionally Cleaned
The first step is to take the military uniform to a professional dry cleaner. Have it thoroughly cleaned. With the government spending over $2 billion on military uniforms annually, the establishment will know what to do. You need to do this to remove any dirt and debris that could actually cause damage over time.
Handle the Uniform Only With Gloves On
The oils that occur naturally on your skin are corrosive. This is especially true for military uniforms because of the material used to make them. If you touch the uniform with bare hands, then the oils could eat away at the fabric while it is in storage. You want to handle the military uniform only while wearing a pair of gloves. White cotton gloves are the best option.
Remove All the Metal You Can
Go through the uniform and remove all of the metal that you possibly can. You might even want to carefully take any metal buttons off. The reason is that the metal could start to rust over time. Anything that happens to the metal is going to rub off directly on the fabric. Rusting or corroded metal pieces could create dark spots or even holes in the uniform.
Get Archival Storage Boxes and Tissue Paper
You do not want to store a military uniform hanging up or wrapped in plastic. If you want to preserve the military uniform, then it must be stored in an archival storage box. Get enough of these boxes to hold every piece of the uniform. You do not want any one box to be densely packed or overstuffed. Additionally, you need to buy a good amount of archival tissue paper. Archival means the boxes and tissue paper do not contain harmful acids that would eventually degrade the uniform.
Store in a Dark, Dry and Cool Place
Take the boxes containing the uniform and put them into a dark, dry and cool place. You want somewhere that has a mostly stable temperature and humidity level. Keep the boxes out of sunlight and preferable in an area that is around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time.
Check on the Uniform Once Every Year
All of the 1.3 million people serving in the military want to preserve their uniforms for as long as possible. You need to check on the uniform once every year to do this. If you see anything wrong with the uniform, then make adjustments and put it back into the archival box.