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I have been collecting patches for 25 years without to many mishaps. I have been reading the forums regarding preservation and I would like anyones opinion of my technique.
Whenever I buy a patch, i first give the patch very delicate cleaning with fine brush etc. if dirty.

I place the patch in a plastic box and freeze it for 2-4 weeks in the freezer.

After that I thaw the patch and allow it to dry completely.

I then place the patch in airtight container with several moth balls for another 2-4 weeks.

After this I place the patch in a rikor mount with a moth ball sliver in 2,3 or 4 corners depending on how much I paid for the patch.

I check my patches at least every six months. If the mothballs don't smell or are gone, I replace them.

I keep the patches in metal cabinet with golden rod to keep moisture out.


Essentially my patches are kept in dark but climate controlled area.


When i remove the rikor mount top there is outline of the patch on the glass. It easily wipes off but makes me wonder if a chemical reaction involving the mothballs and something hopefully not the patch is going on.


Anyone know if the mothballs and bullion react?


Is mothballs in the rikor mount (under the foam) harmful in anyway to a billion, wool or cotton patch?




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Everyone has there own methods I guess, no offense but you seem to be a little extreme in your methods. I've been collecting about 30 years steady. Never had a problem with moths. I store my patches in all different ways. Some in old NOS Photo albums. Or in a plastic bins. Even a patch blanket no bug problems. Do you have lots of moth issues where you live? I'm not sure if the moth balls hurt the bullion or not but the smell is got to be bad. As a kid I loved the smell of moth balls. Cedar is also a bug repellent in it's own right. Smells good to.To each his own I guess.


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I dont think anything your doing with damage them, but like Bill said, your probably doing more work than is needed. Mothballs do contain a toxic chemical that perhaps if you used too many could cause problems, but my guess is the problems would be more for your health and not the patches and that you would have to be exposed to ton of them. Personally, I would prefer to use a small piece of cedar wood because the smell is better and its safe for my pets. I've always put my patches in either an album with acid free sleeves or riker mounts and never had an issue. But I guess it depends on the value of them. If I had patches that were worth hundreds or thousands of dollars each I would probably take further precautions.

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Thanks for the replies gentlemen.

Yes, I do go overboard , but patches you pay a lot of money for drop in value like a rock when you go back and find a moth nip in them. Also the freezer cost me nothing additional and mothballs are cheap.

While I have never found anything in my collection that was mothed. I have added a few rarer pieces that came with damage from pests and I wanted to make sure the piece is safe before moving it into the collection.


Yes it is true that constant exposure to mothballs can damage the liver. But I do limit my exposure by keeping them in airtight containers and storing the rikors in an metal cabinet that is mostly airtight. I do not smell the mothballs unless I open the rikors soon after the mothballs have been added or replaced. It does not take very long for the mothball slivers to disintegrate and its potency to diminish considerably.

Thanks again,


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