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Lining Antique Chest

Laurie | Posted in General Discussion on

Greetings all! I have an antique chest which is lined with dark grey foam….not sure who put this in….but it is now disintegrating into dark grey little bits. I have my children’s baby clothing etc stored in the chest. I have removed all the items…and will take out all the foam. My question to the group……..can you suggest a suitable lining? The chest looks like one of those old leather ones….with straps and buckles to close the chest. I’m thinking I could glue a nice fabric inside….but not sure. Any suggestions/comments are most welcome. Laurie


  1. stitcher | | #1

    What about wallpaper. The old camelback trunks were lined with paper.
    I don't know what you would use to "glue" the fabric---is there something that wouldn't yellow over time?

    1. Susan -homedecsewing | | #2

      I really like Fabri-Tac glue no burnt fingers . Walmart has it.

      1. Laurie | | #3

        Thanks to both of you for the ideas.......I didn't think about the fading of fabric problem........wallpaper seems like an interesting idea....there are so many different patterns...something with an antique look......little if any colour....would be great!
        Thanks again......now to get outside and remove the very disgusting foamy bits....Laurie

  2. solosmocker | | #4

    If you are going to keep any heirloom childrens clothing, I would suggest lining it with archival papers, using archival adhesives. These wooden chests can easily stain cloth over the long haul. I think I also would wrap the garments in muslin as well, if they are being kept fas family heirlooms.

    Edited 3/13/2006 9:06 pm ET by solosmocker

  3. mimi | | #5

    Laurie, years ago my husband and I found an old Jenny Lind trunk in a junk shop.  The leather had worn off, but the trunk was in fine shape.  It was covered in wallpaper on the inside, which had attracted silverfish.  We ripped all of that out, fumigated it and aired it out.  We then lined it with prequilted cotton fabric (a delicate print) and it has lasted for over 25 years.  We have kept hats and other winter stuff in it, plus beach towels in the lid, and nothing has ever discolored.

    But for heirloom garments, I would definately use archival papers.  We stored an Irish linnen tablecloth in a trunk that had been treated with Cuprinol and it discolored it horribly!


    1. Marionc032 | | #6

      I'd consider lining a trunk like that with cedar veneer (available online) to help keep critters out. Veneers are very easy to work with and don't require special tools. I think the advice to wrap heirloom garments with acid-free tissue is also excellent.Marion

  4. lovemyelna | | #7

    Dear Laurie
    If you want to maintain the integrity of the antique chest do not make permanent changes such as glueing fabric directly to the inside. It would be better to cut acid free foam core or hard board the shape of the trunk and then wrap this with the fabric or wallpaper. If you cut it to fit correctly, it will be held in place with its own tension. This method also allows you to change your designs easily and often. Plus you can do some pretty rouching (sp ?), pleating and tucking like they used to do in the Victorian times to make it extraordinary.

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