Is is bad to store leather bags in a cedar chest?

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  1. Yesterday I bought a cedar chest at an estate sale with the intention of using it to store my coach bags, but arsweb just told me that she was advised by TPFers NOT to store leather bags in a cedar chest. Most of my bags are leather, what are the problems with storing them in a cedar chest?
  2. hm...I'm curious to see what people say.
    the only thing I can think of is that cedar can be used to help reduce moisture(along with odors and musty smells) so maybe it could dry out the leather?
    I have cedar blocks and hanging cedar things all throughout my closet, which is where I store most of my bags and also have cedar blocks in the gift boxes and drawers that have my accessories and some bags and I haven't had a least not yet!
  3. Personally, I'd avoid storing them there because of the strong odor of the cedar. I wouldn't want the odor attached to my bags. Beyond that, I don't know why it would be bad for them.
  4. ^^^
    yeah, the only thing I found, browsing the internet, warning against cedar closets was the smell...
  5. Oh oh - I have my bags in a cedar chest but I have it propped open slightly so the bags can get some air. Maybe I need to move them?
  6. Cedar is unfinished and the acidity of the wood could harm the leather over time, as it does with textiles.
    If one were to line the chest with padding and fabric so all the wood was well covered then the leather would be fine.
    Another remedy would be to seal and finish the wood, although this would cancel most of the benefits of the cedar. But if the chest is just for extra storage space that would probably not be a problem.
  7. Posters make good points here....I just know that some manufacture cedar chests with leather seat cushions...but of course the leather is on the outside. However, if the cedar were very harmful to leather, I wonder if they would use fabric instead for the seat?

    Just a thought as I look at this product, as an example
  8. The oils in the cedar can also damage and discolor anything stored in it over time. What you'll want to do is protect your bags in clean white pillow cases, or in their dustbags. I store my yarns for knitting and some bags in a cedar chest, and they've been there for a few years now. I do check everything over often. I also went so far as to lie the bottom of the chest with a few clean pillow cases for added protection, and I keep things away from the sides and able to breathe.

    Also remember that cedar is a moth repellent, but that doesn't mean they can't get in there at all. Just keep an eye on everything and keep them in bags and you'll be ok. :smile:
  9. I think what makes that okay is that there would be cushioning between the actual cedar and the leather. The only parts that really seem to touch are the edges, and I do believe there would be a bit of material underneath that, as well.

    That's a really nice chest, btw. I would love to have that.
  10. never heard of it, it depends mostly on the preferences of individuals. some materials do send off strange odor which we do not like.
  11. Two years ago I built my wife a 128 sq. ft. cedar closet. I put the clothes rails as far from the walls as possible and bought wooden hangars because essential oils of many kinds will damage plastic. With all that new eastern red cedar planking you could smell the cedar in the stairwell to the second floor. (That stopped when I sealed under the door.) I warned my wife to make sure she stored everything so that it is not in contact with the cedar walls; new cedar sometimes bleeds and you wouldn't want sticky resin on your clothing or purse.

    The room is now pretty much airtight. Before filling it I checked the humidity with a certified hygrometer... it was 68%. I ran a dehumidifyer for a few days and lowered the humidity to 55%. There was a puddle of water on the linoleum floor so I disassembled the dehumidifyer and found the styrofoam drip pan was eaten completely through by the cedar oil. Don't store anything with plastic, foam or styrofoam in a cedar closet.

    I've checked the humidity in the room twice since then; it was always the same as the rest of the building (50 - 60%). I find it hard to believe that cedar has any effect on humidity. My wife has several dozen purses, shoes and boots stored in the closet. They don't smell when she brings them down from the closet; or they smell ‘fresh’.

    Cedar oil does not kill moths or their larvre. It might repell them when it is new; it sure smells like it would. It is, however, a great anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. We have cedar posts that I set fifty-five years ago; most are still there. The closet is bug-proof because it is nearly air tight. Without bacterial or fungal growth there is no 'storage' smell on anything removed from the closet.
  12. I've stored bags and clothing in cedar wardrobes and cedar chest for over 30 years, and I've received many vintage pieces that have been stored in cedar. Some of the vintage pieces are over 100 years.

    No damage so far.

    As the poster above me said, the biggest advantage is that cedar is anti-fungal. I hate moldy smells more than anything else.
  13. If it's really humid where you are I'd worry about mildew in a closed space. I think if lined it might be ok but leather can be sensitive.

  14. Thank you for posting all this! :biggrin: I love cedar closets. You're a sweetie having built one for your wife.

    But tell me, how did you set those cedar posts? In stone or concrete? You didn't set them in dirt, did you? DH built a large cedar fence about 10 years ago and every so often we have to replace rotted posts. He's started setting them in gravel to make them last longer.

    This is good to know. I've stored vintage textiles in a cedar chest for about 25 years, and so far, so good. I keep things wrapped in acid-free tissue, and keep everything away from the sides. I keep reading museum conservationists warning that cedar chests are a no-no, but I haven't seen any damage either. And I do love my cedar chest--something about it is so elegant and permanent-feeling, I don't want to move the antiques.

  15. I had lunch today with a textile collector who has many rare and expnsive vintage textiles from hundreds of years ago, and he gave cedar storage the thumb's up. He puts protective acid-free paper on the bottom of cedar chests, then puts textiles on top of the paper. He recommended first making sure the items are free of moth eggs (clean them, freeze them, or shake them out). He also recommended periodically taking items out and lightly sanding the sides of the cedar chest to renew the scent.