Q: I have two old Cleveland Indians pennants that I want to pass on to my boys. I would like to get them cleaned and put in a case. Can you tell me how to clean them?
— H.K., New Franklin
A: John Sarvis, owner of Bernadette’s French Cleaners in West Akron, specializes in restoring old textiles and said he may be able to clean your pennants. However, he would need to see them to assess the situation, and he cautioned that cleaning old items also carries a risk that the process will cause tearing, dye bleeding or other deterioration. If he determines your pennants are candidates for cleaning, you’d have to be willing to assume that risk.
That’s why Dave Stark, a pennant collector and dealer from Mulkeytown, Ill., prefers not to clean old sports pennants. He considers dirt, stains and yellowing to be part of their patina. Stark also says pennants are made of different materials, so no single cleaning process works for every pennant. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to take the chance, Stark offers cleaning tips on the website of his business, Pennant King (www.pennantking.com).
A framing shop should be able to mount the pennants in frames for you.
Have a question about home maintenance, decorating or gardening? Akron Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge will find answers for the queries that are chosen to appear in the paper. To submit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or send email to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name, your town and your phone number or email address.