Choosing the Right Garment Storage Bag

May 19, 2014
If you have a wedding dress, military uniform or any textile that is important enough to save, you can't just put it in the closet or a box and hope for the best. Garment storage bags have been used for hundreds of years to protect people's most cherished clothing and textiles and are used in museums and archives to protect priceless objects today. While inexpensive, garment storage bags can dramatically extend the life of a precious garment and allow your family to pass it down for generations.
However, to get the most out of a garment bag, you have to choose the right one. While there are many brands available, most of them don't utilize the optimal materials for storage, leaving your valuable textiles in greater danger. Here are three of the best materials for protecting your items, which most competitors won't carry:
  • Muslin – Muslin is the traditional material used in garment storage bags. In order to properly protect your garment, the fabric must be unbleached; bleaches used in some commercial muslin can affect your garment over time. The muslin must also be 100% cotton fiber in order to provide the best protection. A proper muslin storage bag will shield your garment from light and dust and even help mitigate the effects of high humidity. Muslin bags may not offer all the benefits of more modern materials, but they are still used by museums because they are non-acidic.
  • Tyvek – Tyvek is a brand name, proprietary material used in the best archival garment bags. It is 100% acid free and extremely dense, meaning that it can keep out humidity and contaminants much better than muslin. This also means it is slightly heavier than other garment bags. Tyvek is the highest quality garment storage bag material available.
  • Non-woven PP – Non-woven PP is a lighter, less dense material than Tyvek, but still very strong. Like Tyvek, it can resist scrapes and scratches. It's preferred by many people because it is an environmentally friendly material and can be recycled.

 

Once you've decided what kind of material you prefer, it's also important to choose the right size and shape of garment storage bag. Not every type of garment should go in a standard hanging bag. For example, some materials will stretch or weaken if left hanging too long, and would be better folded up or lying flat; in these cases, square or rectangular garment bags such as the one shown below may be preferable.

 

Do you use garment storage bags? What kind do you prefer?

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