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Subject: Vacuum storage bags

Vacuum storage bags

From: Jerry Shiner <info<-at->
Date: Monday, June 8, 2009
    **** Moderator's comments: Please respond directly to the

Ilse Bogaerts <ilse.bogaerts [at] klm-mra__be> writes

>The following is posted on behalf of the conservator of the Royal
>Army Museum Brussels. +44 32 0 2 737 79 18
>Which museums have experience with the use of "vacuum storage bags"
>in their textile-depots? The advantages of saving space are known.
>What are the disadvantages--uncontrolled micro-climates?

It is quite possible (with no more than a vacuum cleaner as your
source of vacuum) to make a wedding gown or sweater as solid feeling
as piece of lumber, so the first question that arises is how much
"vacuum" pressure is maintained? Substantial compression (creating a
dramatic reduction of package size) can be generated and maintained
in an evacuated plastic bag, but I wonder about the long term
effects of storing the textiles under pressure.

Attention would also be needed to use a plastic with no free
plasticizers, very careful folding, a well controlled moisture
content in the textiles before packaging, and a storage environment
where temperatures were kept from falling too low (to control
maximum humidity levels in the bags).

The use of an oxygen-free atmosphere in combination with the secure
environment offered by encapsulation has distinct advantages,
although I don't know of this being used in conjunction with
compression.  A copy of Julia Brennan's paper on Storing textiles in
anoxic packaging is on my website at:

Jerry Shiner
Keepsafe Microclimate Systems
416-703 4696
800-683 4696

                  Conservation DistList Instance 23:5
                  Distributed: Thursday, June 11, 2009
                        Message Id: cdl-23-5-006
Received on Monday, 8 June, 2009

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