Product spotlight - Tyvek as a packaging solution

Collection Managers, Curators, Registrars, Conservators, Archivists and Librarians often have to make difficult decisions regarding appropriate storage and display materials for the preservation of historic objects and artworks. Possibly the hardest decisions are based around choosing materials that properly house and support artefacts without causing damage or deterioration. However, navigating a museum or archival supply catalogue can be difficult. To further complicate decision making, many materials marked “archival” or “acid-free” in catalogues or in office supplies and craft stores may not be necessarily appropriate for the long-term preservation of collections.

In this article we are looking to highlight the benefits of Tyvek as a safe material to use in the storage, and movement of delicate items and artefacts.

Tyvek is a nonwoven polyethylene, polypropylene, or a combination of the two. It is typically white, opaque, shiny, smooth, flexible and very strong. It is impermeable to water but not to water vapor, and commercial industries use it as a moisture barrier in building construction, as well as for protective clothing, CD sleeves, and other packaging or protective coverings. This is because Tyvek is Breathable but water and dustproof. 

We recommend Tyvek for use in the safe packaging of artefacts that need handling with care as it is mildew-resistant, inert to most acids, bases and salts, is non-abrasive, static-free and so strong it will not tear.  Tyvek, created by Dupont, is chemically inert spun bonded olefin, formed by a continuous process from very fine .5-10 micrometre fibres. It will filter out 99.9% of particles from the air down to 0.5-0.7 micron in size reducing risks from many airborne pollutants. This care and precision ensures that no binders or fillers are required when collating the fibres together.

Tyvek has different characteristics than other nonwoven polyesters such as Reemay, Hollytex, and Bondina, which are loose polyester webs compared to the dense polyethylene structure of Tyvek. The two materials will therefore be used by conservators in different ways from each other.

The benefits of purchasing from a verified supplier of Tyvek are that at Conservation Resources we source from verified producers. We pride ourselves on supplying high quality products and advice over and above commercially available packaging solutions. With Tyvek there is a guarantee that there are no UV inhibitors that could cross contaminate with any artefacts being wrapped, in addition to no additives that could be harmful to any materials in the long or short term. As opposed to commercially available packaging solutions that could cause long term damage to artefacts and delicate objects

A handful of our recommended uses for Tyvek include:

  • Covering paintings, furniture, books, in Historic Houses during the winter
  • Protective packaging of items during any form of moving or transit, an area our sister company are experts in providing due care and process in.
  • Frame backing
  • Tyvek can also be used to help house items such as Maps, Rolls and scrolls. please click here to see our Tyvek Bags and Acid Free Boxes to house your collections.

Click here to go direct to Tyvek to purchase