The Pros and Cons of Vacuum-Sealed Clothing Storage Bags

Learn which fabrics tolerate vacuum packing versus items vulnerable to permanent creases and distortion like delicate textiles and formalwear.

February 8, 2024
min read
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That overflowing bedroom closet full of out-of-season coats and little used formalwear seems unable containing another hanger worth of fabric. Yet winter woolens or delicate silks require proper storage caring for their longevity and protection. Enter space saving vacuum seal bags to the rescue compacting contents into slender envelopes.

But before cramming your entire wardrobe into air sucked bags, consider key benefits alongside fabric limitations and realistic practice points. Follow advice ensuring vacuum packing effectively preserves most garments safely when used judiciously. Discover which items store successfully using this compression approach and steps preventing permanent creases or distortion.

Benefits of Storing Clothes in Vacuum Storage Bags

First appreciate clever advantages vacuum packing offers regarding space savings, protection and transport compared to traditional boxes and chests:

Extremely Space Efficient Compression

Vacuum compression reduces textile volume down to 20% or less original size once air evacuated fully collapsing abundant air pockets woven inside fabrics. This condense ability proves extremely space conscious for maximizing limited storage square footage.

Protection from Dust, Bugs and Moisture

The thick plastic barrier also keeps contents sealed off from ambient dust, lint and debris that settle naturally attracting bugs like carpet beetles and clothing moths seeking sheltered nesting spots to lay eggs in undisturbed. The airtight vacuum environment prevents musty odors too by controlling humidity levels inside.

Portable and Reusable

Unlike bulky boxes, lightweight vacuum packed pouches easily slide under beds, onto closet shelves or behind furniture for accessing later. The compressing and sealing ability also makes vacuum storage ideal for frequent travelers consolidating wardrobe cubes efficiently. Being durable and washable, bags get reused saving money and waste.

However besides the obvious space optimization, vacuum packing holds several understated cons regarding appropriate fabrics and labor intensity.

Drawbacks of Storing Clothes in Vacuum Storage

Consider realistic limitations specifically related to fabric sensitivities, time investments and imprinting damage risks when vacuum packing:

Not Suitable for All Fabrics

The intensely compressed squashing forces pose grave threats towards structured pieces like wedding dresses and tailored suit jackets where resilient fabric melds into itself permanently losing shaping. Natural rubber seals grip delicate chiffons and beads in harsh sealing teeth possibly snagging irreplaceable threads keeping bag air tight.

Labour Intensive Compression Process

Depending on quantities stored, the hands on pumping, pressing and smooshing motions coaxing reluctant puffer coats deflating flat remains strenuous tiring the aging or arthritic over time. Sessions lasting hours strain backs wrestling constrained air pockets slowly from billowing quilts and pillows.

Risk Potentially Creasing Fabrics

Insufficient smoothing prior wrinkled linen shirts or twisting versus folding cashmere sweaters further imprints creases deeply through immense pile compression weight creating frustrating ironing hassles later restoring crushed fibers into presentable form again.

Accounting above cautions, let’s explore ideal fabrics and items storing successfully.

wool sweaters

Best Fabrics and Items for Vacuum Bags

Certain fabrics tolerate compression forces through their naturally elastic and forgiving constructions. Plus determine contents suited folding flat without special shaping needs:

Off-Season Cool Weather Bedding

Vacuum seal cotton, linen and bamboo fiber summer duvets into condensed bricks making room for warmer blankets each winter. Their innate fiber and construction naturally bounce back into recognizable form later once compression released and fluffed up from packaging.

T-Shirts, Yoga Pants and Pajamas Galore!

Light and medium weight casual wardrobe items already predisposed towards wrinkling makes negligible creasing difference once aired out their flexible knits and weaves for wear again. Condense off season tees and sweats guilt free!

Hand Towels, Runners and Napkins

Take advantage of breathable non-pilling cotton terry and linen fabrics durable construction compressing stacks guest towels and table linens consolidating sets together keeping dust free accessibly stored between events then restored useful service presenting aesthetically again immediately after deploying from vacuum bags later.

Then which fabrics pose problematic creasing risks lacking required structure support?

Problematic Fabrics for Vacuum Bags

Avoid vacuum packing:

Any Delicate and Textured Textiles

Billowing chiffons, beadworksequins and lace trims easily crush under pressure adhering into themselves and pulling across sealed bag ridges risking delicate fabric tears during both compression and extraction expansion risks later so avoid compression packing delicates.

Tailored Suits, Bridal Gowns

Ornately architectural structured garments require meticulous professional handling avoiding distortions risking permanent warps across waist darts or bust tailoring distorting irrecoverable even professional grade box supports preventing slouching shape collapses inadequately during dormant duration storage sessions so consider alternate archival hanging wardrobes.

Winter Chunky Knitwear

Dense tightly packed knit loops along sweaters and crocheted coats resist compression machinery inadequate fully deflating lofty air pockets tucked deeply inside integrated fabric rows. Attempting consolidation results halfs squished while fluffy sections adjacent bulge awkwardly uneven leftover stressing yarns appearing permanently smashed together in some spots post storage packing trials. Try oversized breathable bankers boxes instead for heavy knits.

However when selecting suitable contents for space saver bags follow best practice tips optimizing storage results...

Tips for Using Vacuum Bags

Further protect contents from compression damage incorporating:

Breathable Garment Bags

Pre-contain delicate camisoles, formal trouser suits or loose knits prone to snagging inside jumbo lightweight mesh laundry bags first before positioning bags carefully avoiding high friction sharp plastic teeth zipper seals possibly shredding fabric edges. The mesh allows air evacuating through freely without pulling fabrics.

Gently Manipulate Stubborn Air Pockets By Hand

Rather than frustrated stomping and pounding bags trying to flatten entire queen sized quilts or overstuffed down jackets rapidly, periodically stop pumping then gently manipulate and finger press air pockets collapsing through exterior surface working methodically across entire flattened yards slowly with patience. Allow hours for proper compression filling largest bags. Work in sections gently.

Smooth Wrinkles and Fold Meticulously Before Sealing

Pre-fold clothing using recommended Marie Kondo vertical folding techniques incorporating premium archival tissue paper sheets placed between stacked pieces preventing direct transfer stains or compression pleats through fabric layers once vacuum pressure weights fully engaged collapsing bags into condensed solid bricks. Careful prep prevents packing panics later!

Incorporate Cedar Wood While Vacuum Packing

For added protection against fabric damaging moths seeking dark undisturbed crevices to spawn future feeding frenzies, include strips of aromatic Eastern red cedar boards when vacuum sealing woolens, silks and other animal fiber based fabrics.

The naturally occurring oil extracts within cedar wood emit microscopic particles confusing pests’ chemosensory ability detecting potential egg laying or nursing sites. This historically deters moths without added pyrethrins or questionable mothball chemical residues lingered inside the enclosed vacuum sealed storage ecosystem long term once depleted air no longer sustains hatching threats anyways.

Use Cedar Strips or Cedar Filled Sachets

Simply sandwich panels measuring 2-4 inches wide between layers of thick folded sweaters and delicate slips before vacuum sucking flat. Alternately stuff cedar chip filled sachet pouches mixed inside totes and under bed bags for mobile infusion too. Just avoid direct fabric contact which potentially transfers tannins discoloring some lighter pieces over time if prolonged wood pressed exposure occurs.

Provides Humidity Control Too

As secondary aid, red cedar wood also gently absorbs ambient humidity present controlling equilibrium range at comfortable levels avoiding sudden mold blooms if bags ever compromised. This assists keeping contents fresher through an added moisture regulation mechanism further protecting irreplaceable textiles stowed years between seasonal airings.

So consider cedar wood an easy supplemental ally while vacuum space saving wardrobes this off-season. Just remember checking periodically for pests ensuring successful storage years wearing favorites later!

Overall when thoughtfully selecting suitable contents using reasonable precautions minimizing creasing risks, vacuum packing safely condenses mountains seasonal apparel into mere molehill storage spaces shielding precious irreplaceable textiles successfully years between wearing while preventing bugs, dust and excess moisture damage too! Just incorporate patience plus proper preparation smoothing garments in advance then work slowly gently coaxing flattened sections systematically by hand. Soon everything fits tidily packed away somewhere by hook or crook so changing seasons find favorites readily accessible awaiting deployment into wardrobe circulation again!

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Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

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