Recently, someone asked me how we know that Tyvek is safe for textile storage. That led us to do some extra research on this great material. We already know that it is an archival, breathable, water and tear-resistant product that is used extensively in museums. I went looking for some more chemical evidence to explain why we should use it with our quilts and textiles as well.
Material Concepts, an industry distributor of DuPont Tyvek, has a great resource site. In addition to technical information, they’ve got a blog with a myriad of creative uses for Tyvek.
Here’s some info from their website
Archival Tyvek® or Tyvek® Soft Wrap is used by museums and art packagers to protect a variety of items such as paintings, sculptures, sketches, documents, and many other materials during shipping and storage. Material Concepts sells and distributes these Tyvek® Soft Wrap archival art supplies to dealers, museums, and fine art packagers worldwide. Archivists also use it as a crate lining or crate liner for shipping artwork.
Why choose Archival Quality Tyvek®?
Made from 100% high-density polyethylene fibers, Tyvek® Soft Wrap is manufactured in a unique flash-spinning process without the use of binders. Tyvek® is formed by a continuous process from very fine 0.5-1.0 micrometer fibers – 50 times smaller than a human hair. These fibers are first spun and then bonded together by heat and pressure until a solid sheet structure is formed. All Tyvek® styles have a neutral pH=7. Archival quality soft Tyvek® styles 14M and 14MX have no antistatic treatments and are safe for archival use.
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Features of Archival Quality Tyvek®
Archival quality Tyvek® styles 14M and 14MX are soft, flexible, water and tear resistant, particulate free, and breathable. Since Tyvek® can be easily sewn (PDF), glued, or taped, it can be fabricated into soft cushions, dust covers, sleeves, garment bags, storage bags – or taken from the roll as needed to create clean work areas, table tops, or displays.
Soft-structure Tyvek® styles 14M and 14MX are widely used because they are:
- Lightweight and tear resistant – Tyvek® has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio
- Water resistant and breathable – Tyvek® is equally strong wet or dry, and best of all, it breathes
- pH neutral and antistat free – There are no antistatic coatings or treatments on 14M or 14MX styles
- Versatile and fabric-like – Tyvek® can be used right from the roll, or is easily fabricated into cushions or sleeves
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Temperature Ranges for Tyvek®
Tyvek® provides superb performance across a wide range of temperatures. In cold temperatures it retains its toughness and flexibility down to -131°F (-73°C). It will not begin to shrink until the temperature reaches 2447°F (118°C) or melt until 275°F (135°C). The auto-ignition temperature for Tyvek® is 650°F (343°C)
If you’d like even more info- check out this booklet pdf from Material Concepts.
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