Vinyl records are a treasure trove of music, and if you’re a vinyl enthusiast, you want to keep them in the best possible condition. One way to do that is by using sleeves to protect your records. But with so many options out there, it can be confusing to figure out which sleeves are best for your vinyl collection. In this guide, we’ll answer some common questions and help you choose the right sleeves for your precious records.
Do Plastic Sleeves Damage Vinyl Records?
You might have heard concerns about plastic sleeves causing damage to vinyl records. Fortunately, this isn’t usually the case. Most modern plastic sleeves for records are made from a soft, polyethylene material that won’t scratch or harm your records. However, it’s essential to avoid using old, brittle, or PVC sleeves, as they can potentially cause damage over time.
What Is the Best Thickness for Vinyl Sleeve Covers?
When it comes to the thickness of vinyl sleeves, the most common options are 2 mil and 3 mil. A 2 mil thickness is suitable for everyday protection and is more budget-friendly. On the other hand, 3 mil sleeves offer extra durability and protection, making them ideal for valuable or rare records. The choice depends on your budget and the importance of your vinyl collection. Neo Online has a brilliant 500gsm thick card mailer for records and 7″ singles ideal for posting
What Is the Difference Between Inner and Outer Sleeves?
Understanding the difference between inner and outer sleeves is crucial for vinyl care.
Inner sleeves are designed to protect the vinyl record itself. They are usually made of soft, anti-static material, such as polyethylene or polypropylene, which prevents scratches and static buildup. Inner sleeves also help preserve the album cover and lyric sheet.
Outer sleeves are meant to safeguard the album cover and keep it in pristine condition. These sleeves are typically made of crystal-clear polypropylene, allowing you to enjoy the artwork without exposing it to dust or moisture. Using both inner and outer record sleeves is a smart way to ensure comprehensive protection for your vinyl records.
What Size Is a Vinyl in Sleeve?
Vinyl records come in various sizes, but the most common size is the 12-inch LP (Long Play) record. To accommodate this standard size, most vinyl sleeves are designed to fit 12-inch records. However, it’s important to note that some records, like 7-inch singles or 10-inch EPs, require differently sized sleeves. Always double-check the size of your records and choose sleeves accordingly.
How Do You Store Vinyl in Plastic Sleeves?
Storing vinyl records in plastic sleeves is a straightforward process:
- Clean Your Records: Ensure your records are clean and free from dust and debris before inserting them into sleeves.
- Use Inner Sleeves: Slip the vinyl record into an inner sleeve, making sure the opening is at the top to prevent dust from entering.
- Insert into Outer Sleeve: Slide the inner-sleeved record into the appropriate-sized outer sleeve, ensuring a snug fit.
- Seal the Outer Sleeve: Some outer sleeves come with a resealable flap, which is great for easy access. If not, you can use tape or adhesive strips to seal the outer sleeve shut.
- Store Upright: Store your sleeved records vertically, like books, to prevent warping or bending.
- Control Temperature and Humidity: Maintain a stable temperature and humidity level in your storage area to prevent mold or warping.
What Sleeves Do Pros Use?
Professional DJs and collectors often prefer high-quality sleeves that offer maximum protection and durability. These sleeves include options like:
1. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MoFi) Sleeves
- MoFi sleeves are made of anti-static, high-density polyethylene, providing excellent protection against dust and static.
2. Diskeeper Ultimate Audiophile Inner Sleeves
- These inner sleeves are known for their anti-static properties and rounded corners, preventing any potential damage to your records.
3. Blake Sleeve
- Blake sleeves are heavyweight, crystal-clear outer sleeves designed to showcase the album cover while protecting it from wear and tear.
In conclusion, choosing the right sleeves for your vinyl records is essential to preserve their quality and value. Keep in mind the thickness, material, and purpose of the sleeves you select, and always prioritize protection and care when handling your vinyl collection. Whether you’re a professional DJ or a casual collector, the right sleeves will keep your vinyl records spinning in excellent condition for years to come.