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Help wanted - Outer Sleeves for LPs


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All,

This is a little hard to explain, but hopefully you can all follow along.

I'm originally from the UK but currently live in the US. In the UK I used to buy clear "plastic" outer sleeves for my LPs from various record shops. I don't know what material they are made out of, but it looks like most of them have thick heat-sealed seams. What I really like about them is that most LPs fit snugly, and there is a certain amount of stiction between the outer sleeve and the cardboard LP jacket (this can vary depending on exactly how the LP jacket is coated/finished). There is relatively low stiction between these UK outer sleeves themselves, which allows me to fairly easily slide the LPs past each other in my densely packed LP storage units. The net result of this is that my LPs are stored in the outer sleeves with the open end facing out i.e. I do not have to first remove the LP from the outer sleeve in order to get access to the LP in its inner sleeve. This makes it much easier for me to quickly access and then put away my LPs. The one downside of these outer sleeves is that the heat sealed seam makes it more difficult to read the album/artist info on the spine of the LP jacket.

Here in the US though I have so far not been able to source outer sleeves similar to those I purchased in the UK. The ones I have bought over here are made from polyethylene, do not have thick heat-sealed seams, and are slightly opaque. The problem with them is that for the most part the LPs do not fit snugly, there is minimal stiction between outer sleeve and LP jacket, and l when I try and slide an LP into storage the LP starts to come out of the outer sleeve. I therefore cannot store my LPs in these US outer sleeves with the open end facing out. I know that people will tell me that is not the right way to store them anyway, but I prefer the way I do it with my UK sleeves. Can anyone tell me what I should be looking for over here?. Is it a different outer sleeve material e.g. polyester?. Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Edited by teuchter85
Clarifying info on seams
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How about these? Available on both sides of the pond - https://bigfudgevinyl.com/products/vinyl-record-outer-sleeves2?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-aGCBhCwARIsAHDl5x8nw2jlgbCajzmtsKw9Hd2p8oYmv_SVE4gVwk0yjkD5xAchYdPx7nsaAm2eEALw_wcB

‘troll

Edit - btw, yes I know the type of sleeves you’re referring to, I used the same thing, but that was nearly 50 years ago..

Edited by Moomintroll
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29 minutes ago, teuchter85 said:

All,

This is a little hard to explain, but hopefully you can all follow along.

I'm originally from the UK but currently live in the US. In the UK I used to buy clear "plastic" outer sleeves for my LPs from various record shops. I don't know what material they are made out of, but it looks like most of them have thick heat-sealed seams. What I really like about them is that most LPs fit snugly, and there is a certain amount of stiction between the outer sleeve and the cardboard LP jacket (this can vary depending on exactly how the LP jacket is coated/finished). There is relatively low stiction between these UK outer sleeves themselves, which allows me to fairly easily slide the LPs past each other in my densely packed LP storage units. The net result of this is that my LPs are stored in the outer sleeves with the open end facing out i.e. I do not have to first remove the LP from the outer sleeve in order to get access to the LP in its inner sleeve. This makes it much easier for me to quickly access and then put away my LPs. The one downside of these outer sleeves is that the heat sealed seam makes it more difficult to read the album/artist info on the spine of the LP jacket.

Here in the US though I have so far not been able to source outer sleeves similar to those I purchased in the UK. The ones I have bought over here are made from polyethylene, do not have thick heat-sealed seams, and are slightly opaque. The problem with them is that for the most part the LPs do not fit snugly, there is minimal stiction between outer sleeve and LP jacket, and l when I try and slide an LP into storage the LP starts to come out of the outer sleeve. I therefore cannot store my LPs in these US outer sleeves with the open end facing out. I know that people will tell me that is not the right way to store them anyway, but I prefer the way I do it with my UK sleeves. Can anyone tell me what I should be looking for over here?. Is it a different outer sleeve material e.g. polyester?. Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

I recently got a batch from these guys:

Record Sleeves, DVD Cases, Jiffy Bags Sounds Wholesale Ltd

Quality seems good, delivery was quick and they have a wide selection. As far as I can see from their website they will ship to North America.

I have no connection to this company other than as a satisfied customer.

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23 minutes ago, Matteo said:

Thanks Matteo, I did look at Mofi as I already use their inner sleeves, but Music Direct indicates that the Mofi outer sleeves are polyethylene, which is what I have already tried so I discounted them.

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2 hours ago, Andyt916 said:

I recently got a batch from these guys:

Record Sleeves, DVD Cases, Jiffy Bags Sounds Wholesale Ltd

Quality seems good, delivery was quick and they have a wide selection. As far as I can see from their website they will ship to North America.

I have no connection to this company other than as a satisfied customer.

Thanks Andy, I looked at these and they are also polythene (polyethylene). I could be wrong but I think the key to finding what I want is going to center on identifying the material. I did find these in the US, which are polyester (mylar). They look like they might be what I am after, but they are very expensive and reviews are mixed. They also do polyethylene and polypropylene sleeves in a "snug fit" size which might be worth trying.

12" Record POLYESTER (Mylar) Sleeve (bagsunlimited.com)

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8 minutes ago, teuchter85 said:

Thanks Andy, I looked at these and they are also polythene (polyethylene). I could be wrong but I think the key to finding what I want is going to center on identifying the material. I did find these in the US, which are polyester (mylar). They look like they might be what I am after, but they are very expensive and reviews are mixed. They also do polyethylene and polypropylene sleeves in a "snug fit" size which might be worth trying.

12" Record POLYESTER (Mylar) Sleeve (bagsunlimited.com)

No problem. The ones I got are clear, seem to have the heat sealed seams and appear to be similar/same to what you originally described - as in buying from UK record shops.

Yes, the ones you mention do appear pricey.

Anyway, I've got a big batch of them; if you're interested and it's practical I'd happily send you a sample of single and/or gatefold double album sleeves for you to check out?

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12 minutes ago, Andyt916 said:

No problem. The ones I got are clear, seem to have the heat sealed seams and appear to be similar/same to what you originally described - as in buying from UK record shops.

Yes, the ones you mention do appear pricey.

Anyway, I've got a big batch of them; if you're interested and it's practical I'd happily send you a sample of single and/or gatefold double album sleeves for you to check out?

Thanks Andy, I was looking at the wrong ones on their site!. I assume you are referring to the ones made from PVC. Hard to tell from their picture, but from your description they certainly sound like what I am after. However, and I don't want to alarm you, after doing a quick search for PVC LP sleeves it seems that there is a lot of talk of PVC damaging vinyl. I just took a very cursory look, and while most of it concerns direct PVC sleeve to LP contact (e.g. a picture disc sleeve) it seems that there are also concerns about outer PVC sleeves potentially "outgassing" and affecting the LP inside its inner paper sleeve. I'll need to do some more research. I'll also take a look at some of my vinyl that has been inside UK sleeves the longest and see if I can see or hear anything of concern.

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21 minutes ago, teuchter85 said:

Thanks Andy, I was looking at the wrong ones on their site!. I assume you are referring to the ones made from PVC. Hard to tell from their picture, but from your description they certainly sound like what I am after. However, and I don't want to alarm you, after doing a quick search for PVC LP sleeves it seems that there is a lot of talk of PVC damaging vinyl. I just took a very cursory look, and while most of it concerns direct PVC sleeve to LP contact (e.g. a picture disc sleeve) it seems that there are also concerns about outer PVC sleeves potentially "outgassing" and affecting the LP inside its inner paper sleeve. I'll need to do some more research. I'll also take a look at some of my vinyl that has been inside UK sleeves the longest and see if I can see or hear anything of concern.

Avoid PVC outer sleeves. In addition to the above, the PVC sleeve laminates to the LP cover.

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Try the Japanese re-sealable ones from Music Direct and others. I prefer these to the open sleeves as they tend to protect against dust a lot better.

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I haven't seen those older, harder, plastic sleeves for donkeys.  I had them when I grew up in the UK.  Mine always cracked and I ended up throwing them out.  I agree the soft, thin polyethylene sleeves are annoying.  I put mine back with the opening at the top.  The record cabinet is closed so I don't worry about dust.

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