Fr. Z asks for help from the readers: containers and storage for vestments

I have a question for the readership.  Are there any seamstresses or experienced sewers out there who have some time and might like to participate in a project useful for the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison?

In a nutshell, we need vestment STORAGE solutions.

We’ve tried various things.

We have a climate controlled storage space with shelves.

We have to bring vestments out and bring them back.

I was thinking along the lines “boxes” of thick, duck canvas, with clear, vinyl covers which could be affixed on three sides either with zipper or velcro.

We need safe (for the vestments) ways to transport to this church or that and to store them.

We’ve looked for plastic tubs, furniture with wide and deep drawers, storage bags, etc.

I know that the readers here have creative minds and some of you might have done this.

I actually reached out to a church goods store, asking if they wanted to go in on a large order of custom measure plastic tubs that could be useful for vestments on a wide scale.  Zero.

So…

…help?

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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11 Responses to Fr. Z asks for help from the readers: containers and storage for vestments

  1. Deborah Y says:

    Storing fabric items in plastic containers can be risky due to mold and mildew. What about archival quality boxes (acid free) used to store wedding gowns? They’re made from either canvas or cardboard and they are stackable.

  2. Jana Parma says:

    This question makes me think of the Japanese and how they store their kimonos. They use washi paper (tatoushi) to wrap them in and then put them either in boxes that breath (not plastic) or large dressers called a tansu. You might consider the garment or quilt storage bags that are made with breathable sides.

  3. Jana Parma says:

    This question makes me think of the Japanese and how they store their kimonos. They use washi paper (tatoushi) to wrap them in and then put them either in boxes that breath (not plastic) or large dressers called a tansu. You might consider the garment or quilt storage bags that are made with breathable sides.

  4. Clinton says:

    It might be helpful to speak with local theatres, to find out what they use to store and transport costumes. They might have suggestions that could help with avoiding reinventing the wheel and/or expensive mistakes.

    Likewise, textile conservators at any large museum would have valuable insights on optimal storage for vestments. Wouldn’t hurt to ask.

  5. Plastic tubs, no matter how expensive will start to have a horrible odor. I wouldn’t suggest that. I agree with Deborah about the use of wedding gown storage containers. Do a search for Wedding Gown Storage Containers under “shopping” and you will find different kinds of storage containers.

  6. adriennep says:

    Hollinger Metal Edge company is the place for archival document and everything else storage. Look under Textile Storage. Museums deal with garment storage so there are lots of options even in hanging garment bags (many sizes and styles) and any tissues or humidifiers needed.

  7. Titus says:

    Someone involved in this project should contact the online men’s shop No Man Walks Alone. They have, far and away, the best canvas garment bags I have ever encountered. They don’t sell them individually, they just put a jacket in one when they ship it to you. But wherever they get the bags would be just the place for what you need: a full-length bag for an overcoat should accommodate a chasuble, dalmatic, or cope.

  8. kashort says:

    How about an under the bed type container? This one has a clear plastic top and zipped sides. I am not sure of the dimensions you need to make a vestment fit without folding it.
    Here’s something on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DS3K8TT/ref=sspa_dk_hqp_detail_aax_0?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExS1JETEZHNTRTTUUyJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTczMjQ5MTRNSU4xUThDRUlJQiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwODMzMTk3SllXR1lWNDJFUE05JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfaHFwX3NoYXJlZCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

  9. Charivari Rob says:

    My thinking on storage parallels the wedding dress storage suggestion.
    I would suggest consulting a theater company (or the wardrobe supply houses they sometimes use) – ask them what they use.
    Also, if you know a good independent men’s suit/tux shop*, ask them what they use. * NOT a chain – the chains don’t store/care for much of their own inventory anymore (it’s all shipped in vinyl garment bags to/from central national warehouse someplace (one I dealt with was in Houston) .

    For transport, I’d suggest a low-tech old-tech investment – a strong, adjustable-length closet rod with the type of end hooks to fit over the little coat hooks in the back seat of somebody’s car

  10. KateD says:

    My system is throw everything in a big pile on the floor and then dig through it every time I need to find something. Works for me ;)

    Find a german Catholic momma in your parish, explain your predicament to her….and then stand back…..lol.

    Seriously, there are women who make their living developing these kinds of systems. The gal I know is awesome, but she lives in LA….you could zoom meet? Actually, she drove several hours to our business and developed a system for our office. Amazing. They’ve got vendors that they deal with for organizational systems and storage containers for various items from papers to chockies, shoes and various articles of clothing and a range of prices according to budget and end product desired.

  11. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Every old parish I have ever seen had the vestments in a sort of cedar closet, with dressers and such.

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