Sound Sleeves

Sound Sleeves are Bags Unlimited's brand of inner and outer Record Sleeves.  They were the first line of branded products we created. The original record sleeve sizes were three mil polyethylene, 12-5/8 x 12-5/8” (snug fit) and 12-3/4 x 12-3/4”. To this day these sizes are our most popular.   In the 1970s when we first made two sizes of polyethylene LP Record Jacket Sleeves – we never envisioned that almost fifty years later we would have expanded to manufacturing so many different styles, sizes, and materials for record collection protection. Record stores use the looser polyethylene records sleeves by far. The looser fitting record sleeves make it easier to bag the records for display in their bins and shelves. Collectors often prefer the snugger fit, because they show off the jacket artwork, more so than the looser fit. Currently, we have five inner record sleeves (some with anti-static properties) and ten styles of record jacket sleeves. We also have sleeves for Box Sets, 180-gram Records, and LP Jacket Gatefold Sleeves.

For twenty years we only sold record sleeves made from polyethylene material. We insisted that our plastic vendor provide us with only 100% virgin, high clarity polyethylene film with very stringent tolerances enforced for material width and thickness. We printed the 100 pack, packing bags with our Sound Sleeves logo on them, proud of the quality product we were providing. Everyone was happy until our customers began asking for a new product referred to as “Mylar Japanese Record Sleeves.”

As the requests increased, we searched for an answer. We found that they were asking for polypropylene record sleeves that came with a resealable flap. They were coming into the country on Japanese imports. The material was sparkling, crystal clear, and the bags had a resealable flap on the body of the bag. Early in the game, finding the right polypro material was difficult. Many places made it, but the nature of polypropylene is to shrink slowly and once converted into a sleeve, it would pucker, creating ripples in the material and distorting the record album art. The pucker was unacceptable to collectors. They wanted crystal clear without the pucker, understandably. We first tried to satisfy the demand for these sleeves by creating a reseal flap for our polyethylene bags.
12'' Record Jacket Sleeve with RESEALABLE flap. Sound sleeves.

Also not an easy task, as resealable tapes were not readily available at the time. We worked with tape vendors to create an adhesive with the right tack to stay closed but one that could be opened and re-closed as needed. After much trial and error, we found the perfect tape, but the “Mylar Japanese Reseal Bags” refrain did not stop.

Once again we searched for vendors of polypropylene material that would keep its shape. The answer was a material called “bi-oriented” polypropylene. In the manufacturing process, the polypro film is stretched both ways so that it retains its shape after being converted into bags. At last, we were in the “Japanese” resealable bag business! Another “Sound Sleeve” to add to our repertoire. Polypropylene is a perfect material for displaying records that are for sale. Its shiny, sparkling and crystal-clear mien bring alive the colors of the record jackets. Close this window

Some collectors want to store their most valuable vinyl records in sleeves that are equivalent in quality to the “worth” of the record. Those sleeves are made of Polyester (Mylar). Mylar® is the word that most people use when speaking of Polyester sleeves. Mylar D® is a trademarked Polyester (PET) material that was once produced by DuPont. While Dupont no longer makes the Mylar D variant, the name Mylar continues to be used as a generic trademark within the archiving and collection industry. Do not worry; there are several equivalent materials out there that have all the desirable properties of Mylar D. One specific film is Melinex® (also made by Dupont) which is the material we use at Bags Unlimited to make our polyester sleeves. There are less expensive polyester materials, but the Library of Congress has approved Melinex® as one that is safe to use for indefinite storage. Polyester is as crystal-clear as glass.
POLYESTER (Mylar) Record Sleeve 
The rigidity of the material – especially the 4 mil thickness protects the edges and corners of the records stored in them. Additionally, Polyester sleeves will never discolor or adhere to items placed inside them. 

To surmise- We manufacture Bags Unlimited’s “Sound Sleeves” from three different materials - Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Polyester. We have had these materials tested by an independent lab to certify that they are safe for long-term storage. There is nothing in these materials that can cause harm to items stored in them. Check out our LP record poly sleeves here.
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