Preservation Week Day 4 bonus: Padded hangers

This is the sixth post in a week-long series celebrating National Preservation Week.  NMAM blog posts in this series will discuss how to preserve your own modeling history. 

Padded hangers are one of the best ways of storing a piece of historic clothing.  Most of the museum’s collection of jackets documenting competitions and other events are stored hanging on a special rack in the collections storage.  Here’s a pictorial guide to a creating a quick padded hanger.

Supply list:
Unbleached muslin
Cotton batting
Hanger – not a metal one, preferably one with the widest arms as you can find.
Needle and cotton thread
Laundry detergent



Step one: Wash out the unbleached muslin.  (I used Orvus Paste, but a regular laundry detergent can also be used.  Just make sure you rinse out the cloth really well.)

Step two: Cut the fabric to the shape desired.

Step three: Using cotton batting wrap the hanger to create extra width for the jacket to rest on.

Step four: Stuff the fabric sleeve with batting, like you would a pillow, making sure to get on, around and under the arms of the hanger.

Step five:  Try the jacket on the hanger to make sure it isn’t over- or under- stuffed.


Step five: Finish sewing closed.

A pink 1979 Trans-Am RC Relay Race jacket hanging on a padded hanger in storage.
A pink 1979 Trans-Am RC Relay Race jacket hanging on a padded hanger in storage. Source: National Model Aviation Museum, donated by Bliss Teague, 2008.42.01.

Step six: Hang in storage.

Learn more:

The National Park Service has a Conserve-O-Gram with detailed instructions on how to make a padded hanger.

If you want more advice on preserving your textiles, feel free to ask your questions to the museum’s blog, Facebook page, or by emailing staff directly at

Preservation Week - pass it onSponsored by the ALA’s Association for Library Collections and Technical Services and partner organizations, Preservation Week will inspire actions to preserve personal, family and community collections of all kinds, as well as library, museum and archive collections. It will raise awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions can play in providing ongoing preservation information. More information can be found at:

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