Years ago, I worked in retail where I learned that plastic garment bags could harm clothes. We sold a lot of leather jackets and told customers to remove the bags once they got home so the leather could “breathe”. In actuality, removing the bags prevented damage to the material. I heard countless stories of jackets stored hot, humid closets would cause the plastic to melt to the material or grow mold from built-up moisture.

By accident, I also learned how plastic turns clothing yellow. I had a beautiful white dress yellowed from hanging in a clear plastic bag. This discoloration is caused by butylated hydroxyltolune (BHT) an anti-oxidant in the plastic. Expensive mistake!!!


After my mishap, I invested in 100% cotton garment bags from a big box retailer. Cotton is breathable, acid-free and strong. And the bags can be washed. While they were a safe alternative, the cost added up.

Since then, I’ve seen options on Pinterest to make a garment bag from pillow cases. Genius!

While there are instructions and videos linked to Pinterest on how to make bags out of colorful pillowcases by adding embroidery or color-coded ribbons, they are more pretty than the functionality I wanted.

I’m a Pinterest fluky but am all about functional organization without frills.

Good Housekeeping recently posed a blurb on this very subject. Their solution was simple:

“The next time you hang up your winter gear for the season, cover it with clean old pillowcases. Cut a small hole in the sewn end of each case and slip it right over the hanger”.

Use King pillow cases for bulkier clothing.  

Nothing fancy and good for the environment.  Reuse and repurpose your old pillowcases;  recycle the plastic bags at your local grocery store.


Photo Credit:  Better Homes and Gardens

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