Trading Card Conservation

Trading Card Polyester Pockets

The Scientific bit:

1. PVC – Top Loaders and Sweating.

2. Plasticizer – What is this?

3. Humidity?

1. PVC – The Present Solution

Polypropylene is the most common choice for most trading card collectors and dealers because they offer rigid protection and prevent creases and folds forming in the trading card.

This might be a viable option for most; however, the use of PVC pockets can damage both the view and the physical integrity of the print surface.

PVC tends to "sweat" and stick to paper if left over extended periods of time. This "sweating" makes it difficult to remove the cards from the pockets.

Polypropylene is the material used by a number of brands currently on the market as it is a cheap way of being able to make multiple pockets within a single page due to the characteristics of the film (low melt temperature).

2. Plasticizer

This chemical is added to PVC.What does it do?

It makes PVC more flexible and stops it from becoming rigid. However the effect of plasticizer on paper over long periods of time can be catastrophic!

The plastisizer effect transfers the photo from the trading card to the inside of the PVC pocket!

PVC is often recycled and can be coated in a “fatty acid slip” to make it run smoother on the production machinery. This too is potentially harmful to both photos and the ink of the autograph

Also PVC plastics produce acids which react with photographic chemicals. It is this reaction that can fade trading card photos.

Additionally, Polyvinyl Chloride is present in certain types of plastic including PVC and can release Hydrochloric Acid as it degrades causing damage to all materials stored within.

3. Humidity

Paper and Photographs are particularly sensitive to humidity, so it is advisable to keep your trading cards in a cool and dry environment to avoid damage to its surface coatings.

Adverse levels of heat and humidity can cause condensation will form which will stick the trading card to the PVC pocket.

In short the fatty slip coatings, condensation as well as plasticizer, will all affect the chemicals on the trading cards paper, which in turn will cause image damage.

The Solution

So is there an alternative to PVC?


With the rarity and price of trading cards, handling them or viewing can present a danger of damage.

Our Polyester pockets make sure that trading cards can be handled regularly without the risk of scratches or fingerprints, contaminating the surfaces, yet still not compromising the viewing of the image.

In fact Polyester is well-known all over the word for outstanding quality, clarity and consistency!

Additionally our polyester pockets are chemically inert to anything placed in them. Plasticizer free these pockets will preserve your trading cards indefinitely and safely!

Polyester is fungus resistant and has a higher tear strength than any other plastic film!

Our Polyester pockets allow trading cards to be displayed and browsed while they give full archival protection against physical damage, surface reaction and atmospheric contamination.

Also, our polyester trading card pockets will fit both the Library & Populi ring binder boxes. The size of each individual insert will fit a card with max size of: 117 mm x 75 mm.

One last thing to remember is wearing gloves when handling valuables & delicate items. Gloves will protect your trading cards from dirt, dust, hand grease and perspiration.

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