Behind the Scenes: Upgrading Clothing Storage

This blog post comes from our collections manager, Rita Butteri. Photos by Leanna Williams.
A Collections Manager wears many hats. Besides cataloging, creating exhibits and much more it is the Pioneer Air Museum’s responsibility to properly care for and store objects, tasks that the collections manager oversees. The latest project was to bring the clothing storage lockers as close as we can to museum standards.

We at the Pioneer Air Museum would like to acknowledge the RASMUSON FOUNDATION and its generous grant that made the purchase of storage material possible. We would also like to thank Heather, owner of MOUNTAIN HEATHER CREATIONS, for volunteering her time to sew muslin covers.

Museum-quality padded clothing hangers were purchased from Linsey Smith at HANGERBEE.

My skills as an organizer come from my background as an organizer (DO IT RITA RIGHT).


Wire, wood or plastic hangers will damage clothing over time. Dust is another enemy of long-term storage.
Here is a typical example of damage that might occur – observe what this wooden hanger did over time to this World War II-era flight jacket.

The Project & Process:

Wooden hangers are replaced by museum-quality padded clothing hangers.
Heather and I (Rita) developed a pattern and then worked as an efficient assembly line to produce three sizes of clothing bags to fit the garments in our collection. The material we used was premium unbleached 100% cotton muslin.


The contents of all three clothing lockers at the Pioneer Air Museum will be protected from dust and future damage. On the right of the closet you can see plastic hangers used to store trousers. The hanger bar is padded with muslin-covered foam, then the trousers are hung over the bar and stored in their own muslin bag.

It took thirty two hours of labor to complete thirty five bags to store the Pioneer Air Museum’s clothing collection.

Thanks for following along on this behind-the-scenes look at our museum.
​Stay tuned to the introduction of the next project!

One response to “Behind the Scenes: Upgrading Clothing Storage”

  1. Jean Pierre Simoneau Avatar
    Jean Pierre Simoneau

    You did an amazing job. Thank you for working so hard to preserve aviation history.

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