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Padded Drawer and Shelf Liners


This system provides support for textiles, costumes and similar objects on shelves and in drawers, protection against direct contact with wooden or metal surfaces, and cushioning to minimize vibration and movement.

It can be used in standardized museum storage units or to retrofit existing drawer units, cases, and shelving (Fikioris, 1989).



Margaret A. Fikioris
3 Hillspur Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348 USA
Tel (215) 444-5621

Illustrations: Karen Ackoff

Publication: 1992


Each shelf is fitted with an individual padded support made out of board, 100% polyester non-woven felt, and a cover of unbleached cotton cloth (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Cross section of padded board.

Materials Tools Supplies

  • 100% Cotton twill tape, white, 1/4in
  • 100% polyester felt, .135 thickness
  • Double-coated pressure sensitive tape with acrylic adhesive, 1/4in or glue gun and hot melt adhesive
  • Paper board, unbuffered 4ply, 32in x 40in or corrugated polyethylene panels
  • Scissors
  • Unbleached 100% cotton, plain weave, medium weight cloth (44in )
  • Utility knife


  1. Measure the shelf or drawer that will be fitted with the liner.
  2. Measure and cut the pH neutral board 1/8in smaller than the shelf on all four sides.
  3. Add 1in on all sides and cut the polyester felt to this size.
  4. Fold the felt back over the board edges and attach the sides with double sided tape.
  5. Trim the corners of the felt to reduce bulk, and then attach them to the board.
  6. Measure and cut the cotton cloth cover, adding 11/2in to the board measurements on all four sides.
  7. Fold and attach to the back with double-sided tape, or hot melt adhesive, and trim the corners to reduce bulk.
  8. Attach a continuous length of 1/4in white cotton twill tape to the bottom of the board to assist in installation, retrieval, and maintenance (Fig. 2).

    Figure 2. Top view of padded support showing placement of cotton twill tape handles.


Stitching also may be used to replace the archival double coated transparent tape used to adhere the different layers to the support. Corrugated polyethylene boards may be used instead of paperboard for oversize shelving.

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