Glassine Paper for Safe Storage of Artwork

Glassine Paper for Safe Storage of Artwork

Knowledge Corner Tip

I want to pass on some information about Glassine Paper, which tends to fly under the radar as far as trendy products. It is a product I have found to ensure the protection of Art work which I have learned being in this industry for so long.  Both Artist’s and Collector’s should familiarize themselves with the best handling of their Art; there is nothing worse than to see damage to something you cherish.  Items can also be damaged during storage, as elements such as humidity and moisture create havoc on Art pieces.  

What is Glassine?

Glassine is a translucent, smooth and glossy paper, “without tooth”.  A paper’s “tooth” describes the surface feel of paper.  In general, the more tooth a paper has, the rougher it feels.  Glassine is air, grease, and water resistant.  Art quality glassine is pH neutral (i.e. acid free).  Because Glassine has no tooth, it will not abrade delicate drawings.  It is the best paper for protecting delicate Artworks such as acrylics, pastels and charcoal sketches.  For more information, you can check out Wikipedia by clicking here.

Glassine is Eco-Friendly

Glassine paper is taken a step further in the manufacturing process than most paper.  It is run through an extra layer of processing called calendering, in which the paper fibers all flatten facing the same direction.  Glassine paper is environmentally-friendly, it is 100% recyclable, 100% biodegradable – and it starts from 100% sustainably managed forests.  Glassine envelopes are popular with hobbyists and crafters alike.  The transparency of the envelopes mean that they are excellent for storage and for wrapping and selling items.

Is Glassine a Best-Kept Secret?

I went to the local art store and I was surprised to find that not only did they not stock glassine paper, but only one of the staff knew of it. When I asked other Artist’s what they used to interleave between their drawings and/or painting, most replied tissue.  I was a bit surprised since tissue paper generally has tooth, which can seriously damage delicate surfaces.  I buy mine through a vendor where I also buy my gold leaf; click here to view item.

In Conclusion

There really is no substitute for glassine in protecting the surface of Artwork during transport or storage.  Consequently, if you are going to use tape during your packaging of Art process, and it needs to make contact with the Artwork itself; make sure you use Artist tape which will not leave any residue. 

  • You must cover the surface of the Artwork with glassine prior to wrapping in any other protective packaging. 
  • Remember that tissue paper and glassine are not the same!

Mabel Vittini Artist, Lake Worth FL






“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – Will A. Foster