Perfect 45 inner sleeves!

Perfect 45 inner sleeves!

why some polylined sleeves can ruin your records, and paper sleeves too.

 a comparison and a solution that stood the test of time.

A quarter of a century ago – or even more now- I ordered my first big lot of 45 inner sleeves from a small ad in Goldmine magazine (one of the very few sources to find stuff like that back then before the internet days). I soon couldn’t remember anymore where i bought that sleeves from and with every new order of other poly-lined 45 sleeves from different providers in Germany, UK and USA I found out how perfect those sleeves actually are.

Sleeve City USA anti-static polylined 7" 45 paper sleeves
Sleeve City poly-lined paper sleeve after 25+ years

pure paper sleeves do mechanically harm the records (paper scuffs !!!) and while slowly decaying, sever wood fiber dust is piling up in the record-grooves.

Paper scuffs & wood fiber dust. Typical for paper record sleeves

“Rice paper” or “Nagaoka style*” sleeves are High-density polyethylene (HDPE) without additional paper …and they are are too flimsy! They are anti-static, free of softeners (and other vinyl destroyers) and produce no dust, but they do wrinkle if you put the record back into the outer sleeve. Plus: due to their much thinner material too delicate to handle in time while dj’ing.

*The term “rice paper” is confusing since it’s material is not paper but plastic. I never spotted a record-sleeve made out of actual rice paper. Nagaoka is a well known producer of this kind of LP sleeves, but since they don’t do 45 ones, some sellers call their 45 versions “Nagaoka style”

rice paper 45 inner sleeve
“Rice paper” 45 inner sleeve, too thin to handle

plastic sleeves can melt your records!

poly-lined paper sleeves: Most of them are just too thin, often not anti-static. Static charge causes audible crackles and pops while listening plus: it keeps the record “magnetic” to the slip-mat, so the 45 “ingests” the slipmat and every single dust particle around. The label might be hardly visible due to the often untransparent and milky plastic, typically the size is not precise and often too large to fit into standard cardboard outer sleeves, and -most important-  the poly-lining and the glue can destroy your records! Some of them do really chemically react with the vinyl if you wait long enough. I always thought they wouldn’t use that kind of acidic material anymore since they found out about that issue . Unfortunately some budget producers still do.

cheap 45 sleeve with glue that chemically reacted
Sleeve with glue that chemically reacted
cheap 45 poly lined sleeve not good for professional use
Thin paper & hard to see label, not good for professional use
chemmically reaction with vinyl record and pvc sleve. Image © Sheila B
Image © from Sheila B’s “Cha Cha Charming” blog

Most poly-lined inner sleeves are not suitable for professional use!

If you don’t have all the time in the world but rather try to put on another tune every two or three minutes, all regular sleeves i ever experienced hardly slip back into the cover without getting stuck, warping and wrinkling the paper they’re made off (causing clumpy paper/plastic areas witch do press into the vinyl), ripping the paper off the plastic or just fall apart soon after you bought them.

The Sleeve City heavy duty sleeves are still fully intact. I don’t remember exactly if i bought 500 or 1000 with the first order. About 10 sleeves all together broke by split seams, one got spilled with booze: it didn’t survive but the record perfectly did … witch is the initial reason to have such things! and all the rest of the sleeves still perfectly do their job.

The inner lining of the discussed sleeve is thick and sturdy, made of hi-density polyethylene (HDPE). It’s feel is like cellophane as from Japanese gift wrapping-foil. The paper is quite thick and dense. Neither the inner lining itself as well as the glue didn’t react in any notable way after all those years. Only some yellowing of the paper and that’s it. They do fit perfectly  inside the UK cardboard outers. Some records I played frequently over the yeas must have slipped in and out of the sleeves many dozen’s of times and there’s no evident sign of wear such as paper scuffs. No way to experience this with a paper-only-sleeve. 

Sleeve City USA anti-atatic polylined 7" 45 paper sleeves. 25 years old & new
Slightly yellowed but no other issues

I finally found them super sleeves again at Sleeve City who made them back in the days – and they still do in the same top quality!

Direct link to the seller

They are costly (roughly $0.25 a piece plus shipping etc) but i promise it is a much better investment than cheap ones that bother by short life span, laborious handling and, worst: will ruin your records in the end.


I ordered a pack of the even more expensive “7 Inch Diskeeper 45 Inner Sleeve” to check them out. The sleeve seems to perfectly be anti-static, stiff enough & well fitting into a UK cardboard outer, and the making surely avoids the last little chance to scuff your record with that sleeve, because the plastic material is completely constructed around the paper in a way that there’s none such thing as sharp edges towards the opening side of the sleeve. Paper seems to be laminated inside just as a stiffener of the whole sleeve.

But: the inner lining is frosted and so the label text is really bad to identify under bad light condition.

Bad visibility: Diskeeper sleeve v/s  Sleeve City 7 Inch Anti-Static Polylined one
Bad visibility: Diskeeper sleeve v/s Sleeve City 7 Inch Anti-Static Polylined one

Ergo: Not recommended for dj’ing and definitely not worth the excess cost.

4 thoughts on “Perfect 45 inner sleeves!”

  1. Very good read and super informative! I now know where to buy inner sleeves. Where do you get your ”uk outer sleeves” btw? Have tried a few but not found the optimal place.

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