The challenge of storing and moving garments

It’s easy to think that since clothes are not “breakable” in the same way as certain other goods, it’s not important to store and handle them with care. However, they can be delicate and easily damaged. The challenge of storing, handling and packing garments is to protect them from damage so they remain in optimal condition.

Reducing handling times

The garment industry is highly competitive, especially online where customers expect quick deliveries. Reducing garment handling times speeds up order processing and also prevents damage risks.

The more an item of clothing is handled, the more likely it is to suffer creases and lose its shape. The best storing solution for tops, dresses suits, jackets, and trousers, is to hang them carefully in garment rails protected by plastic. Folded smaller garments can be stored on shelves.

Trolleys can be used to move folded garments, but garment rails on wheels are usually better for hung items. The picker only has to hold the garment by the hanger and lift it from the storage rails to the garment rail, then move it to the packing station. This cuts down handling times.

There needs to be an efficient location system that directs pickers to the precise location of each order item.

Large dresses

The likes of wedding and prom dresses pose a particular challenge. Buyers expect them to look immaculate, but they are heavy and often made from satin, silk and lace fabrics that can easily be damaged.

When they are moved on garment rails, their fuller shape creates a risk of damage if they catch on objects as they are moved. The solution is a Z-shaped garment rail that has shoulders. These help protect fuller garments in transit and make it easier to pull or push the rails.


The clothing industry is seasonal, with demand for clothing types fluctuating depending on whether customers are currently buying mainly for cold or warm weather. Storage solutions need to be flexible to deal with changing customer demands. To save order picking journey times, move high-demand items nearer packing stations and send low-demand ones further to the back of the warehouse.

Flexible storage solutions allow clothing to be moved to different locations without damage. Rather than taking clothing off rails and transporting them to other locations, it can be more efficient to keep them on the existing rails for moving while minimising the risk of damage.


Training staff in the safe handling of garments is essential, not only for their own safety but to protect garments. Staff need to be aware of damage risks to garments and how to avoid them.

Specialist solutions

At Steely Products, we have a range of specialist storage and manual handling equipment for the garment industry. We work closely with the industry to design practical solutions for storing and handling garments. Our garment rails are made from strong but light tubular steel, designed for long life and maintenance-free use apart from regular cleaning, and they reduce damage risks.

To find out more about our equipment for the garment industry, call or use the contact form below.

Posted by Derek
2nd April 2021
Garment Rails

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