11 January 2012

Fabric Folding Tutorial

After my last sewing room post, I have had few inquiries as to how I fold my fabric so it looks neat and presentable on my shelves.  Since I love organizing* and encouraging others to organize, so I am more than happy to share my method (and my madness) with you today.  In a future post, I'll talk about how I keep track of it all.

Folding Fabric
First, I sort my fabric by width - 45" (anything with a width up to 50") and 60" (anything over 50").  Then the folding begins:

This is the way we fold our fabric, fold our fabric, fold our fabric...c'mon sing with me...

Many people like to roll their fabric to place on shelves.  I am not a fan of this for many reasons.  I find that the fabric can get pulled off grain.  Larger lengths of fabric (of which I have many) are difficult for me to roll neatly.  When fabric is removed from the middle of a pile on the shelf, there is a hole that remains until the other fabrics eventually collapse into it, making a mess.  And, most importantly for me, I don't find it aesthetically pleasing to look at a shelf of rolled fabric.

Granted, stacks of folded fabrics have their own issues.  Removing a single piece from the middle of a stack can be tricky/messy if the stack contains many pieces.  Also, placing fabric back in its starting spot requires removing the whole stack from the shelf to relocate the piece to its original home.  This is one of the reasons why I store my fabric by wardrobe groupings.  Each grouping contains fabrics that are complementary in colour and season.  So, I don't need to place any removed fabric back into its original location within the stack, I can just add it to the top of the stack.  This way, I still have a grouping of related fabrics, just in a slightly different order than before, which is fine by me.

So, there you have it.  Stay tuned for how I keep track of it all.


* If I had to change careers and become something new, I would open my own business as an organizational expert.  I cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon than cleaning up and organizing a cupboard, closet, room, etc.  My friends think I'm nuts when I ask if I can come over and help clean up their closets or rearrange the contents of their kitchen cupboards!

15 comments:

Pam from South Australia said...

OMG. You would have a field day at my place. But yours looks way prettier than mine. Sigh.

Sheila said...

Thanks for sharing... if you saw my linen closet you would cringe. I organize everything else, but when its time to do the linen closet.. I always find a distraction.

Jodie said...

Okay...cool. I don't suppose you are planning a trip out to Alberta anytime soon.....I like to be organized too, but my office/studio.....just never makes it onto the list.........

Lisette M said...

You are very welcome to my house any time!

Joyce in NC said...

Oh how I wish you could come to house to organize my sewing space.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Thanks for the diagram! I'm bookmarking this for the great fabric unbinning that will be happening at my house soon!

Ann said...

Great post Shannon. I fold my fabric in a similar way but stand them up. I am thinking of putting them on the shelves flat like you do.

I love to organize too. Right now we are renovating our house and live in a disaster zone. But, as each room is finished, I clean it up, organize everything and admire how neat and tidy it looks.

Carol said...

Then we could be partners in that business! I love to organize as well! I fold my fabrics on those plastic cards from Polar Notions.

T. Sedai said...

Very helpful! Right now my fabric is all stored in bins by type (knit, wool, etc.), but I like your organizational system a lot as well. Perhaps in the future when I have a closet to store it all in...

Claire S. said...

Your organizational skills are inspiring - I love to BE organized, however to GET organized is another problem ! LOL

A few years ago, my collection got all prewashed, folded, sorted and catalogued. Your excel sheet was a great starting point for my own list - thanks !

Since then more piles have accumulated in a mish-mash and have not been catalogued. Time to get going again, methinks :-)

Reethi said...

Sigh. I think the closest I've gotten to organizing my fabric is the act of reading this post. Or the previous ones about your sewing room. If only reading about organization was enough...

Sz said...

You're hired!

Anonymous said...

I fold my 60" fabrics the same way. The majority of my 115cm fabrics get folded in half, selvedges together, then folded crosswise until they are about 12". My cupboard is quite deep, so it's not necessary to do the additional lengthwise fold for the 115cm pieces. Once the pieces are folded, I pin a pre-printed label to the fabric. The label tracks fibre content, length, width, price/metre, total cost, where purchased, and when. That way I can see at a glance how much is in each piece, and how long it has been in the stash.

Fabrics are stacked together by fabric type mostly; the wool shelf (futher ogranized by colour), and the cotton / linen shelf; I think there's a few pieces of silk on the cotton / linen sheof as well.

I don't have a spreadsheet or anything, although I probably should.

Did I mention I have four tubs of fabric, as well as all my mother's fabric, which is stored in a chest (all unmeasured/labelled!)???

Pearl in Vancouver

patsijean said...

This is completely off topic but should cheer you up considerably.

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gMarie said...

I too fold my fabric. Can I have more info on what you keep together? I've sorted mine by color and then woven or knit. I think your folds are neater. I may refold and organize everything this weekend - again.

I cleaned my pantry last weekend and it was so nice. I can see stuff again! g