Warm weather signals it's time to shampoo the carpets, stow away the afghans and organize your sewing area. When your fabric isn't stored in an accessible way, you'll waste time that can be better spent sewing.
The perfect fabric storage solution is defined by how
much space you have to work with, how much fabric you want to store,
whether or not you want your material out in the open or tucked away,
and your personal aesthetic. Here are some of the best fabric organization tips we found.
Fold and Stack Fabrics
When you fold and stack fabric, order it by material, color and size. It may seem obvious, but this approach takes up the least space. (Just keep going vertical.) Material will be easier to spot, though it can be tricky extracting pieces if your stacks are too tall. Visit Vicki's Fabric Creations' folding tutorial
to learn how to keep folded fabric neat and uniform.
Keep Fabric in Bins and Totes
If your stacks are falling over or you want added protection from dust and moisture, plastic storage bins are a smart choice. They're relatively inexpensive, easy to
label and re-label, and stackable. Don't like the look? You're not limited to bargain plastic bins. Consider buying (or making) storage containers in wicker, wood, metal, canvas and more. Chests of drawers are also great for storage and come in a variety of styles.
Lay Out Fabric Horizontally
For easier access, display fabric horizontally. Fold and wrap each piece of fabric around a heavy rectangle of cardboard or plastic to make a mini-bolt that fits the shelf space. Check out the Fabric Storage Closet
in Lauren's office at "It's Not Baroque" to see examples.
Filling up a filing cabinet with fabric takes up little floor space and has the added benefit of drawers that protect the fabrics from sun exposure and dust. It's great if you need to store smaller lengths of numerous fabrics. Learn more at Sew Many Ways: File your Fabric
Clothes hangers keep fabric wrinkle-free
Create an attractive display and prevent wrinkles by hanging fabric. When Pattie Wilk's studio was featured in Cloth Paper Scissors Craft Studio Magazine, her fabrics hung on blue velvet coat hangers. See more of her gorgeous studio at the PattyWack blog
There are other ways to hang fabric as well. The photo at the top of this article from Craftaholics Anonymous
uses curtain clips to hang smaller pieces of fabric from a curtain rod while bigger bolts live in a bookshelf below.
Pin fabric up with clothespins or hang them over a strung-up line. Your options are only limited by the weight of the fabric you're hanging, so be creative and anchor to studs whenever possible.
Feel the need to procrastinate a little longer? Visit See How We Sew to read about how a little creative clutter can be a good thing.
Build Custom Storage
If you're handy, build a floor-to-ceiling organizer that stores up against a wall or behind a door. This tutorial at the
Project Lady blog shows how: Wooden Fabric Organizer.
Still hungry for ideas? Look for things like old cot frames or baby cribs to take apart and re-purpose for fabric storage — anything with slats can hold draped fabric.
Experiment with different ideas and let us know how it works out in the comments!