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Fire-hose technique for managing long fabric strips

I was recently making yards and yards of corded welting for a slipcovering project, and I just about lost my mind trying to keep the very lengthy fabric strip I had made from twisting and tangling. Winding it onto a big spool didn’t work very well. Then I remembered how fire hoses are set up in emergency cabinets, ready to unwind as quickly as possible. Taking my cue from that idea, I purchased a dozen or so large, key-ring-type metal hoops. Then I threaded the end of the strip through all the rings. Grasping the first two rings, I stretched my arms out to create a length of fabric between them, which then hung nicely between the rings. I continued this with all the hoops, as shown at left, and then hung the rings from a rod where they couldn’t fall off. When it came to sewing the cording into the fabric to make welting, the strip came off the rings without a hitch, saving me lots of time and aspirin.

– Eve Ness, Saxtons River, Vt

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