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Perhaps the Threads Editors –

Palady | Posted in General Discussion on

Would consider exploring a source to manufacture fabric storing containers or dust covering rolls.

After reading the thread on a member loosing a vintage doll, and the susequent posts as to keeping fabric, it sure seems there’s a “need” to be filled.

Alas, my limited capabilities keep me from follow through on the idea.  but, golly a more knoweldgeable has surely got to be out there someplace.  Though the return on the doing may be such as to have anyone hesitate to get into the undertaking.  Maybe the variety of fabrics prevent there being a specific storage container as well.


ETA – while earning my nursing credentials, it was exepcted any thing we folded would be done so by fan folding.  Rationale was the probability of better air criculation.    The doing may be known to some as accordion pleating.


Edited 5/7/2009 3:28 pm ET by Palady


  1. Sancin | | #1

    It was fan folded to provide efficiency - quicker to pull up or linens out. And prevent flapping the fabrics thus moving air and tiny little thingys from flying about and settling where they shouldn't. Anyone who tried to "make an occupied bed" soon found out the advantages to fan folding sheets!! Wrapping was done on an angle so that every thing could be opened by opening north fold (keeping from reaching across a sterile field), east (right), west (left), and south pulled the last piece of clost towards one's self - keeping fingers in the last fold so you could pass a sterilized pack/instrument to another who may be wearing sterile gloves. And now you know the rest of the story. There are/were some advantages to rigidity ;-) .... and NEVER hold the pillow by your teeth when putting on pillow cases ... which I recalled last night as I changed my bed linens!!

    1. Palady | | #2

      It would seem Nursing Arts has been removed form the curriculum these days.  Doubt any Student or Graduate today could relate to the knowledge you posted or to the many expectations previously known as a given.

      Thanks for posting additional insights to "fan folding."


      1. Sancin | | #3

        I retired 5 years ago after nearly 30 years in nursing education. As of then, because some of us old birds fought for it, there were still nursing labs, though the names of those basic skills changed from one place to another. As I was in the first wave of the massive numbers of nurses coming up for retirement, I do not know what has happened in the meantime. I do know that for many years before my retirement the majority of younger faculty did what they were told to do in labs with no questions as to why. Nor did they question what should or shouldn't and why be included in the curriculum. The exotic new critical interventions are/were more interesting and the basic ones forgotten as soon as the more interesting/technical ones were introduced. Fortunately people do not stay in hospital very long any more, especially after surgery. My areas of expertise were family and surgical nursing. In medical and long term care areas surely they must be required to use basic skills or perhaps the aides do them, and they are not taught the rationale for what they do. Sigh ..... Hope is that evidence based practices are practiced at all 'levels' of care.

        Edited 5/8/2009 9:52 pm ET by Sancin

        1. gailete | | #6

          I finished my nursing training in the late 80's (I was 30 when I started). We were a diploma program which very much emphasized nursing skills and had check-off lists which without being completed, we could not graduate. (Incidentally my school/class had the best passage rates for state boards in the nation that year). We learned lots of skills for sure, but now as a disabled nurse that gets to see things from the other side of the bed so to speak, I have been appalled to see how nursing is conducted these days. Went into the ER once and the triage nurse was reading a novel in between taking my VS and listening to my complaint. She was so unengaged with the whole process, it was all I could do not to slam her book shut! I've had surgeries where I was in the hospital up to 4 days, never got a bath, got my sheets changed once and the bathroom with overflowing garbage was never cleaned up the whole time I there. I think they need to forget about half the paperwork and go back to real bedside nursing, but it will never happen.

          Ranting is done.

          It would be interesting to really know how to store my fabric properly, but then I will go on a guilt trip as I'm sure the proper way will be something I can't afford, and I really don't want to slim down my stash. I'm still in that school of thought that you never will know when you need something. Case in point, when I did a little 'winter cleaning' this year, I got rid of my counted cross stitch fabric. Later to discover that with bigger needles and different types of designs I could still embroider and so had to go out and BUY something I had donated to the thrift store only a couple months before!

          1. Palady | | #7

            >> ... forget about half the paperwork and go back to real bedside nursing ... <<<

            Sigh - the arrival of third party payers on the health care scene brought along the copious paper work.  Which was significant anyway.  Will the pedulum ever swing to a more realistic approach?  MO, hardly because there's a profit margin invovlved.  Read share holders.  Which included the places pruporting to be non-profit.

            Back to the topic - where the fabric-storer lives enters into the picture to be sure.  though it would seem some manufacturer out there could come up with suitable containers.  The old adage - find a need and fill it applies.  MO.

            >> ... never will know when you need something. ... I got rid of my counted cross stitch fabric. ... <<

            BTDT big time!!!!  With other than your particular situation, but along a similar line.  My issue was the inability to replace that which had been discarded.  Ah, yes life does present us with much.



          2. GailAnn | | #8

            That happens to me EVERY time I decide to cull patterns, fabric, trims, or yarn.  Let my daughter throw it in the dumpster when I've gone on to Glory.  Gail

          3. Sancin | | #9

            "I think they need to forget about half the paperwork and go back to real bedside nursing, but it will never happen."

            Sorry to be off track again. I really don't think it is the nurses fault re: lack of usage of basic skills usage or paper work. It is the administrators (who have no idea what happens 'on the floors', medical/health technological development, lawyers and patients who pursue lawsuits. The sad fact is that there is too much for nurses to do everyday/week/month/year and the acuity of patients seems to increase 10 fold every day. We have public funded health care in Canada but it is not much different than HPO's (or whatever it is called)- technology and public expectations have driven health care costs to astronomical levels. I taught all levels of nursing from LPN's to university educated nurses. The practices at each level has changed considerably especially over the last 15 years. Registered nurses are now degree prepared nurses because of the practice expectations - and thus the length of the programs, which in itself is not bad. The degree program curriculum teaches nurses to be leaders and coordinators of all care by all care practitioners and required different skills than older nursing practices ... something not recognized by many patients, other health care providers, or previously educated nurses. One needs to think of the difference between educating and training and the implications.

            Does anyone really miss nurses wearing caps and starched aprons?

            Edited 5/9/2009 5:54 pm ET by Sancin

          4. sewelegant | | #14

            ahemmm!  YES I do miss the white uniforms.  I used to sew my own uniforms when I worked and found lots of fun styles to use.  I also would stock up on white fabric when it was available in the spring.  After pants became an option I made them and tops but it was always white.  I found lots of white fabric with texture or pattern.  I never starched a uniform after leaving nurses training in 1960, but, my goodness, a nurse without white?  Does an airline pilot fly in pajamas?  A fireman?  A policeman?  I just attended a Change Of Command ceremony at a Marine Base this past weekend and was thrilled at the pomp and ceremony.  I was a little miffed at not seeing the familiar dress blues, but all the camoflage was identical and very impressive.  All the discipline needed to make sure the job gets done right was evident in the troops performance.  It made me proud of them and the hard work it takes to get there and I think that is something the old nursing schools had too.  Discipline and hard work and the payoff was that white uniform and nursing cap.  I was proud to wear mine.

            Funky patterns and colors were only for the pediatrics dept. so the little kids would not be so scared, but I think patients would much prefer to see more professionalism in the nursing staff that comes in to take our vital signs.  I for one cannot tell a nurse any more from the housekeeping staff unless she has that stethoscope strung around her neck.  I think nursing lost a lot of respect when white uniforms went out of style.

            Edited 5/10/2009 3:03 pm by sewelegant

            Edited 5/10/2009 3:13 pm by sewelegant

          5. jane4878 | | #15

            Actually, I don't have a problem with the starched caps: showed more care and discipline.  I work in the same hospital as nurses who show up in sandals and capris with artificial toe and fingernails (a huge infection control issue--artificial nails harbour bacteria).  They NEVER get disciplined.  I work with some very good, dedicated nurses, but there's some that are soooo lazy.  In the lab we have every single error we make logged and brought up at our performance evaluations.  We each have fewer errors then you can count on your fingers in a year, but that's what's brought up.  Wonder why healthcare workers burn out and leave?

            My sisters and mom are/were nurses.  I bucked the trend and went into lab.  One of my sisters is a pyschiatric nursing practioner with her Masters.  She's retired because the College in her province is forcing all their nursing practioners to write general exams to keep working.  My sister hasn't worked maternity or cardiac in decades.  So some of the best, and best trained nurses are leaving because of the B.S.

            A lot of new nurses/students don't have a clear expectation of the reality of nursing.  We had one student who insisted nurses didn't have to clean up patients etc. etc.  She should get to chart only apparently!  The older nurses had her scrape s^&t and blood and lice and... off patients every chance they could!  You can't go into healthcare just for the paycheck.  I LOVE my instruments, troubleshooting and running tests.  I really like the emergency work.  (Not a big fan of taking blood all the time--that's something I would never do in a larger centre.)

          6. Ralphetta | | #16

            The discussion about nurses attire is interesting to me. My complaint is that when you are a patient or with someone who is a patient...you can no longer tell which people are nurses. With a steady stream of people coming in and out of the room you really can't tell who's a nurse, a tech, a janitor, etc. In some cases they have an ID badge, but you can't read it from across the room and anyone on medication probably couldn't read it if it were inches from their nose. When you're under stress you really don't need to be constantly wondering who you're talking to. I'd be happy with anything...colored armbands, beanies?

          7. Sancin | | #17

            I had a giggle about this one. In our emergency dept nurses used to wear patient's gowns on backwards as it was rather cold. A practice that has stopped everywhere in hosp since uniform companies have been making up washable jackets for nurse. One time I had my daughter in emerg after an athletic injury. As she was lying groggy on the stretcher she asked my why nurses had to pick up garbage. I looked where she was looking and there one of the custodial staff was emptying garbage, wearing a hospital gown on backwards! As I know everyone in our hospital, having taught most of the RN's, I mentioned the incident to the supervisor. Perhaps that is why the change and no one does it anymore. Re name tags. Some agencies have different colour name tags for different hc workers, and in some cases even uniforms. My beef is that no one introduces themselves and their position so you never know who to ask about something or what to expect. Also, because of 'incidents' there are only first names on name tags, personally I consider very unprofessional - like fast food places. The nursing discussion forums are full of such discussion!

            Edited 5/10/2009 6:12 pm ET by Sancin

          8. Ocrafty1 | | #18

            Per nursing...I had planned on a career in nursing, but life has a way of changing plans...Throughout HS I worked as a nurses' aide before they had to be certified.  I worked in a nursing home and was trained by a very competent nurses' aide who had been doing it for many years.  She taught me to put pillowcases on by holding the short end of the case and grabbing the edge of the pillow and pulling it into the case.  No shaking, just a smooth pull and on it goes. She also taught me that nurses don't have the time to take care of their patients.  That was our job.  Nurses were not to clean up patients, empty bed pans, etc.  They were to give meds and keep charts.  The upside was that we got to know our patients and many of them were delightful.  The downside...if something happened to a patient, it was always the aid's fault.  I was accused of allowing a patient to fall and break her hip.  I wasn't even in the facility that day...but the charge nurse had me down as the aid assigned to the patient at that time.  That followed me around for yrs!  Especially since it was the grandmother of a gal I'd gone to grade school with.  Her family perpetuated the story...after all...who was more believable...a lowly nurses' aid, or a Registered Nurse! Grrrrrrrrr!

            As per storing fabric...

            If it is not cotton...I store my stash rolled on tubes. I either get them from fabric stores..sometimes they'll give them away...or from wrapping paper.  I store fabric scraps in baggies, according to color/fabric type in large plastic containers.  I can find almost anything I have that way.  I have 1 container for 'fancy' fabrics and another for 'regular' stuff.  Works for me. 


          9. sewelegant | | #19

            How do you store your rolled tubes of fabric?  Flat on a shelf?  Or standing on end?  I am about to try this method as hanging the fabric over a hanger in the closet seemed to take up too much room and there is still that need to refold or have fold marks when I finally do something with it.  I have a roll of ultra suede I've had for years just standing in a closet that still looks good, but I'm not sure how to deal with more tubes to store.

          10. Palady | | #20

            My daughter was able to take me along on a visit last summer to the contianer Store in Natick, MA.  Her family uses sturdy wheeled wire mesh oblong basket in their laundry room.  I kept an eye out in the store to see if these were still stocked.  As she was making her choice for being there, I found some better suited for me.

            I went to the web site, but alas my PC skills being limited, I was uanble to find the exact item.  It is similar to this mesh, but is taller, rectangular, & wheeled.  Wider @ the top than at the base.   One issue I had to mind, when standing in my rolls, was keep the top frame from indenting the fabric.   I solved this by making certain they were standing straight up.  The URL is http://www.containerstore.com  View Image









            I've seen wooden slanted frames in fabric store of yore.  Being uanble to ever have the space to duplicate these, they are only in my mind's eye.  perhaps other members will offer more.



          11. sewelegant | | #21

            I love the Container Store!  The closest one near me is about 25-30 miles away so I do not get there unless I go on purpose, but it doesn't take much of an excuse.  I found a box at Costco that must have been used for wine or other spirits.  There is a gridded insert to separate bottles.  It was a bit taller than the usual so I snatched it up.  It makes a good place to store my rolls of interfacing, pattern tracings, odds and ends of things like that.  Things I like rolled instead of creased.  Fabric, though, seems to take up so much more space!  I would like to have some kind of shelf like you see in some fabric departments that stores the rolls on the wall.  Wonder how much room that would take?  Better get back to reality.

          12. Roznos | | #22

            Fabric Storage? Ugh!  If someone finds or makes or discovers a great way to store fabric I would like to see it.  I have some fabric on shelves, some on hangers, some on tubes.  But mostly, I try to use what I have before I buy more.  Sounds easy, but like so many I love to buy fabric.

          13. Ocrafty1 | | #23

            I am lucky enough to have an old metal bookshelf, with the shelves removed, that is just tall enough to either stand the tubes on end or slanted. Unfortunately, the fabric still has to be folded on most of my rolls as they aren't tall enough to roll in a single layer. I use either rubber bands or pins at both ends to hold the fabric on the tubes.  I also label each with the amount of fabric/width/ and fabric content. If I do this shortly after I get each of the fabrics home, it doesn't take long. I've made a muslin 'door flap' that is attached with Velcro to keep the dust off of the fabrics.  There are a couple of rolls of nicer fabric that I have in their own muslin tubes.  I had a roll of white velvet stored that way for 9 yrs...I used it for a fancy 'quilt' to go with the Christening gown I made 2 yrs. ago... There was a slight crease (after 9 yrs, to be expected) but it was easily removed with a good steaming. I try not to roll the fabric too tightly on the tubes so that there are 'soft' folds instead of a hard crease where the fabric is folded. If it is a fabric that I think will crease too easily, I try to fold the fabric other than on the center.  I mark these rolls and try to re-roll them at least once a year; usually when I do the spring cleaning in my sewing room! (The rest of the house may or may not get a thorough cleaning...priorities ya know!)

            I have an old dresser with 4 deep drawers where I store new fabric that I have to flat fold. Each drawer is dedicated to certain types of fabric....muslin,cotton, cotton/poly; knits; denim; and flannel.  Its easy to take an hour or so every 6 months, and refold what's in a drawer.  It also lets me 'take stock' of what I have in those drawers, helping to remind me to not purchase duplicates....Those are also marked with yardage and fabric width.  Measure once and store for future projects!  I used to just put it away as soon as I got it home...no tags with info.  Every time I wanted to do a project I'd have to measure to see if there was enough...then do the same with a possible alternative.  This got to be ridiculous and time consuming, thus my new system. Much more efficient in so many ways!


          14. Palady | | #24

            Ocrafty1  posting -

            >> ... 4 deep drawers where I store new fabric that I have to flat fold ... <<   brought to mind a thought. 

            I have been successful in asking for bolts in fabric stores.  The "old" ones are sturdier & the better.  Newer ones are more of the type of corrugated cardboard folded on itself with the ends free to hold the ends.   Still, either works for me along with rolls.

            I bought a full roll of acid free tissue through a local framing store some years back.  Using a strip around the bolt before wrapping the fabric on it makes me feel better.  Though I lack any scientific evidence that this really helps.  Most of my pieces seem to be hodling up.  

            Wall space would be sacrificed to have a support similar to that in fabric stores.  Were I able to have a fabric role holder made, I'd opt for something like this with modifications.    Take the angled fronts all the way to the top with space almost as at the bottom.  The bottom shelf would be a 45 degree angle rather than straight, and wider as well.  A front & side lip on the bottom would keep the rolls from slipping off.  Depth of the shelf would have to worked out. 

            Hhhmmm - I'll be seeing my son soon.  If he has the time, I'll discuss the doing with him and who knows?

              View Image


          15. gailete | | #11

            >>That happens to me EVERY time I decide to cull patterns, fabric, trims, or yarn.  Let my daughter throw it in the dumpster when I've gone on to Glory.  Gail<<

            I have no daughter, but hubby says if I go first, he will leave my room the way I left it and the boys can figure out what to do with it later! I have a huge book/magazine collection that undoubtedly will be rather valuable as the years go by (some are already worth money), but I don't want to cull things anymore. I have found it is fun to use up the bits and pieces that people give me. I never thought I would like doing anything with beads until I was given an assortment of them and have now decorated two sewing projects with them. :)

            I am grateful that hubby understood my need for a sewing space and has done everything in his power to help me with storage, cutting table for my height, etc. He shows his love in action. One day I complained about my rolling pin (a plastic Tupperware one that the dough stuck to). Less than a half hour later he had MADE me a maple rolling pin! He is such a sweety!

            As to health care, I'm just glad I am personally out. I had plenty of years as a charge nurse and then in utilization review although my favorite job was working at the county prison! More workers are always needed and much less paperwork. My only problem is seeing health care now on the other end of the spectrum as it were. I was sick for days last week due to a new med that didn't agree with me, which I am no longer taking. I think there are many ways to cut costs, but it means we need educated consumers also.



          16. jjgg | | #12

            I've been following this thread with interest. I too am a nurse (Family Nurse Practitioner) but I quit working as a nurse about 7 yrs ago. This discussion just makes me even more glad to work as a dressmaker instead.I got really disgusted with out health care system - it's NOT health care, it's how many drugs can we give this person!OK, so I keep most of my good fabric folded (NOT fan folded!) on shelves in a dark cool closet. My quilting fabrics are mostly stored in plastic bins in a different closet.

          17. GailAnn | | #13

            In mid November my husband suffered so severe a reaction to prescribed medication, that he is still on Mandatory Medical Leave.  I am thankfull he bought disability insurance when he first went to work, in 1969.  Otherwise, what we didn't lose in the stock market would have been spent, now on just living these past 6 months.

            My investments in fabric, patterns, books, and yarn, and notions, however, would be secure.  Gail

          18. GailAnn | | #10

            My mother  an RN trained by a Luthern Nursing School for service with the Navy during WWII.

            My daughter is a BSN/RN trained by a Private Baptist Colleege with a nursing school.

            My mother was highly regarded as a nurse (ending her career as DON of a suburban hospital), but cold as ice! Every thing white and starched, even to white hose with seams straight up the back, white shoes, the whole "kit".  To say she was "by the book", mean, or hard would be a gross understatement.  A place for everything and everything in it's place.  She never once hugged my sister or my self until we were well into our 50's.  A dedicated career woman.

            My daughter wears scrubs, is a bit messy, and somewhat disorganized.  On her most recent "evaluation" she was given the highest review available in every category.  She is a home health nurse and drives 150 miles a day through rural areas, visiting homebound folks.  Every night she has about 2 hours of paperwork to do after she gets home.  She is joyful, bright and laughing, a loving and caring lady.  Gail


  2. goodwife | | #4

    You are a mine of such useful information.  I wish you lived next door to me. 

  3. Ceeayche | | #5

    Seems like there is the kernal of a good article here!  Dear Editors:  please reasearch and report on the best ways to store fabric, cull that unwieldy stash, and where (with list of resources) excess fabric can be donated or sold.

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