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Storing fabric

thealps | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

This year when I cleaned and reorganized my sewing room I intended to discard all of my quilting scraps, but realized that not only were some of the scraps my favorite fabric, they also held precious memories, yet they were quite small.  So I organized them by value and/or color and put them in plastic bags (with the actual zipper), squeezed out the extra air in the bag when I zipped it shut, then put all those little bags into a plastic bin to store in the basement, thus making more space in the sewing room for my new love…apparel fabric.


  1. User avater
    brighteyestish | | #1

    Very nice, I too do that with scrap, and I am a quilter.

    FYI- for future or anyone reading this..........Quilters would love to have large scraps if anyone was throwing them out. There are charity quilts they can make and teaching kids. With my grandchildren I save all scraps even small ones. I take a piece of fusiable interfacing and have them cover with scraps, I press, them we sit at the machine and do free motion quilting together. I hold their hands and we grab the fabric, they on my lap and I control the feed.


    1. thealps | | #2

      I like that fusing option with the scraps.  Have you been to the Chicago School of Fusing?  :-)  Thanks for that tip, though.  It's a great way to use up those little beauties of fabric.  I plan to use your idea one day.  My grandchildren are too old to sit on my lap to sew, but when young they also learned to quilt at my knee.   It's one of my favorite memories!

      1. User avater
        brighteyestish | | #3

        No I havent been to that school. Thanks I like that method too. For kids and for beginners.

  2. Cityoflostsouls | | #4

    I don't know where I saw it but the advice was not to store fabrics in plastic because it would deteriorate.  I had just stored some dressed family dolls in plastic and removed them "just in case".  Does anyone else know about this?  We all use plastic.


    1. SewistKitty | | #5

      I stored some all cotton high-quality quilting fabrics in Rubbermaid containers in a dark and dry bedroom with heat in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer. They were in there about two years. Many of the fabrics were discolored in areas and no longer useable. It was very disappointing. Now I store my fabrics on padded hangers in my closets or in my chest of drawers.

      1. sewhappy1221 | | #6

        I store fabric 5 ways - depending on type, space, and how soon I anticipate using it. Nearly all fabrics, except fusible interfacing, leather & upholstery are prewashed, rinsed twice, dried in the drier, and if needed ironed before storage. All fabrics are reviewed once every year to 18 months (just did it last Friday!)
        Cottons & rayons - light colors are stored folded in acid-free storage boxes atop metal storage cabinets in the laundry room. White has its own box to avoid any possibility of color transfer. Dark colors are stored loosely folded in plastic totes with hinged tops, and ventilation around the bottom. (I make holes if there aren't any.) These are in the same closet with the tubes described below.
        Upholstery fabrics & silks (larger pieces) are rolled on tubes, stored upright in a ventilated closet (louvered doors and a space below to encourage air movement.) Small pieces of silk are loosely folded in
        a hinged top tote along with linen pieces.
        Knits, polar fleece, woolens (this tote has no holes, and is never place on the bottom of the stack. I have had no moths, silverfish or other critters in the 10 years they have been stored this way)and a category I call "other" have their own totes (some have multiple totes.)
        Interfacing, pocket fabric, linings are stored folded or rolled on tubes in the large drawers under one end of my machine table.
        Current projects and "next up" items are stored in folding fabric totes (the kind meant to fit in metal storage cubes.) This keeps them off the cutting & sewing tables, and I can toss patterns, notions and threads into the tote as I buy or locate them.
        Scraps are sorted loosely be type (silk, fleece, cotton, etc) into small stacking boxes under the cutting table (originally held office paper or clementines.) These are open on top or one flap is pulled loose to facilitate stuffing fabric in as I clean up between projects. As the boxes get full, I reevaluate & toss into "keep" or "donate" boxes. Polar fleece scraps are used as critter bedding by my adult DD's or cut up like confetti & used to stuff pillows - very washable.
        Finally, selvages are saved and tossed in a small basket - these are used to stabilize seams, tie around fabric rolls or bundles, etc.
        Sue in MN

    2. User avater
      VintageFabric | | #7

      Great topic!  I think that plastic containers and plastic bags can cause damage to fabrics because of the chemicals that are given off from the plastic over time.  I'd also be careful of the oil in cedar if you store in cedar chests, it can cause discoloration.  My favorite storage method is acid free tissue and boxes, found at archival supply stores and some quilting shops.  Nan

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