How to fold fabric to fit your storage space

OK, so this tutorial could also be named “How to be anal retentive about your fabric organization.” I got a new storage shelf for my fabric stash and immediately set to work folding and organizing my stash.

I’ve always loved the look of fabric folded all the same size and stacked neatly, filling the storage space. So I used my ruler to wrap fabric and fold it neatly all to the same size. Then I organized by type of fabric and color.

I absolutely love the finished look. It is pretty and functional. To do this for your storage space, just use a ruler or cut a piece of cardboard one half inch smaller than the width of your storage space and 24 inches long. Then you’ll be able to follow the instructions in the video above to organize your space as well.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Let me know how you organize your stash in the comments.

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Comment (16)

  1. Thanks for the tip! I just got some IKEA Billy bookcases for my stash so just beginning to fold! What do you do with fat quarters?

  2. Love your tutorial! I, too, am OCD, maybe worse than you! I use my 7-inch ruler, leave the fabric as it comes off the bolt (approximately 22-inches) then do the wrapping, lining up the ruler on the original FOLDED EDGE of the fabric. I then take the ruler and place it crosswise in the middle of the 22-inch bundle, fold the SELVEDGE end over the ruler, then fold the FOLDED edge over that and voila! You now have an extremely neat 7-inch or so squarish package with no selvedge edges showing that gives you a thicker edge to view on your shelf and that won’t unfold too easily when you pull it out of a stack! This method may work well for me as my shelves are approximately 8-inch deep. I’m sure your tutorial will get other quilers thinking how they can customize to their personal shelving systems. Thanks!

  3. Love the idea! Right now I keep mine in clear bins. I don’t like the material to collect dust. But this tip would help me to see them all at a glance in the bins. Thanks!

  4. your tutorial gave me a chuckle – I have been folding my fabric this way for a couple of years – I do like things to look neat.
    Thank you so much for all your tutorials -, usually do learn something new.

  5. I like your tutorial and I’ve been ruler folding for years, but I do it differently. I use a 4″ ruler, fold the fabric around it, then when done, I stand on the folded edge and put in the drawer with others of the same background. This way, I don’t mess up the other fabrics around it.

  6. I store my stash in a couple of dressers in my sewing room, so in order to see my selection, I have to open the drawers. In order to readily see the fabric I store them on edge. I use cardboard from cereal or similar size boxes and cut them to the size that works for the drawers. I leave the cardboard folded inside the fabric so it gives it more stability as I stack the fabric pieces on edge.

  7. I prefer rolling mine into small bolts like at the fabric store. I adjusted my shelves to just the height of the bolt. For me it is so much easier to get to the fabric I want. When stacked I found I had to move everything around all the time to get to the piece I wanted. I do the same with fat quarters except they are on even smaller bolts.

  8. I love the folding idea, but Tammy has the right idea, storing in drawers. I don’t like to stack fabric where the edges (or any of it for that matter) will be exposed to light, which will fade the exposed edges, so when you open it up to use it, you have a faded streak in the middle of your piece. Better to fold neatly and then store in drawers, closed bins, or on shelves in a closet or cupboard where you can keep doors closed.

  9. Fabric storage…….I did it your way for the first few years, but I found that the piece I wanted was ALWAYS on the bottom of the stack…so now I have it like books at the library, and I can simply pull out the piece I want (like pulling out a book)..I had to buy foam board and cut it to the size that fits on my shelves, but this works so well… I got the foam board at the Dollar Store, and found that I could get 4 pieces out of each large piece, for a nice fit on my shelves. I have two large cabinets, from Home Depot, with doors, and that is my storage solution…I have it groups by color…………the only thing I need to do is to also figure out a way to store them by the yardage….any suggestions on that?

  10. This is exactly how I’ve been folding mine for a few years now, with one exception. When I pull the ruler out of the fabric, I put that at the point where I want the fold to be and fold it over against the ruler, instead of my hand as you had shown. That way I can really get a sharp fold at the center. Oh, I guess there’s another exception as you are folding yours in half while I fold mine into thirds because I store all my fabric in plastic storage containers I buy from The Container store to keep any dust or cat hair away from them.

    I’m in the process of redoing my sewing room again and am not positive how I’ll be storing the fabric as far as the folding. They will all still be going into the same storage containers though, but I’m wanting to see if they can be folded another way using the same technique so I can fit more into each bin.

    Great video though. Thank you.

  11. I love your idea, thanks! Thanks, too, for the pulled back shot scanning your shelving top to bottom, as that was very helpful. First, I need to be able to buy a storage unit, but I could do that in sections, viewing yours. Right now, my fabrics ARE organized, but they are in totes and I don’t like the out-of-sight, out-of-mind quality of that. This will be helpful in making it neat and tidy when I get that shelf! Or maybe even organizing the one shelf I do have. =)

  12. I love the idea of this, it’s just not for me. I like keeping my fabric separated by color/category re: novelty all goes together, halloween, christmas, etc.. otherwise it’s by color. I have a smoker in my house, so I currently use bins and 3 gallon storage bags to store my fabric. I do fold it, but because I buy varying lengths I would find it difficult to have to always keep them folded in the same manner than put them back into the bin or storage bag. If they are in the 15qt bins, they are “rolled” thus it allows me a bit more space and keeps wrinkling at a minium, if they are in the storage bag, they are simply folded. I tend to keep larger cuts in the bins and the smaller ones in the bags.

  13. The problem I have with this technique (and many people use it) is that when I want the one 3 up from the bottom, I either have to remove the entire stack or hold tight to the top and bottom of the stack simultaneously while I try to work out the piece I want. I prefer to stack them on end like books in the library. So I can remove one at a time without affecting any of the others. To do this, they need to be wrapped around something PH nil. There are things out there to accommodate that. “Coroplast” cut to size or “baseball card boards”. All acid free. Never plain cardboard. Keep the sun away also so no need to refold to prevent edge fading. Happy sewing!


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