Neat Way to Fold and Organise Fabric

Fabric envy!  How to fold and organise your fabric stash.  Makes things so much easier to find and match.  I'm doing it!

I'm lucky or unlucky depending on what way you look at it.  My local fabric store only has about a dozen bolts of quilting cotton, and many of those feature vegetables, so I'm never tempted to buy too much.  That means compared to many, I have quite a modest stash of fabric.  Still, it is easy for it to get out of hand, as I rummage about in the crate, make a mess, and the fabrics get creased and just well, messy.

An example of what I mean.  Hmm, messy.

how to fold and organise fabric

That annoys me a lot so I sought advice in our sewing chat group and found the perfect solution.  You can buy these ‘magazine boards' from Amazon.  They are basically designed for people who collect comics and things like that I think.  It's a thin but stiff cardboard board, glossy, and the ideal size for folding and storing fabric.

(Amazon US and Amazon UK link)

how to fold and organise fabric

Each board is 8.5 by 11 inches, the same as a regular piece of US size letter paper.  And what do you get if you multiply 11 inches by 4?  Well, you get 44 inches which just perfectly fits a piece of 44-inch wide quilting cotton.

How to fold and organise fabric

Open out your fabric and then fold it selvage to selvage edge to make it 22 inches wide.  Then fold in half again to make it 11 inches wide, by however long your fabric is.  Most of mine are 1 or 1.5 yards, although I did have a few that were 3 or 4 yards long.

how to fold and organise fabric

Lay out the fabric and place one of the boards across it, around 4 or 5 inches from one of the ends.  Fold that end over the board, then flip the board end over end to wrap the fabric around it until you get to the end.

how to fold and organise fabric

How to secure the end of the fabric?

I'm open to suggestions on this.  I had heard of painter's tape, but then one member mentioned that over long-term storage, the glue had come away from the tape and stuck to the fabric, and she hadn't been able to remove it without leaving a mark.  So I used a couple of pins in mine to hold that loose end, but hmm, over time I wonder if they might rust or leave marks too.

Maybe I should just make sure to use all my fabric quickly and replace it with some more  🙂

how to fold and organise fabric

What do you think?

Then store and enjoy!

It didn't take long to fold up all the fabric and actually it was very enjoyable.  Nice to see some fabrics that have been in the bottom of my crate and ‘lost' for a while.  What was most enjoyable was stacking it all back in the crate afterward – fabric joy!  Look how neat and pretty that is.  Now, finding and matching fabrics will be so much easier.

I should really get it all out again and sort it into color groups.

how to fold and organise fabric

Whenever  I want a fabric ‘fix' I can just lift the lid and gaze in with a big smile.  I really should get some more  (fabric, boards, and crates!).  Look, there's still a little room to add some more on top.

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122 Responses to Neat Way to Fold and Organise Fabric

  1. Marcello Lanfranchi says:

    I have a rolling garment rack (which is amazingly sturdy for $16!), and I use convertible tiered hangers ($18). It works perfectly for 44″ fabric. The 60″ fabric is stacked nicely on a shelf.

    I’ll be happy to post links to the rack and to the hangers, if anyone’s interested.

  2. Heather Cramer says:

    I used bobby pins to keep mine folded.

  3. Dianne Robertson says:

    That is such a great idea. Try as I might I cannot get my fabric to fold neatly and contain it so I can have the fabric to look at when I pull a pattern out that I want to make, without buying more fabric. By the time I figure ‘woven or knit’ and go through my stash boxes, I am tuckered out. Then I am tempted to file the pattern back away and not put it in the same bin I got it from because I’m so tired. I think I will look to see if my local Michael’s or Walmart or Super Target have some of these boards, I know I am ready to try something. I have not bought any more fabric mainly because of the mess I have made of storing it,,,,,that and I finding it harder to sneak it in the house past my husband.


    I use “alligator clips” to hold folded fabric. They are plastic & also available from Amazon

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