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)

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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 painters 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 afterwards – 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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85 Responses to Neat way to fold and organise fabric

  1. Bonnie Lanham says:

    You could fold the material over and tuck under like the fabric stores do !!!!

  2. Angela says:

    Does anyone enjoy the sorting and organising process so much that it sort of replaces the actual sewing? I do love sorting out mine, although I get overwhelmed as I have so little space so I do a regular purge. I enjoy sorting out the buttons and beads and needles etc. I find it very therapeutic.

  3. Renee says:

    It cost a little, but I made loops of inexpensive elastic to slip over the bolts, they hold perfectly.

  4. Helen Zenz says:

    Nice idea, I use filing cabinets with hanging file folders, I drape the fabric over the hanging folders, and close the cabinet drawer. Dust free and easy to see a glance.The two draw cabinets slide under my sewing table.

  5. Cheryle says:

    Does this method take up less space than storing in plastic totes? My stash has grown out of control so I’m looking for a way to shrink without parting with my friends. Lol

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      This method is better for stacking which saves space in your sewing room.

    • Helen Zenz says:

      I have a small sewing room so the cabinets works much better for me than the tubs, and I don’t have to rearrange tubs to find what I’m looking for. Just open the drawer and select the fabric. I used the 2 drawer, because it fit under my table, but if you have the room the 4 drawer would be great . The drawers are 20inches deep and you can use both sides of the hanging folder. I can hang about 60+ pieces of fabric in one drawer. Most of my fabric is 1-2 yards.

    • Bonnie Lanham says:

      My stash was getting out of control also so—-I donated some to Linus blankets or someone who makes pillowcases for Ronald McDonald houses(in our area it is the HCE)I went thru and (gasp)got rid of some !!!! It hurt for a sec. but was for a good cause so—-.

  6. Linda Christopher says:

    I use these & they really make your fabric easier to store on a shelf or in a bin .

  7. MaryAnn says:

    Anxiously awaiting the boards from Amazon! I am a beginner quilter and haven’t accumulated anything like the pics posted but looking forward to shop!!

  8. Carol says:

    We are full-time travelers and I converted the back of our toy hauler into my quilting room, so I needed a way to store my fabric. I bought clear plastic file containers with locking lids. (Keeps moisture out) I wrapped my fabric around the comic book boards and file them according to color, prints, etc. Works beautifully!

    • Janice says:

      What a great use of the “toy” room! Next time I become a full time RVer I will look at these RVs with a new perspective.

  9. Kaylene Clark says:

    I used the boards but I measured my fabric first. After wrapping my boards I then pinned the measurement to my fabric. Now I know exactly how much I have if that fabric and is it enough for the project I’m working on.

    • Nancy Rubin says:

      Oh my goodness gracious and honey bee! Brilliant idea since you have to open up the fabric to put it on the boards anyway!

  10. Suzanne Reynolds says:

    Alligator clips will hold your fabric in place without concern for the condition of your fabric. They are plastic so they can’t rest on your fabric and they are not pins to make holes.

    Here's my pic:

  11. Bonnie Spielman says:

    I use coated bobby pins and hair clips to fasten the ends on mine. You can get cards of them at the Dollar Tree to make them less expensive. It took me a while to get all of mine wrapped and I didn’t know you could get these magazine boards and I had to cut cardboard. I will be getting some in the future. It makes it so much easier to find the fabric you need in your stash.

    Here's my pic:

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Wow. That’s super impressive. Thanks for sharing the pic. I’m going to have to have another go at organizing my space now. You’ve inspired me!

    • Claudia W says:

      Great picture of your stash! I will be moving my sewing room sometime in the near future, and the room I am moving it to has wall-ceilings like yours. You have solved a mystery for me on the placement of bookshelves for my fabric! Thank you!!!

  12. Sherree says:

    I have started using the boards and have used 600 and just got in 200 more. I am a quilter and found that when they were in a plastic bin, I would forget what I had and buy some duplicates. I have a room off my quilt room like a big walk in and I have bookcases lining the walls and ihqve them done my color. I was so excited to start this but it is taking so much time. I guess people call me OCD for a reason. I did not realize that I had so much and that is not even the fat quarters, jelly rolls and charm packs.

    Here's my pic:

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I am impressed with your store, at least that is what looks for me. It pays to be OCD, at least you can coordinate your quilts so much easier and enjoy the space much more. Anyone would be happy to be surrounded by such colors, I know I would be.

  13. Carla Garlotta says:

    I have been storing my fabric on magazine boards too, and i use plastic-coated paperclips to keep the end secured.

  14. Lynne LePore says:

    I saw this post when we were in the process of moving and I was planning my new sewing space. This was perfect and I have since folded all my fabric! First, it is just perfect and I feel like I have my own little mini store. Second, this has made me realize I have a fabric addiction! Omg! Thanks for the tip!

    Here's my pic:

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