Ready for your MSM (Master of Stash Management) degree? I love seeing all the innovative ways that creative people have for storing and organizing their fabric. But the solutions are not one-size-fits-all. What works for me may not work for you – each of us brings different variables to the formula. Our needs will be different depending on the kind of sewing we do, the space we have to work with, the amount of stuff we have to fit into said space and our working style. We’ve rounded up some great fabric storage ideas – one or more might be just what you are looking for!
A good place to start is with a few questions:
- Do you make scrappy quilts? Garments? Art quilts? Baby quilts? Bags and accessories?
- Is most of your fabric cotton, silk, linen or wool? Woven or knit? Fat quarters, pre-cuts, kits or yardage?
- How do you approach your stash when starting a project? Is it all about color? Pattern? Fiber? Weave? Size of each piece?
- Do you have dedicated studio space, or do you share your space with other people and tasks?
- Do you want your materials to be visible or hidden?
- Are you most productive in an ordered environment? Or do you prefer that your surroundings “flow”? (Personally, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to alphabetize the spice cupboard. My family disagrees.)
If you enjoy lots of fiber arts like I do, you’ll have a mix to keep track of. I find that I use parts of different systems to accommodate a fabric stash that remains friendly to garment sewing, home dec, traditional quilting, art quilting, piecing and appliqué. Check out these fabric storage ideas and find what works for you!
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Here’s a clever technique that uses something I didn’t know existed: comic book storage boards! Comic book storage boards are heavier than card stock and are archival. Their extra bulk allows for vertical storage, making your shelves look like a mini fabric store filled with baby bolts. Thanks to Smashed Peas & Carrots for this idea!
I wonder how many spare bedrooms have been converted to sewing studios? Often, the closet becomes a catch-all and is not used efficiently. Enter House for Six with a great use for pants hangers! This is a great system for garment and home dec yardage!
If you have scraps to manage, folding may not be practical. But sorting scraps by color and letting them live in drawers like Mermaid Sews keeps the scraps organized and easier to use. With these plastic drawers, you can see what’s where, and you can pull the drawers all the way out if you’re working with one color more than another.
How do you store lots of fabric?
So, you’ve accumulated lots of fabric! And, can’t seem to find what you are looking for – where to start? We’ve rounded up some great ideas above. And, here are a few more to try!
- Save tubes from wrapping paper, foil, etc. and roll your fabric around these rolls. They can either stand in a basket or bin on your floor or a shelf, or stack directly on a shelf.
- Fold neatly into fat quarter size and store in wire drawers or plastic bins.
- Purchase curtain hanger clips and hang fabrics from the clip on a rod either in your closet, or add a rod to a shelving unit or purchase a garment rack that can roll around your studio. For larger garment fabrics, use skirt hangers.
- Have pets that like to get into your fabric? And you’d like to keep your fabric pet-hair free? Try folding fabric and storing in plastic bins with lids. Mark the outside of your bin so you know what’s inside.
- Use the big zipper bags that new bedding comes in. What’s great about these bags is that they are clear and you can see exactly what is inside. These stack nicely on shelves or in a closet.
- Vacuum space bags work great to save space and keep any bugs, pet hair or dirt off of your fabrics!
- Keep your tiny scraps in pretty baskets so that you remember you have them, and use them! You’ll always have more scraps.
- For large rolls of fabric, buy a large tall basket and stand them in a corner of your studio.
- Have a small space? Try the under-the-bed storage boxes and make good use of that space!
What’s your favorite storage tip for fabric? Leave in the comments below – we’d love to know!
Check out all of our great organization ideas on Create Whimsy!