Fabric Stash Swatches

How do you organise your fabric?

This weekend has been a bit of a mammoth organisational weekend for me. I find when I have a lot of clutter at home that I just lose any urge to be creative until I have sorted it out. There must be a bit of truth to the old Feng Shui…

One little project that is ongoing for me is organising my fabric. I’m trying to do a little bit every so often rather than doing it all at once.  When you start sewing it’s so easy to accumulate fabric and forget what you’ve actually got. I’m pretty limited with space, yet I’ve managed to accumulate an enormous hoard of fabric which I try and squirrel away in various places. I love seeing how other people store their fabric – I often see quilters have fantastic storage ideas that are all colour coordinated or beautifully displayed.

I’ve opted to store most of my fabric in vacuum storage bags – mainly because moths are endemic in London and also it’s supposed to save space (That last bit though is a bit of a con, because I’ve been storing the fabric in these bags for the last couple of months and when I pull them out, they seem to have puffed up again!). Also I like to protect my fabric from fading from the sunlight.

Weirdly, I find it quite cathartic to suck all the air out of the bags with the hoover! My top tip if you are going to do this at home is if you put the bag into whatever container you are going to store it in, then it will take that shape.

Well, once i’d cracked the fabric storage problem, I then needed to think of a way to catalogue my fabric. You see, it’s a bit of a pain to keep pulling that fabric out of each and every bag just to see what i’ve got. Over the years I’ve tried spreadsheets and the fabric stash app on iTunes but I lost interest in both of them for various reasons. I took rubbish pictures of fabric with my phone and ended up with lots of similar looking fabric and didn’t know what was what…

I’ve now switched to cataloguing my fabric to a much less time-consuming method (I think). This isn’t an original method as I have seen a few people doing the same (although I can’t remember who off the top of my head!). It’s also really handy to have just next to you when you are thinking about your next project and want to feel the weight of a fabric.

I got the idea from an eBook which was published by Esther who has a blog called The Design Loft. It’s not really a book as such but a collection of useful templates that can help you organise yourself. Definitely very useful if you are making a lot of your own patterns and want a way of cataloguing your blocks and subsequent variations as well as organising fabric stashes!

How does everyone else organise their fabric stash or alternatively, prevent their homes being overrun by fabric?! I’d love to know!

One thought on “How do you organise your fabric?

  1. Chuleenan - C Sews says:

    I’ve got my fabric in a couple of plastic bins. But they fill up fast. I’ve been thinking of making swatches and putting them in slide sleeves and then putting those in a binder. You are right that you forget what you have. Vacuum bags are a good idea – maybe I can squish more in my bins!

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