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Thread: How Long Do You Keep Your Fabric?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Janesville, WI
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    I was just curious about what is a safe amount of time to keep your fabric. I seem to always be buying new fabric, and never using up what I have.

    I remember working in a factory sewing with my mom. We were able to take some of the fabric home at one point, and a year or so later she told me it was rotten.

    Now I know that I store my fabric differently than it was at the factory, but about how long is safe to keep it before it starts getting weak and rotten?

  2. #2
    barberette's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Warren, Michigan
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    17
    Hi Melissa, I think that it all depends on the quality of the fabric. I myself never buy fabric from those bargin bins that the stores carry..Many years ago when I was 14 yrs old I made an apron for my grandmother in school. My mother bought the fabric for me and it was gingham check.. It was good quality fabric. I might add that I am now 65 years old and still have that apron. I remember my grandma wore it for years and years and the fabris looks just like it did back in 1956. :D

  3. #3
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
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    I have some vintage fabrics I suspect are 40+ years old. Old feed sacks, etc. They seem to be quite durable. I have had some pieces that rip easily, but I suspect sun or some other type of damage. You should be able to spot weaknesses or rot in most fabrics. Test first and if they're bad, go fabric shopping! :D :D :D

    P.S. Your baby is the cutest!

  4. #4
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Bay area CA
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    Well, some fabrics I keep 9 yards long, some others just a fat quarter long. It depends on what I have planned for it.


    Seriously, people go around looking for depression era feed sack material for their quilts. That is like 80 years old.

    Myself, I don't see the attraction, but that's just me. If it ain't made by Robert Kaufman or Michael Miller, it usually doesn't interest me too much.

    Take a piece of questioned material. Try ripping on the diagonal. If you can do that, don't use it for something you want to keep.


    tim in san jose


  5. #5
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Until I use it or give it away!!

  6. #6
    Tiffany's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    I have fabrics that were passed down from my mother-in-law's mother, who dabbled in quilting but didn't have any formal training or another person to sharpen her skills off of. These fabrics are still quite sturdy and I would consider using them in a quilt today. Actually, I'm planning to put them together to make heirloom quilts for each of my daughters. I think as long as the fabric is in good condition it should still be usable. I know when I make most of my quilts I make them with the intention of them lasting 100 years or more, with decent care of course.

    Cotton fabric, because it is a natural fiber, needs to breathe. Never store your fabric in plastic (bags or tubs) with no air flow. It begins to break down the fabrics, which is counter productive to owning a fabric stash. ;) Also, if you live in an area where silver fish or other bugs may be a problem, never store your fabric with any sizing or starch in it. Bugs love to eat it and it's never a good moment when you begin to go through your fabric stash and discover holes eaten throughout. :shock: Let's see, what other tips do I know about storing fabric. You're supposed to occasionally go in and refold the fabric but I confess I rarely do this. If it gets refolded it is because I've used some of it, it's fallen from the pile and needs to be refolded, or it is something I've pulled out to consider for a quilt and need to refold it to put it away again. The thought of going through my stash and refolding everything is a bit daunting. I'd rather just make more quilts and use up the fabric I've got. Can anyone say shopping trip! :lol:
    ~Tiffany

  7. #7
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    What I don't use before I die is going with me!

  8. #8
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Country quilter, you sound just like me! I have a large stash and some pieces really pain me to cut into them. As a result, I have had them forever.

  9. #9

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    Jan 2007
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    Vicki, I know what you mean. I have fabrics that are just for "stroking". They will probably never be in a quilt. I just hate the thought of cutting them. Luckily, I don't have many of these treasures, or my stash would be more out of hand than it is now. :lol: :lol: :lol: Pam :lol: :lol: :lol: Wait a minute, did someone say shopping trip? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Janesville, WI
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    Thanks, everyone, for all your help!

    I've been storing my fabric in plastic totes for about 5 years or so (being in college it was just easier to move that way) I'll have to go through and see what is still good. I guess I'll just have to go and buy some more :!:

    Sounds like there's quite an interest for a shopping spree...anyone here own a bus? :D

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