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Thread: Fabric storage...plastic bins or folded on the shelf?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    Fabric storage...plastic bins or folded on the shelf?

    I have been reading about some of you folding your fabric and placing on a shelf so that you can see what you have. I would be concerned about the fold fading from the light. Am I wrong? Do you have the fabric behind a sheet or doors? On the other hand..are the plastic "fumes" in my rubbermaids going to damage my fabric.
    I only ask because I have enough fabric to last 58 years.

    Carole

  2. #2
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    Right now plastic storage boxes are my only choice as I have a built in cupboard. Shelves are too deep. I've seen some amazing shelf storage some board members are blessed with though!
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

  3. #3
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    Your stash sounds like some place I'd like to come & play. HeeHee. I keep all my good cotton quilting fabric in cabinets behind closed doors. I don't want it to fade either. The fleece, flannel, velvet, etc. I keep in plastic bins. I'm not sure about long term storage in them. I will be curious to see what others will have to say.
    Vonda-Texas MiMi of 4 Beautiful Grandbabies

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Hard plastic bins do not outgas, so are safe for fabric storage. You just want to be sure they are not so airtight that moisture becomes trapped inside; a little air circulation is good. Some of my fabric has been in bins for years with no damage, so I don't think moisture is a problem in my area. Quilters who live in highly humid areas may want to drill holes in their plastic bins so there is a little more air circulation in them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member omgtimmcgraw's Avatar
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    I use both

  6. #6
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I have my fabrics on bookcases. The room only has 1 window and the cases are on the same wall as the window. I don't open the blind in that room very often as I would be looking at the neighbors house up close. If I do open it it is only open while I am in there.
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  7. #7
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    All my quilting fabric, with the exception of my flannels, which I don't use very often, are 4" ruler folded, and put into drawers by background color, I lay the folded fabrics on their side, so I can see exactly what I've got in the drawers. You only have enough fabric to last you 58 years? I probably have enough for 100 years. LOL

  8. #8
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I keep most of mine in plastic tubs. I have big south and east facing windows in my sewing room.
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    Quilters who live in highly humid areas may want to drill holes in their plastic bins so there is a little more air circulation in them.
    I toss a dessicant packet into my fabric bins, the kind that come with electronics, shoes, and lots of stuff. Some people use the small ones that come with some medications, too.

    I have no available wall space and no closet in my studio, plus I live on a dirt road. Bins are the only option for me so it's a good thing I like them better than shelves. I use relatively small ones, the clear 27 quart size.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  10. #10
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    58 years ?? Ummm...You got it down to a science. I have mine stored in plastic storage containers and kept them in a closet. I added 3 extra shelves under the clothes rod shelf. I can store 16 large containers and 4 that are shorter in height. They are clear so I can see inside.

  11. #11
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    I keeep mine in plastic storage totes. I too have enough for about 58 years too. My dream is to have my own sewing studio. How wonderful that would be! But, since I haven't won the lottery, I make do with storage totes all over the house.

  12. #12
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    Plastic it is! No "sewing room" available, so have to store in plastic.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    I have bins, too. I would be concerned about dust if my fabrics were left on open shelves, especially since this is a long term "collection."
    :-)
    Laura

  14. #14
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    I have one cabinet that has solid wood doors on the bottom that I store fabric I will be using shortly, on the top is glass doors and I put projects I'm working on now. The rest (most) of my fabric (you know those you just had to buy but no pattern/quilt yet plans for them and let me tell there is a lot of fabric) are stored in clear plastic extra large tubes with a dryer sheet or two placed in them in another room, where no outside light reachs them. Have had fabric stored in them for 10 plus years and last month I decided to do an Easter wall hanging, instead of going out to buy fabric for the project I pulled it out of the plastic tubes. The fabric was the same as if I had just ran out and picked out new fabric.

    Plus I have a cat and a couple of dogs so the fabric stays fresh!

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I keep my larger pieces folded in a cabinet but I keep the curtains drawn in my sewing room 100% so nothing should fade.
    My scraps live happily in plastic totes. Go for whatever works best for you.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  16. #16
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I am in the process of storing my fabric in bookcases. I have them in plastic bins right now but I still find that I can't see what I have plus the bins are heavy for me now and naturally the color that I need is always in the bottom bin. My plan is to hang a flannel backed tablecloth across the front of the bookcases, flannel side out and use that as a design board because my sewing room is small and don't have space for a separate design board.
    Bernie

  17. #17
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    If you can't see it properly you need to go shopping.
    Keep mine behind glass in my mother's and my gran's china cabinets.
    They had their best china and orniments in them I have my fabric.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  18. #18
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I have the majority of mine folded on shelves on the opposite side of the room from the windows. The only time I had a problem with fading was several years ago when I had left some vintage navy blue background calico directly in front of a west window for a year or so.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bigredharley's Avatar
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    I've been buying those large ziploc bags and using them for storage. and when I cut the pieces for the quilts they stay all together till I'm ready to sew.
    ​Nancy

  20. #20
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have mine ruler folded and stored on deep shelving in a closet. only the ends of the fold are visible, and sorted by color. so i can pretty much see what i have.
    Nancy in western NY
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  21. #21
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I am like QuiltnNan but I have folded mine on acid free comic boards. I really like the outcome but it is time consuming. Especially when you have the volume of fabric I do but I love the results.

  22. #22
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I use both. 1yd pieces and larger are on a 15" deep set of shelves and FQs and half yd pieces are arranged by color plastic storage tubs stuffed under my cutting table. Although my room has 2 windows the room is an "L" with the windows at the bend. The shelves are out of the light.
    Betty

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  23. #23
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    Mine are on open bookshelves that line one long wall - except for the 2 end ones, which has sets of glass doors. I don't have to worry about fading, because of where the window is, plus its pretty shaded from a large maple tree. I also keep a sizeable stash in small and large plastic bins underneath my cutting counter, behind a curtain. As long as you're aware of what direction your light is coming from, and stop direct light on your fabrics, either way works.

  24. #24
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    Oh my, I must be the only one that uses totes but not folded....just thrown in. Have you ever heard of a chicken scratching? That's what mine look like inside the tubs. I have tubs for lights, darks, solids, and scraps. When I need something, I scratch through to see what I can find. Works for me!!

  25. #25
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    I have mine all folded on shelves. I only have one room with direct sunlight and I keep a curtain over it so it's filtered. The only problem that I just discovered is that the bottom shelf is very dusty, not from the dust but from where my dogs come in to see me or let them out. The rest of the shelves are fine. I thinking about using a clear thru shower curtain or just yardage of fabric to cover it (after washing). I like being able to see what I have so that's why I had to get it out of the bins. I was amazed at what I have. The very minimum is that I'll put plastic over the bottom shelf.
    Judy

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