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Thread: OH NO!!!!!!!!! I use plastic for alot of things and

  1. #1
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    I just read on the Clotilde hints column that you should not store fabric in plastic as it might create brown spots on the fabric. It didn't explain further so I don't know if it means all plastic such as in containers, zip lock bags etc. Have any of you had problems of brown spots or anything else by storing in plastic?

  2. #2
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    I have had all fabric for complete quilts (not cut yet) stored in Zip Lock bags for a few years, and when I took them out, there were no problems-that's all the experience I'v had with storing long term in plastic.

  3. #3
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanuatu Jill
    I have had all fabric for complete quilts (not cut yet) stored in Zip Lock bags for a few years, and when I took them out, there were no problems-that's all the experience I'v had with storing long term in plastic.
    Ditto! Anyway, I think I'll take my chances with brown spots when the odds I'll get a mouse, a moth or other downer are much higher

  4. #4
    Super Member MinnieKat's Avatar
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    I store a lot of quilt kits etc in plastic and I've never had a problem either.

  5. #5
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    I use plastic containers for all my quilting projects with no problems. some have been in the plastic a loooong time.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It's only certain plastics that are a problem. Plastic bags are generally not a good idea; they outgas chemicals that can eventually damage fabric. It may be only some types of flexible plastic; I'm not sure which.

    My understanding is that solid plastic containers are fine. The only problem with them is the possibility of sealing in moisture along with the fabric (which could eventually produce mold). A few holes in the lid or body means there will be some air circulation and a means for moisture to escape. I do wonder, though, if they would give mice a means of getting in and out of the box.... :shock:

  7. #7
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    Try 15-18 years and they are like new.

  8. #8
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    well so far lots of my stash is in plastic tubs. not enough room in cabinets!!

  9. #9

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    oh dear I am in trouble then. I packed most of my stash in bags from Home Depot and the grocery store and it's sitting in the semi waiting for my house to sell and I am in New Mexico recovering from getting two new knees. I better hurry back to CA and un-bag it all. Yikes! And I thought I was being SOOOOOOOO smart!

  10. #10
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I store fabric in plastic tubs with no trouble. As for the fear of trapping moisture inside the tub, I would place a packet of silica gel crystals inside the tub before I would put holes in the tub. I remember seeing pictures from the aftermath of Katrina with Rubbermaid tubs floating inside the homes. The stuff in the tubs was dry as a bone and salvageable.

  11. #11
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    Plastic bags give off a gas that will ruin your fabric.

  12. #12
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I've always used big plastic bins for storing fabric and never had a problem. But I'm always digging through them looking for stuff so they are getting to breath for a while until I put them back.

  13. #13
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    This is one could be problem that I am NOT going to worry about! And yes, I have stored in plastic bins for years w/o problems.

  14. #14
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    This is one could be problem that I am NOT going to worry about! And yes, I have stored in plastic bins for years w/o problems.
    This is exactly how I feel. And yes, I've stored in plastic with no problems whatsoever.

  15. #15
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    Sherriequilts, I think the problem is only for very long periods of time, as in years. So you should be okay.

  16. #16
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulieR
    Quote Originally Posted by Vanuatu Jill
    I have had all fabric for complete quilts (not cut yet) stored in Zip Lock bags for a few years, and when I took them out, there were no problems-that's all the experience I'v had with storing long term in plastic.
    Ditto! Anyway, I think I'll take my chances with brown spots when the odds I'll get a mouse, a moth or other downer are much higher
    There you go!!! Please no mice in my stuff!! YUCK!!! I've stored my material for at least 16 years in the huge plastic totes and have not had a problem. I do use the clear plastic ones though.

  17. #17
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I agree with others....I store mine in plastic and have had no problems. I suspect someone stored their fabric while damp -- and the brown spots were mold.

  18. #18

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    The solid plastics can also offgas, or release VOC's, which are chemicals that can alter the coloration of some fabrics, depending on the dyes used. Is it a common problem? Probably not. I, however, have had it happen with some hand-dyed fabrics. If it's a fabric you really care for, I suggest not using plastic.

  19. #19
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    I've had fabric in Sterilite, Rubbermaid, and similar containers for 20 years, including outdoor storage units for years at a time while I traveled. I bought a house in 2009, and have been gradually unpacking, but I've been in the oldest boxes and they are FINE!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom2boyz
    I just read on the Clotilde hints column that you should not store fabric in plastic as it might create brown spots on the fabric. It didn't explain further so I don't know if it means all plastic such as in containers, zip lock bags etc. Have any of you had problems of brown spots or anything else by storing in plastic?
    I have heard this a few times--mostly from a sister who repeats what she hears! :lol: But i have never seen any thing happen to things stored in plastic.

  21. #21
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Gerald Roy, a renowned quilt appraiser and expert on vintage quilts, assured me that storing my antique quilts in plastic storage bins would not damage them, so I'm not the least bit worried about storing my stash the same way. I do toss a dessicant (the things that come in boxes with electronics to protect them from humidity) into each bin to protect against moisture without having to put holes in the bins.

  22. #22
    bev195000's Avatar
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    I store my fabric in plastic storage containers with click lock lid and i also store coloured fabrics in a plastic five drawer wheelie storage unit and never had a problem with fabric so far but i always take tip and hints of this forum strongly so hoping i don't get brown spots on mine ,,,

  23. #23
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    If my main thought was to preserve my fabric and work into the next two or three hundred years I might worry about plastic, but I figure that by then people will not be interested in it. Kind of like making a scrapbook from paper and glue that will preserve my pictures for the next hundred years. I truly hope that by then my pictures have been relegated to some recycle bin. I don't want to bury the future in my stuff.

  24. #24
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My fabrics have been in plastic bins for years - some decades, and I have not had one bit of problem. The bins are in cabinets.

  25. #25
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    I have 4 large plastic totes under my cutting table. Full of fabric. I know it has been there at least 3 to 5 years. No spots, smells, anything. I will continue to store stuff in plastic. Rather have it in plastic than dusty and faded.

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