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How to pack fabric for a move

How to pack fabric for a move

Old 10-02-2021, 05:27 PM
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Red face How to pack fabric for a move

Hi all, I have been mulling this over for a bit and can't quite decide what to do. I could use some expertise from you fellow quilters!

I am in the process of moving and have started packing up the house. I have a very large stash of fabric that will need to be boxed up. One of the issues is that I have no idea how long the fabric will be in the cardboard boxes. Between selling this house and buying another one, it could end up being a few months to heavens help me till spring since winter is closing in. I really need to get it packed because there is so much to do. It is going to take some time, so I can't wait until the last minute to pack. Plus when unpacking at the new place, my craft room will probably be the last to get unpacked, so it could be 6 to 8 months before it is all done.

So, long story short, how should I pack up my fabric. I really don't want it to get discolored in the boxes (next to the cardboard) Should I wrap each yardage in newsprint (plain) or is it good to go into a unscented white trash bag before going into the box? I am keeping out my current quilt project so that I can work on it once my 'packing' is pretty much done, but the rest needs to be packed up.

What do you all suggest is a good way to pack it up so it won't get damaged?

Last edited by berrynice; 10-02-2021 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 10-02-2021, 06:14 PM
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Mine are stored in both plastic and cardboard boxes, but I really prefer the cardboard because it breathes and the plastic doesn't. Some have been stored for a few years without problems, though my mothers old fabrics (not quilters fabrics) developed an unpleasant odour from being boxed for 30 yrs +.
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Old 10-02-2021, 06:16 PM
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I would use plastic bins if possible but not huge ones. White bag in cardboard might work OK but you should label all white bags with "Fabric - Keep". I have heard stories of white bags getting tossed as 'trash' very easily because you can't really tell what is in it.
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Old 10-02-2021, 07:45 PM
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The last time we moved, I used some of my fabric to wrap my china and glassware. Nothing broke and I didn't have to find packing for the good china. I also used it between other breakable items. Worked like a charm.
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Old 10-02-2021, 08:55 PM
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If possible smaller boxes would be my choice. Right now I have a plastic tote with fabric in my sewing room and when I have to move it, it is heavy.
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Old 10-02-2021, 09:12 PM
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I too am in the process of moving and I’ve always packed my fabric by color in cardboard boxes with no problems. I always packed in smaller boxes so they weren’t that heavy. This time is different because it won’t be moving from point A to point B. The time between will be extended. Good luck with your move!
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:19 AM
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I have been using cardboard for my stash for some 20-40 years. I've never had fabric discolor from the cardboard. The big think to watch for is moisture wicking up through the cardboard -- cardboard boxes should never be stored directly on a concrete floor (like basement or garage). Trace amounts of moisture are the typical cause for the musty smell and also attract bugs.

If you are concerned, the easiest solution (which I did) is to buy some archival tissue paper and line the boxes. If it is going to be a regular storage solution, you can even buy archival boxes.

As for size, I like the sturdy banker boxes I get from Costco or office supply stores designed for document storage. It is worth a few extra bucks for the heavy duty, the light ones do not hold up well. They are a great size for fabric, even full can be handled by the average female, they stack nicely up to 4-5 high. Personally, I like having separate lids that interchange instead of flaps. I write the contents on the outside of the box.

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Old 10-03-2021, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
The last time we moved, I used some of my fabric to wrap my china and glassware. Nothing broke and I didn't have to find packing for the good china. I also used it between other breakable items. Worked like a charm.
Good idea!
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Old 10-03-2021, 03:45 AM
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Be sure to label the moving boxes. You can use a number system if you don't want the contents to be seen by others. Keep a list in a master notebook. You can color code the labels or use colored tapes to designate the rooms.

Good luck with the move!
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Old 10-03-2021, 04:02 AM
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I lived in Florida at the time so it was hot, humid and occasionally hurricanes. Didn't know how long my fabrics would have to be packedup either so I went with the large plastic totes. Ended up with 50+ totes filled mostly with fabrics. They ended up staying packed up for 4+ years before the house sold due to a drop in the housing market back in 2007, moving to Iowa, finding a house, having it remodeled and then finally moving in. They survived beautifully. I don't try to keep fabrics in plastic of any sort for very long but it worked. Now I keep my scraps in small shoebox size plastic boxes but most of the lids are not totally closed due to having to cram the scraps in.
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