I cringe when a client delivers their drapery fabric to my studio all balled up in a plastic bag. Undoubtedly, I will spend a lot of extra time steaming creases out, restoring flattened nap or even squaring the fabric up again. There’s usually an up charge for the extra time spent and some fabricators won’t even accept this kind of COM (customer’s own material) because they don’t want to be responsible for guaranteeing the finished project.
Here’s some storage tips to keep your 54″ – 60″ decorator fabrics in new condition until you’re ready to work with them. Please note that quilting cottons and garment material may be stored differently.
1. Most suppliers ship it on a cardboard roll. Keep it on the roll!!! If you are using 45″ fabric that is folded on a cardboard bolt, take it off and roll it on a tube. There’s often concern that the cardboard bolts are not acid free. Also the folded fabric edge takes more wear and tear and sun fading which will appear as a flaw right down the center of your project.
2. Lay fabric rolls horizontally rather than vertically. Fabric tends to slouch down on the roll, gets dusty and wrinkles develop on the bottom 8 inches on the roll that can be difficult to remove.
3. I live in a fairly humid climate so I don’t like to keep fabric encased in plastic. It’s good to have air circulating but not blowing in your storage area.
4. Keep fabric covered to prevent sun fading and dust accumulation.
5. Immediately after purchasing it, create a cardboard tag noting price per yard, yardage, fiber content, any cleaning care, when and where it was purchased, and any identifying numbers in case more has to be ordered. Stuff that cardboard tag into the end of the tube and don’t lose it! Often I cut a two inch strip off the bottom for samples, staple it to the cardboard and stuff it all into the tube also.
6. If you think you should have it in plastic, ask nicely at Home Depot for 7′ of their tube plastic that they use to bag moldings.
7. If you have to fold your fabric, as I often do with my throw panels, I fold them over a cardboard roll. I lay them on one side of a heavy plastic, fold the plastic over so it protects the fabric and then push / pull it under the bed.
This is all assuming that your fabric is “legitimate fabric”, material that is destined for a specific project within a reasonable period of time. If it is “illegitimate fabric”, the kind that called your name from the FabricLand parking lot and your Dear Husband doesn’t know about it you really need to read this… 10 Creative Ways to Hide Your Fabric Stash.
Can you add to this list of storage solutions?