A few months ago, I started on the daunting task of purging my fabric stash. I had the dream of creating a fabric library for myself that would be neat in display and showcase my fabrics in a way that would inspire me to create.
So, I purchased an extra-large shelving unit from IKEA, and swore to myself that anything that wouldn't fit into the unit would be passed on to someone else. I actually did it (with the exception of my faux furs that still live in a closet.)
I gained an entire closet in the process, and feel less likely to end up on the TV show Hoarders. However, the unit still looks a little messy. Thus began the also daunting task of making mini bolts for myself.
For bolts, I settled on magazine archival cardboards that I found on a comic book website. They were the perfect size for the cubbies in my unit and are acid free so they won't damage my materials. I assembled the IKEA unit with the help of a friend and loaded it up with my pieces. The folding is taking quite a long time, but it will be worth it in the end.
It turned out that once the fabric was folded around the mini bolt, it took up considerably less room than it did in a wad or folded pile. They're also stackable and won't cause an avalanche when I want something from the bottom.
Here's how I folded my bolts:
First, I folded the fabric in half right sides together with the selvages aligned. Then I took out a magazine archival cardboard. For thicker fabrics, I used more than one cardboard (up to 3 for upholstery and velvet).
Next, I centered the cardboard a few inches from the fabric's raw edge and smoothed the fabric out as best I could.
Then I folded the fabric around the cardboard along each long fabric edge and smoothed out the fabric again.
Next, I simply rolled the cardboard and fabric together along the fabric's length to create the mini bolt, smoothing as I went along.
When i got to the end, I simply tucked under the fabric's raw edge and held the fold in place with a few pins. If you try this, make sure to use nice, sharp pins to prevent snagging or damaging your fabric.
The cubbies look much neater with the mini bolts, and it makes me feel much more accomplished when I look at it for some reason, too. So far I have only finished 4 cubbies worth (21 to go!), but I'm hopeful that I will finish the rest soon.
How do you store your fabric? Have you discovered any tricks to help you keep your stash organized and accessible?