Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Craft Tip: Storing Cotton Fabric


Whether you are a quilter, seamstress or occasional crafter your fabric needs tender loving care to prevent fiber damage.  Fabric can fade if exposed to fluorescent lights and ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.  Folded fabric can begin to weaken along the creases or develop permanent creases that will not iron out.  Acid is damaging to plant-derived fabrics such as cotton and linen.

If you ask 10 quilters, seamstresses or crafters how to store fabric, you will probably get 10 different answers.  Some of them might be:

In a dresser drawer
In pizza boxes
In Pendaflex files
On a bookshelf
In shoe boxes
In cardboard boxes

While these all sound like great ideas, personally, I wouldn't use any of those methods, mostly due to acid release.  The best way to store large piece of fabric is wrapped in muslin or in a white, cotton pillowcase.  Of course those methods are not see-through.  To solve that problem I either cut a swatch and stitch it to the outside or scan the fabric and pin the scan to the outside of the bag.  Acid free boxes are a great way to store small pieces of fabric, but you will want to make sure the boxes are actually acid free and not just lined with acid free paper.  You can also roll fabric in acid free tissue paper which prevents creasing while protecting the fabric.

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