FYI: The proper way to fold fabric

Hi, I’m Susan, and I’m a fabric junkie

That’s how I start all my conversations (not really) but maybe I should because the first step to realizing you have a problem, is acknowledging it.  😉

And, well, if I’ve got it, it may as well be stored nice and tidy, right?  I’ve noticed that if it is folded nicely, it actually looks like you have LESS, and gives you all the more reason to fool the hubmeister (and yourself) into thinking you need to buy more…

When I took a quilting class last year and made these quilts, the first two hours of our class were spent folding our umpteen yards of fabric.  I was struck by how much emphasis our teacher put on folding.  I was thinking, “What the heck?, Aren’t we going to be cutting all this up, What’s the difference?”.  Well, she of course, being a wise quilt teacher, knew not only how much fabric we had, but also knew it was much easier to keep and transport this way

You start by unfolding your fabric from whatever way the cutter at the store folded it for you.  I’ve had it folded every which way from different people, but it’s easy to get it back to this point, with the selvage edge at one end and the folded edge at the other (just like it is on the bolt)

Next, take the selvage edge and bring it to the folded edge, so they are together and lined up

Next, take a quilting ruler.  I use my 5″ Omnigrid.  It is the perfect size width and length.  Set it about 3-4″ away from the end of your fabric

And fold it over

Fold it over again and pull the fabric taut against the ruler

Now, fold the entire length of your yardage, keeping it taut, until you get to the end and figure how much is left.  I only had a few inches here, so the best thing to do was…

Unfold back once and fold in the excess

And make your last fold back over.  Your fabric should be very smooth and flat
Now, pull out the ruler, and there you have your nice folded piece of fabric. 
It will give you great joy, I promise
A great start, yeah?
Now, keep it going….
Until your stack looks like this and you feel justified in buying more fabric. 
 Look at all that room in there !
Have Fun


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  1. says

    I love that! I would thank you but now I have to add re-folding all my fabric to my long to-do list because it really does look so much better (and I like the part about it looking like you have less so you can buy more)!

  2. says

    Susan, now you have to come to my house and fold all my fabric :) Love your fabric but really love how organized you are. That’s amazing. I just have one big mess. Thanks so much for linking this tutorial to Woo Hoo! Wednesday. I’m putting fabric folding on my list of chores for today.

  3. says

    I looked at your title and curiosity got the best of me. A fabric folding tutorial? But you caught me with the super neat stacks of wonderful fabric!! I have SOOO MUCH fabric, over 5 bookcases full, and this is the best way I’ve seen yet for organizing it. Thank you so much!

  4. says

    I think you would not be *okay* with my fabric piles. :-) Neither is my husband…and perhaps that is why I am frequently talked out of buying more fabric. I might just have to try this!!

  5. says

    Oh this looks so neat and pretty. I try to keep mine folded (but not perfectly sized) and then rolled in a basket. Just looking at this makes a crafter happy sigh. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday:)

  6. says

    That’s such great information. I don’t quilt but it definitely can be applied to flat sheets and many other types of fabric. Hope you’ll stop by and check out our glass vessel sink giveaway if you have time. Jane F

  7. says

    The most amazing post I’ve seen all day! A way to trick hubby into letting me buy more fabric? Who wouldn’t love that! Just kidding! I really do think it’s amazing though. I can’t wait to fold mine now. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. says

    I’m not sure it you’ll get this comment from this old post but…I think I just found my kindred spirit!!! :) I SO needed this, thank you! My sister was just here last week and helped me organize ‘most’ of my fabric by color. Wish I would’ve folded it all like this. I’ll have to do that soon;) Only problem is my old wooden locker I put all my fabric in is FULL:( So don’t think I’ll be buying anytime soon;) I’ve GOT to get sewing! Instead of finding more awesome blogs for my reader…like yours!

  9. says

    Oh how I wish I had seen this post earlier! I just finished creating my own craft space and it was such a pain organizing my fabric with the way I was folding it. Its going to be well worth the extra time to refold it the right way! Thank you!

  10. says

    Great pictures! I found a some similar instructions and made my own little video of myself folding fabric (yeah, cheesey, I know) and then proceeded to refold all my fabric. Well, it make it SUPER easy when I recently had to PACK it all to move in a hurry. And it did make it look like I didn’t have as much, hehe. Thanks for sharing. I’m a fabric a holic too! Maybe that’s why I ended up starting an online shop! Cute blog! Got here from the tutorial for Land of Nod pillows on Tip Nut.


  11. says

    I’m going to sort out all my fabric and fold it this way now. Will need to do something else with the fat quarters though, hey can have their own shelf I think. Thanks for the folding tips :)

  12. says

    Its geeky how happy this tutorial makes me! I am smiling so big I cant quit! Thank you; as soon as I put all my clothes back in the closet (spring cleaning snuck up and caught me unexpectedly) I am gonna empty my fabric stash and refold…(do you think this technique might work for the enevitable piles of tee-shirts and jeans tha need to be put away HA!

  13. says

    OMG You are too funny! I love it!!! When I first read the title of this blog post I thought… really? she’s gonna teach me to fold a chunk of cloth? really? ME? Well… Not only do I have my compass out right now to make a whole mess of those floor pillows I feel a renewed interest in folding ALL of my fabric! Your stash looks small and perfect. I myself learned to fold t-shirts and jeans, like many girls, at my PT job at express back in the day. So I love this neatly-folded-perfect-pile look.

  14. says

    Oh. My. Gosh. I’ve officially died and gone to fabric heaven! I just wanted to personally thank you for reminding me that I have an addiction problem. (I’d ALMOST forgotten!) hehehe Step One: Admit I’ve become powerless over fabric and that my craft room has become unmanageable.

    As if I’m not anal retentive enough with my clothes, now I’m going to have to be with my fabric too! -That’s okay, I really do need to do SOMETHING with all my fabric and I’ve got six days off coming up starting Thursday.

    My husband sincerely thanks you for this new occupier of my time and for encouraging my addiction.

    Now, can you help me figure out a way to store all those little tiny scraps? I have an entire garbage bag (HUGE/stuffed) full of palm size+ scraps of fabric. (My mother has two more waiting for me at her house!)

  15. says

    Ah, Brilliant!…and thank you! I am new to this wonderful world of quilting and this is just the kind of good, solid advise I need!

  16. says

    Thanks for the inspiration to straighten out my fabric. I’m enjoying reading your blog I came over from Sarah Jane to check out your floor cushion.

  17. says

    I'm a good laundress, and I have a LOT of fabric. I happily washed, dried, and folded my new Amy Butler fabric last night; nice and neat. BUT, it's never the same size, thanks to your tip about using a ruler it will all be the SAME: :) Thanks!

  18. Monique says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. My fabric now looks nice a neat and so much easier to find what I am looking for. Oh my husband thanks you also! lol


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