Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Great Wall of Fabric

So, I am a little self-conscious about my fabric. I am third generation pack rat--at least when it comes to fabric. I have been seriously sewing and quilting--and buying fabric--since the mid-1980s; I have not only my fabric, but also my Mother's fabric and my Grandmother's fabric. Fabric brings me pleasure. I can go into my sewing room, pull something, maybe something 10 or more years old, and combine it with something new and watch sparks fly between the two. When I see those sparks, ideas start flying in my head and quilts happen.  So I am trying to get over my embarrassment about it and just enjoy it!

the wall

the closet

I am very lucky to have a room dedicated to me and my quilting. I am also lucky to have pretty good storage. Most of the fabric is in two bookcases from Ikea--they are not perfect, the shelves are a little shallow. But the thing that they have that is so very important to me is doors. They have glass doors and the glass is covered with UV light filtering film. In our first apartment, I had my fabric on open shelves in a bright room. The fabric never had direct sunlight on it, but the ambient light really did some bad things to quite a bit of my fabric.

I've seen some lovely sewing and quilting rooms on flickr with lovely fabric storage, but when the fabric is out in the open and exposed to light I want to tell the proud owner of the space to cover her fabric.  I try not to get too strident and bossy, but I just want to caution everyone to be aware of the amount of light your fabric is exposed to. Fading is a slow process and you probably won't notice it--like I didn't notice it--until it is too late.


It is so nice to have stacks of fabric out in the open, to decorate the room and inspire the artist in the room. But we have quite a bit of money invested in those stacks and I hate to see them ruined by the sun.

I'll get off my soapbox now.


MariQuilts said...

Good information!!!

Bry said...

The wall!!!! (*drool*) LOVE the wall!

Kerry said...

Agree totally with this. All those shelves of neatly folded fabric looks wonderful but is hopeless on a practical level and no light protection!

Rachaeldaisy said...

I terrified of the light on my fabrics. I have cupboards with doors, never open the curtains of my sewing room unless I'm working in there and I move my fabrics around occasionally. It's nice to see where you create.

LindieLee said...

Can I put my two cents in here too? Many quilters/sewers have opted for making fabric organizers out of foam core see:
Looks great, however the gasses released from the non archival foam core are released into the environment and deteriorate the fabric. There is archival foam core but it's more cost effective to purchase the original plastic (safe for fabrics) plastic organizers at:

I'm not pushing the product, I don't own them but have thought about getting them for my silky fabric which doesn't stay folded rummaging through a nicely folded pile.
My fabrics are in a master closet, north facing vinyl design covered window - there is light but it's defused. My smaller pieces are toy organizer bins of plastic and open. I also hang up bed sheets I got for backings over plastic hangers.
Oh paper - unless it's archival shouldn't touch fabric ether - no cardboard boxes etc. Sigh.