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Fabric Storage
Is extreme heat or cold detrimental?
a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/5/13 3:06 PM

I would like to move some of my fabric to the garage in water proof silicone sealed bins from The Container Store. Extreme cold would rarely be a problem. Extreme heat is a problem. The bins have performed reliably for camping - in heat and humidity - so I am confident about the silicone gasket being able to keep out moisture.

Any recommendations on what not to store in a hot garage? I plan on keeping the silk inside the house but would like to store the wool in the garage as it is bulky. Would also like to store any bargain fabric that was purchased in bulk for multiple projects.

Any thoughts or experiences would be welcome. Two to four bins should work fine and the minimal amount of bins will make it easy to check the fabric and periodically refold it.

And, bin storage in general.....is it better for the fabric to be loosely placed in the bins versus crammed in? And does anyone have any thoughts on keeping different fabric types apart in storage in order to help preserve the fabric?

Should I expect the Lycra in Lycra blends to deteriorate faster in heat?

Thank you.
.............................

In case anyone is interested.......I have been storing large pieces of knit differently.

After prewashing lay the piece out on the table, start at the center of the piece, find the straight of grain and then fold in half and work the fabric into alignment, while keeping the weight of the fabric from pulling on itself, as if planning on cutting it immediately.

Accordion fold with about six to eight inch folds from both directions.

Continue to check the alignment of the fabric and ease, pat, and persuade the knit into an aligned half fold as you go.

Sixty inch fabric will yield an accordion folded stack that is thirty inches long. Carefully fold (loop) the stack into thirds and use scrap knit strips to tie the loop at the ends and in the middle.

My cutting/work table gets crowded when I am in a productive run. I have been finding that it takes a lot of space to pat some of the knits into alignment before cutting. Storing the knits like this gives me a head start on the process and alleviates the necessity of totally clearing the cutting/work space before starting a knit project.
-- Edited on 6/5/13 3:10 PM --

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poorpigling

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In reply to a7yrstitch <<
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Date: 6/5/13 3:45 PM

I have no choice. I have to keep some of my stash in plain ol rubbermaid containers.. out in the shed no less.. so now you know why I need another shed..
I am in and out of those bins a lot..enough to keep an eye out on them.. and air them out frequently..
Moisture would be the worst enemy.. mold grows fast.. but heat will not hurt them I don't think.. just do a sniff test to make sure they aren't picking up an odor of any kinds being stored in those bins..

Kayabunga
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Date: 6/6/13 8:25 AM

I think you would be better off to keep your fabric out of extreme heat, especially when it's in an airtight container. Fabric will degrade over time in an airtight environment without the added strain of heat. Also, the spandex will completely break down in hot temps (that's why our bras get like they do when we dry them in the dryer). A year ago I got a super buy on cotton/spandex knit. It sort of crackled when stretched, my T-shirt stretched out in record time. I've always suspected the fabric had been in a hot truck or warehouse just a little too long ... hence the great price. Plus natural fibers need air circulation at least every once in a while. Your storage plan sounds like a heartbreak in the making to me. :(
-- Edited on 6/6/13 8:27 AM --
-- Edited on 6/6/13 8:28 AM --

a7yrstitch
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In reply to Kayabunga <<


Date: 6/6/13 12:44 PM

Kayabunga, thank you. You've reminded me just how devastating dryer heat can be to some fabric and it would essentially be like being in a dryer for five to six months. I appreciate your input.

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a7yrstitch
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Date: 6/6/13 1:10 PM

Poorpigling, I think you are probably bottoms up into the bins on a daily basis. In fact, I think you are moving out to the shed to be closer to your fabric bins.

Humidity is a big problem here. If airtight is a problem, and I thought it might be, that rules out the bins I had in mind to seal out the moisture.

Bet your sheds stay cooler than the garage too. The garage has brick walls and lots of concrete to soak up the heat. Hmmm....... And it is the stretchy knits that I have been buying in bulk to force myself to get savvy with knits fast.

I think we have a different mix in our stash and looks like mine will have to stay in the house; or, in a house.

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 6/6/13 3:25 PM

Stack them behind the couch. Cover with a tablecloth, add a couple books or other knick knacks and you have a sofa table.





-- Edited on 6/6/13 4:46 PM --

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

a7yrstitch
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Date: 6/6/13 3:28 PM

Great idea! We rearranged recently and do have behind the sofa space.

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Kayabunga
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Date: 6/7/13 7:49 AM

You're most welcome a7yrstitch ... we all have to help each other be the best keepers of our mountain of fabric. LOL

Making a sofa table is actually a very effective storage strategy, I did that a few years ago by putting my fabric in cardboard banker boxes and stacking them into a nice shape. Once a table cloth covers the boxes, it's a very sturdy table.

a7yrstitch
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Date: 6/7/13 10:28 AM

Once I saw PattiAnnJ's post it was a done deal; topped with some Marine grade plywood so I can put reading lamps at either end.

We have a really long sofa set at an angle so this may grow into a work/storage space. If I leave a kneehole somewhere in the storage bank I'll have a place to set up a machine if I want to wander out into the den with the sewing.

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 6/7/13 11:21 AM

Quote: a7yrstitch
Once I saw PattiAnnJ's post it was a done deal; topped with some Marine grade plywood so I can put reading lamps at either end.



We have a really long sofa set at an angle so this may grow into a work/storage space. If I leave a kneehole somewhere in the storage bank I'll have a place to set up a machine if I want to wander out into the den with the sewing.

Glad to be of help.

There are probably some military families here at PR with loads of ways to make do with very little investment.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

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