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Tips & Techniques > Swatch organizing / tracking / fabric care

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Posted by: alicia
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About alicia star
Member since: 9/1/03
Reviews: 22 (tips: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 7/2/04 7:45 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 3 people   
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As my stash grows, I've found that I have to fight with my memory to recollect what the fabric content/care etc is for some fabrics. ;) Luckily for me, I took the Fabric Fundamentals course and saw how nicely the swatch records were kept in a binder.

When I order online, I print the fabric care & content info (example -
and put it with my binder of swatches. When the fabric arrives, I cut a swatch (2" crossgrain x 3" grain) and copy the fabric info onto the swatch sheet (3 swatches per page, and indicating where the fabric was purchased, etc etc). I use a photo glue stick to attach the swatch to the sheet at the top so that it hangs loose on-grain.

For specific fabrics where I need to reference how a fabric changes when it is pre-treated - (washed or steam ironed, ie silk) I take several swatches and treat them differently. For instance, I have several swatches of the same silk jacquard;
-one is just pressed with a press cloth,
-one is pressed without the press cloth,
-one is steam pressed with a press cloth to preshrink,
-and one is washed in Woolite, air dried and steam pressed with a cloth.

This really lets me compare how the fabrics react and whether I want to make something that could be washed or has to be dry-cleaned. I wouldn't be able to make those comparisons if I didn't have the fabric content/care right there with the swatch. Then each pretreated swatch is labeled and added to the binder with the treatment for side-by-side comparisons (and to help with my memory!!)

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Diana M said... (7/11/04 1:19 PM) Reply
Great idea for the future -- I always need ideas to keep organized.
Gilraen Surion said... (7/4/04 10:49 PM) Reply
I have been organising my patterns this way but this is a great extention. I am definately going to do this
PixieCat said... (7/3/04 4:49 AM) Reply
I'm taking the class right now and agree, the swatch pages are a great resource. Thanks for suggesting this alternate use!
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