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How do you store large amounts of fabric?
Managing bolts for business
VolcanoMouse
VolcanoMouse
FL
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Date: 9/18/12 8:34 PM

How do y'all who order longer lengths of fabric deal with it? How do small factories or studios organize this nonsense?

I produce costumes for reenactors out of my own home. I really like keeping the 20 yard lengths of linen I buy on those tall round cardboard tubes, but storing the fabric once it's on those tubes is incredibly frustrating. The closet is already full of smaller, folded lengths of fabric, my cutting table is far too small to store things on or underneath, and when the bolts are just leaned up against the wall, the cardboard snaps under the weight of the fabric!

There has to be a better way to store the fabric but keep it reasonably accessible-- perhaps a heavy-duty trash can so I can store multiple bolts upright? Some clever shelf system I haven't thought of? How would you tackle this problem? I'm at the point where any input would help!

-- Edited on 9/18/12 8:36 PM --

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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Date: 9/18/12 8:49 PM

You might consider display fabric racks that stores use, or a DIY version of such a rack.

At the very least, you probably need a storage system (whether purchased or DIY) that allows you to put those fabric tubes onto rods of some type, then stores them horizontally. This would keep the tubes from collapsing under their own weight, and allow you to pull fabric off the roll as needed.

I've surfed various quilting blogs where quilters have come up with ways to store large rolls of batting, a similar storage problem. The most popular method is some variation of the "roll on a rod" storage method.

CMC

Jacqui315
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Date: 9/19/12 1:22 AM

At work we use these racks from Costco in various sizes. For the rolls, we just lay them going across. They do stick out some on the edges but otherwise stay put. Since they're metal shelves, we do use the coordinating shelf liners. We also tape around the edges so we don't get snags on the fabric.

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arianamaniacs
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Date: 9/19/12 5:17 AM

I store them at the fabric store....


Just kidding! I flat-fold mine and put them on a rack, but those are usually only lengths from 8-10 meters. I've seen stores here do the garbage can with rolls. You could also cut them into 10 meter lengths and wrap them on cardboard for easier access like they do in fabric stores.

kittykate
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kittykate
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Date: 9/19/12 8:25 AM

I discovered that the space between the sofa and the wall is great for a big bolt. They're wrapped in heavy plastic and also keep the sofa from bashing into the wall.

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 9/20/12 10:00 AM


I only recently discovered the very best way of storing bolts.. thanks to JTinks.. I now have them upright in those oblong rubbermaid containers in the guest shower space.. A shower will hold a whole bunch of them.
Sign me .. desperate.....

M.S.
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M.S.
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Date: 9/20/12 12:00 PM

Workroom

On home dec bolts, under my cutting table. And, in my dining room, and everywhere. It's getting too crazy! I need to sew thru my personal stash to make room for the client stash!

VolcanoMouse
VolcanoMouse
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Date: 9/20/12 12:42 PM

Aah, thank you all! There are some great ideas I hadn't thought of. The fabric display racks are exactly what I wanted, and the Costco wire racks look excellent, too.

M.S., color me profoundly jealous of your workshop! Your cutting table is particularly wonderful: if it's a DIY construction, I would love to hear a bit about what it's made of. And putting the steam station on casters-- THAT's clever!

GrandmaNewt
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Date: 9/20/12 1:11 PM

Those wire racks at costco are actually used in restaurants. If you have a used restaurant equipment store in your area, those racks can usually be found for much less money. They come in all different sizes and the shelves are adjustable.

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to VolcanoMouse <<
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Date: 9/20/12 1:11 PM

Those factories have warehouses and little elves... heigh-ho, heigh-ho off to work they go!

I work in my basement and half of it is unfinished. This is where I had my husband install hanging hooks (from the floor joist) to holding plastic conduit pipe. Shower rods or wooden drapery rods may also fill the bill. Whatever is available and cheap.

The rolls of fabric then go onto the rods.

No dry basement, or inconvenient to the sewing room - you may be able to install multiple rods in the closet of your sewing room and put the folded lengths in opaque totes, which is what I do with cuts not on a bolt. Opaque lets you see what colors are in the totes.

I have also used a new, sturdy garbage can for storing the long bolts of fabric and interfacing.

Hope this helps. Organization really helps speed up production....and it looks so professional!

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

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

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