Learn how to store fabric so that you can find and use it easily.
Are you tired of finding your prized quilt fabrics wrinkled, faded, or even discolored? Have you spent hours searching for that perfect fabric, only to not be able to find it until you repurchase it?
According to a survey by the American Quilter, quilters will spend over 5 billion dollars in 2025. With such a significant investment of time and money, it’s crucial to know the expert tips for storing your quilt fabric stash. So, grab your measuring tape and get ready to learn how to protect your fabric treasures.
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How To Store Fabric in Your Quilting Room
Depending on where you live you might need to make a few adjustments to my methods. I live in a very rural area with dirt roads so dust is a major issue that I have to battle. If you don’t have to battle dust you might not need as much enclosed storage.
Also, you will need to adjust your fabric storage based on your budget and last but not least, you might need to adjust how you store fabric in your quilting room based on if you have to share your space. Shelves full of fabric in the dining room might not work for everyone.
Before we get into storing our fabric stash away if you do more than quilting you’ll want to keep each type of fabric separated. I don’t do a lot of garment sewing but since I do a lot of craft sewing and a lot of quilting I want to keep those two fabrics separated.
Supplies To Store Fabric
I look at the list below as a take what you can use and leave what you can’t. I don’t use all of these things in my current sewing and quilting room. I have used them all at various times and have found what works best for me and my current space.
Large plastic bags
Plastic Boxes – I use both these shoe boxes and clip-lock boxes
Comic Book boards
Shelves – Like these wire shelves or these plastic shelves
Dresser – Grab these second-hand
Filing Cabinets – I have a file cart similar to this one that I love
A lot of these things can be purchased second hand and paint does wonders if what you find second hand doesn’t fit your decor but it does fit your budget. Another option that could work for you is kitchen cabinets. They don’t work for everyone because of space and budget. I was lucky enough to find a set of used cabinets that were super cheap, I could paint them, and Paul could install them.
Using The Supplies to Store Fabric
These are the ways I use the supplies to help store my fabric stash and keep it organized.
Large Plastic Bags
I use this for kitting. Normally when I talk about quilt kits people assume I’m talking about the kits that are available for purchase at our favorite local quilt shop but I’m not. They are similar but we are making our own. If I’ve purchased fabric for a specific project, I put the fabric and the pattern in the bag together. I also use the bags to put cut fabric in so things don’t go missing, cats seem to steal pieces of fabric in my house.
When I start sewing I typically move the project to plastic boxes. The boxes just have more room and these scrapbook boxes are perfect for 12″ quilt blocks.
I keep two of these beside my cutting table. One is trash that I can easily dump into a bigger trashcan or a pillowcase and the other is for scraps I will keep. When my scrap basket is full then I spend the time breaking it down and storing it away where it goes. The baskets I linked aren’t huge so I’m not going to end up with days and days of work breaking down scraps.
Pillowcases filled with scrap fabric make excellent pet beds for your own pets or for shelter pets. When you have your pillowcase filled just sew it shut and give it to a furbaby.
Plastic Shoe Boxes, Shelves, Bookcases
Since I need to battle dust and cats I use the shoe boxes to store fabric, neither can get in there. Plus they are clear so I can see what is in the box. The boxes also fit nicely on the shelves. If you don’t need to worry about dust or cats ruining your fabric you can just use the shelves. Our fabrics are gorgeous and bring a lot of color to a room.
The shelves and/or bookcases will give you a place to store your boxes of fabric and projects.
Comic Book Boards
I’ve recently seen a lot about comic book boards in quilting groups. I wanted to take just a little bit of time here to explain the difference between comic book boards and regular cardstock.
Comic book boards aren’t cheap, they are 20 cents a piece. Cardstock on the other hand is 6 cents for a full page. I’m all about saving pennies to add to the fabric budget but if you are going to use boards for long-term storage you need to spend the money on the comic boards.
The comic boards are of archival quality. They don’t have acids that will leech into your fabric and break it down over time. We spend enough on fabric so we need to take care of it when we store it.
Dressers and Filing Cabinets
If you need to “hide away” your fabric dressers and filing cabinets are great way to do that. I use the comic book boards for yardage since half-yard and fat quarters fold and hold themselves without the support. I use the comic book boards for yardage on shelves as well.
When storing fabric in dressers or filing cabinets I store on edge and not stacked. On edge let’s me see everything in the drawer without digging through layers and layers of fabric.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t have the patience to dig. I’ll just buy more fabric if I can’t quickly find what I want or need.
Final Thoughts on How to Store Fabric
No matter what you use from my list or how you take these ideas to work in your quilting room there is one more decision you will need to make.
Once you figure out where or what you are going to use to store your fabric you’ll need to figure out how you are going to organize your fabric. Are you going to group everything by color, by manufacturer, by size, or by theme?
I typically sort my fabric by size because that’s how I start a project I’m designing. That might not work for you because you start with color so organize your fabric by color.
Or maybe you like a certain designer and you want to group your fabrics by their lines. The key is to get your fabric together in a way that makes your stash work for you.