Ways to help you organize your at home studio to be practical and functional.
We organize our studio with 3 main principles. Color, Size, Weight.
Starting with what makes the most sense to you depending on how you design/sew. For this article, it is most simple to start with the size of your fabrics, then the weights, then the colors.
First, take all of your fabrics and separate them by size/amount. Make 3 piles. The first pile should be all fabrics with under a metre left. The second pile should be fabrics with under 2 metres left, but larger than a metre. The final pile should be fabrics that are larger than 2 metres.
Second, choose one of your piles and start to separate by color. In my studio, I choose to go from light to dark colors. Be sure to choose the direction that works best for you or speaks to you more. Dark to light, light to dark, etc. Just be sure to use the same system for all 3 piles to help to keep your studio streamlined and make the most sense. Once you have the fabrics separated by their color, you can then separate them by weight. *If you prefer to store your fabrics of differing weights separately, you can separate by weight first and then color.
Let me break each principle down, one at a time.
One way to organize is to arrange the fabrics by color, arranging from light to dark. Moving from the lightest colors to the darkest is one clear way to see exactly what you need. This way, you can easily find the complementary colors or accent colors you need to plan your looks. It will also help to have all of the prints in the same color family. If you have a print with the main color being yellow, that goes in with the yellow fabrics that best match the main color, but will also continue to go from light to dark.
Storing by size is the most important for quick decisions. When you know you have enough of a certain fabric over another fabric you can quickly decide which fabric to use based on availability especially for a design that does not have a specific color palette. We organize so that the shelving is stacked in a meaningful way for us. Organizing based on how many metres of each fabric are left. We have a shelving unit with different size drawers for Under 1 metre (shown in above photo) and that is where all the materials that are less than 1 metre will go. These materials can be used for trim, bowties, accessories, or embellishments since there is not enough to create any clothing. Under 2 metres (shown below) is stored on a shelf with a narrower width for this size fabric. This size can be used for smaller projects, details, lining, or any project that doesn't require as much fabric. The final category is Over 2 metres (shown below), this is where the larger amount of fabrics on bolts and in large folded piles will go. This is a larger shelving unit, it can hold lots of weight and is meant to handle larger amounts.
The weight of the fabric is great to determine what season you are in, how fabrics will drape, how heavy or light a garment will be, etc. Storing your fabric based on weight will ultimately help you with those choices. The ease of organizing by weight feels effortless. You have your light spring/summer fabrics at the beginning and your heavier fall/winter fabrics at the end.
At the end of the day, how you organize needs to make sense to you and how you work. So learn what you tend to check for first. Is it color? Weight? Size? Or something else?
It is personal and will be easier to keep the system up if you enjoy how it works.
Email us with your fabric organization tips/tricks.
Or any questions you have about this or any other fabric questions!
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