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Friday, April 29, 2016

How to Fold-Roll Knit Fabrics for Storage

Awhile back we did a blog post showing how to fold fabric with comic book boards so they stand up neatly on a shelf. That is how I prefer to store my woven fabrics, such as cottons.  For knits, however, that method doesn't work quite as well for me because they are so much more bulky and loose. Instead I like to fold-roll them a certain way so they can be stacked together on a shelf in such a way that they are all visible and accessible. They snuggle right in there with each other  where I can see them, and when it's time to come out they're still neat and tidy. It's a win-win!

First I want to say that this method works best with knits that have not been significantly cut into yet. I fold them immediately when they get home (or that's the goal anyway) so most of the pieces I'm folding are still full rectangles. After they have been cut into and begin looking more like scraps, I put them in my knit drawer, which is handy when I just need small pieces. 

For today's tutorial I chose a large cut of knit to show that it works on just about any length. First I open up the fabric to its full width and lay it out on a rug or carpet if available. I've found that it is easier to fold on a soft surface because it has more friction than a table or hardwood floor. Slippery surfaces can be really annoying because the fabric slides while you're folding!  

Okay, so first you will lay the fabric out with the wrong side facing up, as shown above.  The selvages should be on the sides, and the cut ends should be at the top and bottom. 

Fold one selvage side over to meet the other selvage.  Make the whole length of fabric even. Your fabric is now folded in half width-wise, with the print on the outside. 

Fold the fabric over again so the fold lines up with the selvages.  Your fabric is now folded into fourths, width-wise. If you started with 60" wide knit fabric, it should now be about 15" wide.  (For 44" wide knit fabric, I fold it into thirds, making it about 15".) 

Now comes the fun part! Take the bottom edges of the fabric and fold 3" of it up. 

Then fold that 3" of fabric up again, as shown above. 

Continue folding a few more times. 

As you fold, the fabric layers will become bulky and start to "roll" instead of fold.  That is the goal! When you get to that point, simply continue rolling the fabric up the rest of the way. 

When you're done, you should have a cute little roll like this one, about 15" wide. It may be a thick roll or a thin one, depending on the length of fabric you used. 

(Isn't this knit cute? I got it from BWD Fabrics. They have really fun boy prints.) 

If you have more than one knit fabric to fold-roll, go ahead and do them all at once. Just toss them onto the pile as you go! 

When you have a bunch ready, slide them onto a shelf. This works best with a shelf that is at least 15" deep. (If your shelf is more shallow, you can fold them smaller before rolling, but remember they will get fatter with more folds!) You can sort your rolls by color, pattern, or type. Or just do like I did and throw them in there all at once.  And you're done!

I would recommend not stuffing your shelf too full, or it will be hard to get them out. When you are ready to use one of your knit fabrics, be sure to grab its roll firmly and pull gently while holding the other rolls around it in place.  If you just pull one out carelessly, they may all come with it!  It should not be hard to get them out though. I like this method because it's the quickest and easiest. 

Okay, it's your turn!  Go get all those knit fabrics fold-rolled and ready to go! But first... 

Did you see that we now have a CKC Fabrics store? Yes, it's true! We are so excited to be offering great quality knits in adorable prints, direct from our CKC Fabrics website. You can check them out by clicking here!

I ordered some of the purple dots and custom cats the minute they become available, and I can't WAIT for them to arrive!  I'm glad I have my knit stash all in order now so I'll be ready to play right when they get here.  It feels good to be organized.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 


  1. Great way to store larger cuts of fabric! I used this method for my drapey fabrics that tend to slide around if just folded. I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow morning that features your tutorial: --Anne

  2. I like to fold roll my flannel & some of my knits & store them in an under the bed shoe organizer under my couch. The bulk of my knits are on comic book boards on book shelves. I don't use a lot of wovens, so those are folded up in a few drawers. Thanks for the link to BWD Fabrics. Congrats on expanding into the fabric world.