I love the light in this room, but sometimes I worry about the light fading my fabric. I love having fabric out where I can see it, but I’ve had furniture damaged by sunlight before, and so this is a worry for me.
This built-in bookshelf where I keep my books, magazines, and patterns is on the opposite side of the room as the window. I’m thinking about moving all the fabric to this part of the room and placing the books and patterns on the shelves in the sunnier areas. Have you had any experience with this issue? Have you ever had fabric faded by the sunlight? And what about plastic containers–does storing fabric in bins long-term hurt the fabric? These are just a few questions I have as I get ready to really re-organize my space.
I have a really, really fun “quilty” kind of day planned for today–I’ll be sharing soon!
Suburban Stitcher says
Fun space…and can't wait to hear about your day! I haven't had sun fade my fabric, but it's not really in a spot now where I have to worry about that too much. I keep my curtains closed most of the time, as I have no blinds in my sewing room and I'm gone most of the day.
I have had fabric get sun-faded stripes on it before. I have my fabric mostly in opaque bins, but also some folded on a bookcase that faces away from the sun. The bookcase that has to face the sun is the one that has books in it. I have blinds in my sewing room but I like to keep them open for that nice western sun when I get home from work.
The sun can do a bad number on fabric-I've had some ruined with fade marks along the folds-I did salvage it for small pieces in between. I keep mine in plastic bins & haven't noticed any problems.
Yes, I've had sun-striped fabric, too. It was on a shelf for years with fairly direct light to it. Don't know about plastic bins damaging fabrics – I've had most of my fabric in giant rubbermaid bins for close to a decade, and it's fine. My quilting stash is in those bins, but with opaque twill draped over them (I slide them out from under my quilting frame and back when I comb for pieces). That way they get air, but are also protected from the light in case it would go through the half-clear plastic (there are a LOT of windows in that room).
Most of my fabric has been in plastic bins for about 5 years and can see no damage. I have finally gotten some shelves to put the fabric on, there is a west window but when the sun is shinning in I just tilt the blinds. At this point in my life, if a fade mark shows I'll cut around it.
I have used plastic storage bins for 8+ years and have not had any problems. I like to sort my fabric by color and with the somewhat clear bins, I can see what color is in that drawer. Three years ago I put in open shelving and store the larger pieces of fabric and what will not fit in the drawers on it. It is not a super bright room and I mainly have the lights on on weekends. No fade marks have been noticed. I have not had any problems with the bins.
Ann Marie says
My fabric has sun stripes too, and the only window faces north which gets NO direct sunlight at all……..and the for the 5 years I wasn't in my room, life got too busy, the blinds were closed too. So I think everyday light bulbs might do it as well, so once I get this old fabric stash busted, I will make blackout covers for the book cases, to keep the fabric from the light, and I can remove the covers when I need to see the fabric and then book the covers back on.
i have had some issues with sun-faded fabric. thankfully – it has added the "old fashioned"/"vintage" look to my quilts. i don't mind that too much. a thought that i had – is maybe putting up some shears as window coverings on your windows. this does let lots of light through, but really cuts down on the sun damage that can happen through direct sunshine through glass.
Hi Sherri! First of all I love your work and been following your blog for some time. I live in Mexico and I´ve had some problems with the sun fading my quilts. I close my curtains in the afternoon but sometimes I forget to do it. I don´t know why but the sun "eats" the yellow and orange of my quilts.
I guess that in Mexico we have a LOT of sun. I keep my fabrics in plastic containers and in a big drawer.
I like the before. Can't wait to see the after. Change can be fun.
i haven't worried about sun fading or plastic bins ….. i wonder though, about putting my folded stash in my bread bags. my cabinets are home depot specials with open backs meant to butt against the wall. they don't, so i baggie my stash and hae them in my cupboards. no evidence yet of any sort of damage. but i wonder.
That light is great. My room is on the dark side of the house and on grey days (too many of those here) it is hard to take pictures. Thanks goodness for Ott lights.
Crafty Mama says
You have a gorgeous sewing space! It's like a cute little quilt shop, all those yummy fabrics too☺
Amy, a redeemed sheep says
I worry, too, which is why I have my fabric in the closet. Your room is very pretty. It will be fun to see how you rearrange it!
Gmama Jane says
I just realized something! I read your blog all the time but I'm not an official follower?? Why!? I don't know but I fixed that problem right away! I'm now official. I like your color choices in your quilts and you are inspiration for many of my quilts. Your sewing room looks a lot like mine. I'm thinking of moving into a larger bedroom now that all my children live on their own or are married. I have my choice of bedrooms. Although they would each prefer that I leave their bedrooms as a shrine to them having lived there.LOL! Forget that my little 'chirin' Gmama is moving in! BTW, I've not had any problems using plastic storage boxes but I'm certainly no expert.
May I invite you over for a cuppa tea and a visit to Grandmamas Stories?! I'd love to have you as a follower and friend.
Laura K says
I keep most of my fabric in Sterilite boxes for about 9 years and I haven't noticed any problems with it. I don't have anywhere to keep it but in boxes in my closet since I don't have a sewing room and I have never noticed any kind of moisture or anything. Of course I live in the desert and we have really dry air. Just thought I would share my experience.
I love seeing your quilting space, and will enjoy seeing any changes you make as well. I have had my excess stash stored in plastic bins and have never experienced any issues. In fact, they have been stored in the garage on shelves in the covered plastic bins–some fabric for as long as 12 years. No issues at all. We even had the garage invaded by a roof rat at one point, and the rascal could not get into those bins at all.
I left some brown fabric sitting out for a while and it got sun faded. Mostly just on the edges where it was folded.
What a great idea to take a picture before you make any changes to your sewing space. Looks great the way it is. I love having a window in my space too, but my table is off to the side. I always have to remember to keep the doors on my supply closet closed to keep the fabrics from fading. I also have fabric in plastic bin drawers, which has been just great to have. No issues there. How nice to have a built-in bookshelf so you can have your own sewing library full of reference and inspiration.
Sinta Renee says
What I hate about getting organized is learning the "new system". I can never find what i ma looking for! I have even had my ric rac on wooden spools faded by the sun and my cutting mat buckle from sun coming in and hitting the table. That one really is a costly lesson.
Keep Stitchin' says
First of all,love your organization efforts! Secondly, yes, I've had fabric fade due to sunlight. I keep mine along a wall that isn't exposed to direct light. It hasn't happened to a lot of it, but I'll get the fading on a fold line every so often. I store a lot of stuff in plastic containers, but I also do something else that helps the fabric 'breathe'; I poke small holes near the top of the lid. I only store them in plastic containers for convenience purposes; it's easy to grab a container and know where everything is, and as long as the container has a little bit of breathing space in it, it's still protected. I don't worry about bugs, they haven't been a problem and if you have mice, they shouldn't be able to get in a hole as small as a pencil.
What do you use as your design wall? The space behind the light?
I'm fortunate to have a closet with double bi-fold doors that I keep my fabric is cardboard banker boxes well away from the light.
My suggestion is you purchase a dowl and make your self a design wall that you can hang in front of your fabric stash, be it where it is or the other book shelf. I have two decorative hooks above my doors that I hang my design wall on. Then I remove it to open the doors when needed. Helps protect the fabrics and gives you some more "wall" space.
Hope this helps, your space looks lovely, looking forward to the change.
barb's creations says
I used to keep a lot of my stash in woven baskets under one of my tables on the floor but we had a really bad winter one year (lots of heavy,continuous rain)and I came home to flooding in my sewing room and lots of water damaged fabric so it's all in plastic tubs if it's on the floor and the woven baskets that could be salvaged sit on the shelf under the table now holding my big list of to-do projects in the making.I can't wait to see how you transform your room,good luck!
I'm still slowly working on mine in-between uni,work and life LOL 🙂 Barb.
In my previous house I sewed in a spare bedroom. We removed the closet doors and put shelves in to store my fabric. There was a window on the opposite wall and all my fabric got a fade line at the folded edge. I learned my lesson!
Thanks for showing pictures of your lovely sewing room! I'm looking forward to seeing the changes. Reading the comments has been interesting……thanks for bringing up these questions.
I keep mine in plastic without a problem. Clear plastic because I still like to know what is in them.
I do have a barristers bookcase that I have folded fabric in. Colour coordinated. Looks lovely. Only fabric that I am really not fussed about anylonger. Do get sun strips though. Oh, well.
I have all my fabric folded on a tall bookcase in my sewing room and then i sewed a curtain to cover it and hung it on a spring tension rod, easy to take down to look or push aside.
michelle b. says
I have sun stripes, and I have also been told that air/folding can do it too. Apparently over time, the fabrics break down. That's why they say to store finished quilts flat, or to refold them once a month? When I find sun fade on my stash fabrics, I cut the damage out and use it for my stitch trial scraps so I can see how thread will look when it's quilted on. Also great for using for tension checks. And hey, another great excuse to use it up faster and replace it!
I have had a few problems with the sun fading fabric, but only a couple of times. I have fabric in plastic containers and it isn't damaged in any way.
Mary on Lake Pulaski says
What a beautiful sewing space Sherri! I would be thrilled to have anything like that. I don't have a sewing room or closet, so my fabric is in plastic totes spread throughout the house. No fading issues though!
I stored fabric in a plastic tub in our garage (which always has one door open to the backyard) Unbeknownst to me the sun was shining on it and it did fade 🙁
Love the aqua frame with the dresden plates on it!
I have had fabric fade some when it sits on the shelf for a long time but then quilts tend to do the same thing. Gives them a mellowed look. My fabrics are mostly stored on shelving units.
Lori T says
Hi Sherri! What a fun room 🙂 I love it and can't wait to follow your changes. I've been wanting to tackle that with my own room for some time but life keeps getting in the way, lol. Have a great weekend!
Your favorite colors appear everywhere in your sewing space! I had a sewing room for almost a year and really miss it. Most of my stash is in a large, inexpensive, put-it-together-yourself chest of drawers. No worries about fading but of course I can't enjoy gazing at it in my sewing corner! Looking forward to the AFTER of your picture show.
I keep a lot , most of my fabric in bins and I throw a sheet over the bins to be safe. I have had the sun fade fabric before, used this flannel for making bibs. Figured they were meant to get dirty anyways. Good luck on your room
Lori Holt says
Yes….we had a quilty kind of day …didn't we?
When can we do it again?
I have my fabric in plastic bins without difficulty- they are on a north wall and I keep them covered with old quilts and have not had trouble with them fading from the sun. I have more trouble with my cat finding my batting supply and trying to sharpen her claws on it. I have to make sure it is good and hidden from her- otherwise she is a total nuisance about it.
Your old room is lovely- I am sure the new space will be even more so.
Earthtones Girl says
Your sewing room is my version of heaven.
I have all my fabric stored in a plastic bins under a bed but will soon have a new home in cabinet (with closed doors). I'd love to have it out and about but I'm afraid of fading too.
Red Geranium Cottage says
Cute sewing room!! Hope you had fun doing whatever you did. 🙂
you can have the windows professionally tinted to stop the fading. It is nearly invisible.
Ineke van den Akker says
I wish I had your sunlight problem. My sewing room in in the basement with one small window. Your room looks so light and airy. I can't wait to see the changes.
Love your "before" pics and can't wait to see the "after"! I have had fabric damaged by the sun that I kept folded in wire bins by a window with blinds. I even had fabric faded by the sun in plastic bins I kept in the garage by the window…so plastic bins won't stop fading. However, i have not had any fabric damaged in my plastic bins. I think where you store the plastic bins makes a difference because I've smelt musty fabric from people who store then in damp garages/basements. Have fun!
Love you blog and the info from your readers. I wouldn't leave fabric on shelves for extended periods of time without some kind of covering. Something that can be easily removed for you to see, use and admire your beautiful fabric.
You have a lovely colorful room! I used to keep fabric in plastic, but lately I notice most plastic boxes smell (they are oil based, after all). I figure that smell could translate to the fabric. I started buying canvas boxes – more expensive but I can label the box and I feel better about the archival quality of the boxes.
Simone de Klerk says
What an inspiring, beautiful sewing place you have!
Lisa S. says
I have had my fabric fade so I added a lenghth of self-stick velcro to the top of my bookcase. A piece of batting the size of the front of the bookcase hangs from the velcro, shading the fabric, and creating a design wall if I need one.