Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fabric Color Swatch Organizer

I thought I would share an idea I came up with years ago. Some of the fabric tags are dated 1994. That was a long, long time ago. Wow, 15 years ago! This is the way I could track the fabric in my stash and do some color matching when I needed to shop for more coordinating fabric. Here's a brief description of how I would organize my fabric stash info.

Take your fabric sample with to shop for matching colors.Years ago I started clipping a corner from each piece of fabric I purchased. I trimmed them with a pinking scissor so they wouldn't unravel and get messy. Then I used half of an index card to write all the pertinent information about the fabric sample. I typically wrote the size of the piece, the date of purchase, and the fabric content. Usually the fabric was all cotton for quilting, but fashion fabric content varied and was important to know later when I sewed a garment. It would have been nice to have noted the price per yard, but I did not record the price info on most of the cards. That info would have been handy for figuring price of fabrics used to create items for sale. I could have had a more accurate price for my cost of goods manufactured or sold.

A closer view of some of my fabric samples for color matching.This view is just a little bit of a closer look. When I first started tracking the info I used straight pins or safety pins to attach the fabric to the index cards. Later I found it easier (and safer) to just staple the fabric between an index card than was folded in half. The info can be recorded on both sides of the card as needed. Just hole punch near the top folded edge and slide it onto your storage wire or locking ring.

The wire holding these snippets of fabric all together is actually just a coat hanger. I clipped the hook (for hanging) off with a wire cutter and bent the ends to enable them to hook together. It is an inexpensive way to wire them together. Now days there are rings available at hobby and fabric stores that would look prettier and serve the purpose better. The rings that are used to hold embroidery floss cards together would work perfectly for this purpose. You might also want to check an office supply store for loose leaf rings up to 2"-3" diameter. If you look around you can find larger rings also. I checked on-line searching "loose leaf rings" in my search engine and found a site that had screw rings from 3" up to 10" in diameter.

When you are ready to go fabric shopping and need to color coordinate your new purchases with your stash at home, just throw your color swatch ring into your bag and go shopping. Or pull off only the ones you need at the moment and put them together with a smaller ring to fit your bag better.

At the beginning of this blog I mentioned I started doing this fifteen years ago. I don't know when I quit adding new fabrics to my ring. It has been some time since I last added any swatches. Meanwhile I didn't stop adding to my stash. This is one thing I would like to catch up on. Having a sample on hand with some of the accompanying info would be a beneficial. As I work at organizing my sewing studio I will continue to clear through my stash to decide what's a keeper and what's not. I plan to update my swatches as I go.

1 comment:

  1. great idea for organizing fabrics! thanks for the tips : )


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