How to store yarn

Whether you are looking to find out the best way for long term yarn storage, how to store yarn neatly or simply what’s the best thing to store yarn in, you’ll find all the answers on how to store your yarn right here.

How to store your yarn

How to Store Yarn | Yarn Storage Ideas

However long you have been crocheting for, from a beginner with a small number of balls of yarn, through to those of us who have enough yarn to open our own shop, our yarn deserves to be organized along with being stored correctly to keep useable.

There are a number of things to consider, when storing yarn to keep it safe and ready to use when you need it. 

 The aim of safe yarn storage is to prevent damage and should be stored in a way that should ensure:

  • it’s easy to find what you’re looking for
  • half used balls/skeins of yarn do not become tangled
  • yarn is not squashed to prevent damaging the fibre
  • your yarn can not be accessed by:
  • Pets and their fur (also for their own safety)
  • pests such as moths and fleas so they can not nest or create a home in it
  • children – sticky fingers can create a mess!
  • Prevents mold by reducing the risk of spills and excessive moisture absorption
  • Avoids direct sunlight and prevents dyes fading

Our yarn storage needs to do a lot, but there are some really simple solutions to avoid these things and below you will find all the ideas you need to sort your stash and keep it safe.

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How to store yarn

What’s the best thing to store yarn in?

Yarn needs to breathe right? That’s what we’ve all been told over the years! While it’s true that natural yarn fibres such as sheeps wool can store up to 30% of their weight in moisture before feeling wet, it’s doesn’t mean that yarn needs to be allowed to breathe all the time.

Yarn will adjust to the environment it is stored in. If you keep your yarn on a shelf, the moisture level in the yarn will be the same as in the air around it. When we are storing yarn for an extended period of time, it’s important to regulate the moisture level to prevent mold.

The best yarn storage for this is an airtight, plastic box such as the Really Useful Boxes; they come in all shapes and sizes to work with the space that you have plus they are easily stackable. These boxes have a secure closing, and prevent any pests or bugs getting in along with keeping dust out.

Click here to see the ones I buy from Amazon.

Don’t Store in Plastic Bags

Plastic Bags are not suitable for long term storage as they are not airtight. Plastic does not have a long term shelf life – even zip lock bags can break and fail over time. It’s also worth knowing that there are moth larvae that can eat through plastic to get to your tasty yarn!

Opt for canvas or organza bags instead of plastic.

How to prevent mold when storing

As the storage boxes are airtight they will create a closed environment. As mentioned above,  we know that the yarn will adjust to the environment and moisture level that it’s stored in, so it’s important that the yarn is dry before storing. Trapped moisture will lead to mold

Add silica gel bags (keep out of reach from children and pets) or rice before closing the box to absorb excess moisture and any rogue moisture that seeps in over time.

How to store yarn 2

How to keep your yarn pest free

Pest control is something that most people don’t consider when they think of their yarn stash, but just like when you store clothing, those natural fibers are a feast for those little pests! Even if you only use manmade fibres such as a acrylic, these yarn storage ideas apply to your and your yarn too – moths are not the only risk to our yarn.

Other pests to consider are carpet beetles that also feed on natural fibres, and if you have pets flees should be a concern too. Both flees and carpet beetles can quickly infest a home through no fault of your own and there are known ways to treat and infestation, but it’s a good idea to prevent your yarn becoming infested by safely storing it.

Bug’s and pests can be brought into your home unwittingly – it can even arrive on your recently purchased yarn! I have previous seen a post on Facebook where someone purchased yarn from a shop and after a brief storage at home, it came alive with bugs – only noticed when they were stitching up a new project – it’s the thing of nightmares.

The only way to prevent any bugs on the yarn brought into your home “coming alive” is to pop it into a freezer bag and into the freezer for 2 days to kill any bugs. No fear mongering  here – I only do this for yarn sent from another home such as an eBay purchase.

How to keep your Yarn Pest Free:

  • Freeze yarn received from other homes for 2 days
  • Don’t store yarn on carpets – raise them off the floor, in a solid based basket
  • Store yarn with lavender sachets or Cedar cubes
  • Keep pets up to date with flee treatments
  • If infestation occurs, treat yarn alongside all other soft furnishings
How to store your yarn long term

Don’t Store In Direct Sunlight

We all love a bright corner to work in when crocheting, but alongside keeping your yarn dry to prevent mold, you need to ensure that it is kept out of direct sunlight.  Keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent the colours fading. It can also damage the fibre of the yarn too.

Pop your beautiful yarn into labeled baskets or into your cupboard to avoid it being in direct sunlight. 

Do Show Off Your Stash

Many of us have a lot of yarn – and some of it might be so special that it will be a while before we find the perfect pattern to stitch it up in – there is nothing wrong with showcasing your yarn, but remember to keep it out of sunlight.

Resent fashions have seen people creating their own yarn wall, either putting their yarn cakes on pegboards so all the colours show to their full potential or fulling up their bookcases with all their pretty skeins.- but beware the dust!

Open yarn storage is a challenge. Yes, the yarn will be the right moisture level, matching that of the environment it’s stored, but being out in the open can be a lot of maintenance – it will need to be dusted regularly.

My yarn wall is created using a Billy bookcase from Ikea. I only have half the shelves open, the rest of the yarn is stored in baskets or boxes. I change my display regularly, mostly seasonally, swapping out the colours and fibres to match the seasons. There are many options to create a yarn stash display that will look stunning – but don’t create a display and leave it to it’s own devices, keep it clean and use up that stash.

How to store Yarn - yarn wall

Keep Your Yarn Organised

There a few different ways you can organise your yarn so that you can find exactly what you are looking for and not lose track of any yarn.

You can organize your yarn by:

  • Yarn fiber
  • Yarn weight
  • Yarn colour

It’s best to organise your yarn in this order and keeping all the yarn fibres together. Once it’s sorted into fibre, you can group the yarn weights together and finally the colours.

If you mainly use all one fibre type or blend, you can choose to organise by weight then colour, skipping the fibre. 

For my yarn wall, I keep all my acrylic yarn on display, with different weight’s stored on different shelves. I then sort them into colours to keep things pretty. My high quality yarn and animal fibres are all kept together, sorted in weight.

As I mentioned above, I change my yarn wall depending on the season. In Spring and Summer, I bring out my cotton and cotton blends from storage to display before swapping them for my favourite acrylic in the colder months.

How to store yarn

Keep Yarn Labeled

The most important thing to know about any yarn is the fibre it is made from. Without that information, it’s very hard to determine the fibre content without performing a series of tests including burning a strand and analysing it.

Before putting any yarn away, makes sure the yarn band or information label is secure. If it’s lost (and you know what it is) create your own information note putting the brand, yarn fibre and yarn weight on before you forget.

Remember, Crochet should bring you Joy

Theses yarn storage ideas are simply that – Ideas to allow you to keep your yarn in tip top condition. They aren’t rules, more like recommendations.

I’ve already confessed that I store my yarn incorrectly by having a yarn wall – it’s pretty and brings me so much joy to see if all set out nicely. It means I can select what colour I want to use next and see what I have available to stitch with.

Of course, no one wants to find yarn that’s gone off – moldy or infested, but sometimes bad things happens to pretty yarn. These recommendations will prevent the worst of things happening.

But, they wont stop me spilling coffee of my WIP – sadly this has happened a couple of times.

However you store your yarn, enjoy it. Don’t just stash it – keep looking for that elusive perfect pattern and use it.

Let me know how you store your yarn!

How to store your yarn

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