Lately I have been seeing lots of new storage bags out there for storing our current projects. They come in many sizes and styles. Sometimes I think I have tried them all.
Gone are the days when I used zipper bags from the grocery store for projects. The more sturdy permanent storage protect my needlepoint better and can be used again and again.
As a result, I’ve learned many things that need to be present in a bag to make them work well. Today I’ll share these with you.
Seeing your Projects
Bags that are clear and heavy or that are translucent and reinforced are my favorite. Other people like fabric or oilcloth bags with clear windows. The important benefit here is that you need to be able to see what’s in the bag.
Other kinds of bags that work have colored mesh, like Walker Bags, or translucent plastic combined with opaque solids, such as the Ashland Sky bags.
Most of us have too many projects in progress or reuse our bags too often to make remembering which project is in which kind of fabric a practical choice.
If you can see inside then you can see the canvas and/or threads and know what project you are grabbing.
Any one who has used plastic zipper bags from the grocery store to store projects has realized their big problem — they are thin. Needles poke out, they rip, and they get holes. None of this does you or your needlework any good.
Your bags should be thick enough so the needles don’t poke through and strong enough that they do not rip.
Rarely do bags made for needlework storage gave this problem. I have encountered it though when I have used bags made for other purposes.
Our projects come in many sizes and our bags should as well. If you are storing your frame in the bag, the bag should be big enough for it to fit comfortably. If you are only storing threads, then it should expand enough to hold everything for your project.
Happily most bags come in several sizes. Unhappily those sizes may only be the outside measurements. I had this happen with a bag that will remain nameless recently. The bag was labeled as 15″square. By the outside measurement it was. Because of the width of the binding the inside measurement was 14″x15″ Because it could not expend much, a project on 13″ standard stretcher bars barely fit! I had to put the threads in a second bag.
You need to get your project in and out easily and you should be able to close the bag for storage. If you cannot your bag is too small!
Closures is the biggest problem I find in bags. I have bags that are fine except the zipper goes only partway across. If that’s the case the effective size of the bag is 1/2 to 1″ shorter than the zipper for projects.
I have bags where the zipper goes around two or three sides. They are great for fitting in projects, but if you open the zipper too far, everything will fall out!
I have bags with no closure at all, just a flap to fold over or tuck in. These won’t keep much in if they get knocked around.
I have bags with snaps. Threads pop out between the snaps.
I have bags where the pull came off the zipper. Pliers are used to open them.
For best storage, you bag needs to have a zipper with at least a standard size pull. It needs to be as long as the effective space of the bag (bag minus binding). The zipper can extend partway down one or two sides of the bag to make the opening larger, but beware of bags where more than one side opens completely.
My Favorite Bags
Are still the Helenz bags from New Zealand (reviewed here). Needlepoint for Fun imports them. I have tried many different bags but these still win out every time.