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Fabric Destash Tips

By January 21, 2023blog

If you have been a quilter for a while, you will probably have discovered that fabric seems to accumulate in every cupboard around the house!!

Either your tastes have changed, or you realise you just can’t make all the quilts you really want to in your lifetime, so you need to tidy up your sewing space and move some of your fabric on to a new home… preferably in someone else’s house!

We are having a virtual destash weekend on Instagram 26th – 29th January 2023 under the hashtag #aussiedestashweekend but I thought it would be good to share some tips on how to make your destash as successful as possible!

First, decide what fabric (and other notions/books etc) you want to destash. This can take a deceptive amount of time, so start now!

Group them into bundles… be that by colour or designer or leave them as single pieces. Whichever way you think will sell easiest for people. Measure the item (or at least a really good guesstimate) and write down the size/weight/dimensions etc.

Make the bundle look good! This might mean giving them a press and fold them neatly. It will definitely mean taking a photo in good lighting (see section below on pictures). It might mean putting a ribbon around the bundle if it is a large one. Make people WANT to stop scrolling, drool and decide that they want to buy YOUR fabric!

If you have a lot of different items to sell, consider giving them a number. You can write this number on a piece of paper, maybe even with a short description of the item ‘Item # 16. 5 metric fat quarters of Kate Spain, Canyon.’ I would suggest NOT putting the price on the piece of paper, this way, you can change your mind later, or mark it down easily in the caption rather than trying to retake photos or hope people read the caption for the updated price.

Pictures. Set up a spot to take all of the pictures for your destash. Preferably with natural light, so maybe on a table next to a window. But it could be outside on a piece of board on the verandah, or even in the backseat of your car! Whatever will give you good light and a flat surface. Have all the items you want to photograph, with the pieces of paper ready to go so that you can take all the photos at a similar time, this way the light will be consistent (and hopefully nice and bright). Try and make sure that the image on your camera/phone reflects fairly closely the real colours of your fabrics / items. If not, note down somewhere to add to the caption whether it is greener or pinkier etc.

If you have a lot of items to destash, think about setting up a separate Instagram account for this…. your regular followers may be interested in the destash, but may not want to see 400 items in their feed from Thursday to Sunday…. it would be better to have a separate account to do your destash. They can come and do a binge check of your destash account at a time that suits them. I am doing my destash under @anneboundydestash

Marketing. Make sure you post in your normal IG account quite a few times leading up to your destash with links to your destash account, what type of things you will be destashing and when it will start. Stories, reminders, polls, reels, whatever gets people’s attention!

Put a ‘destash coming soon’ kind of post into your destash account. tell people about the type of things you will be destashing and when it will start. This post is a good one to have the rules of your destash as well as when it will start. The rules for example could be how you expect them to notify you they want an item. How to notify you of their paypal email address (get them to DM it!) or other method of payment.

Loading up your posts. You can load up all your images and captions in the days leading up to your destash and just save them as draft. Another alternative is setting the posts to be live (so your followers can see them) but have the comments turned off so nobody can comment and therefore can’t dibs the item. I do feel that the latter method just means your DMs are going to be full of people cajoling you and it is much harder to work out who was first etc etc.

Captions. Instagram does not like posts that have the exact same caption, so make sure that you differ your captions for your destash items. Make sure you include the relevant hashtags. For our Aussie Destash Weekend use #aussiedestashweekend as well as the standard Australian fabric destash hashtag #greataussiedestash. You might like to include a specific fabric designer hashtag or fabric collection hashtag if you feel it is a popular one.

Then once the day and time arrives for your destash to start you can start setting your posts to live. It might be good to have a ‘we are off and running with our destash’ kind of post that you can share with your normal account and in stories etc.

WARNING! Instagram doesn’t like it you set HEAPS of posts live all at the same time. So pace yourself. Do one every three or so minutes.

Payment. I do recommend Paypal as the payment method, however you can specify whichever method you prefer.

Shipping. It will be easier if you already have some satchels on hand to pack and send off your items. Or be prepared to go to the post office and grab the packing you need to take home and pack things up.

Tracking your destash. I have created an EXCEL spreadsheet that you can use to track all your items and then who has purchased and all the billing details. If you don’t have access to EXCEL then there is a PDF of it that you can use as a paper copy. Or feel free to recreate it in whatever spread-sheeting tool you prefer.

Click here for Excel Spreadsheet Version

Click here for PDF Version

Time. Be prepared, destashing takes time. Sometimes a LOT of time. You will need to answer questions as your destash is underway. Keep good records of who has purchased which items so you can package them up safely and is best to send with tracking. Communicate with your buyers to keep them informed as to when you have sent them an invoice, that you have received payment and when you are shipping it off. And don’t forget to send things off quickly – gets it out of your house and into your buyers hands!

Your purchasers will then have some lovely new fabric and you will have cash in the bank to buy more beautiful fabrics! Hehehe.

Whew… sorry, that turned out to be more of a brain dump than I had expected!! Hope there are some good tips for you if you join us on the #aussiedestashweekend or your next destash!

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