April 20, 2012


Posted by Ethne~

Allright, I’m going to tell you about the best t-shirt folding technique I’ve ever seen, but it’s kinda hard to explain.  It’s (apparently) called the Japanese folding technique and my sister-in-law Mel taught me how to do it.  She says you can see video on youtube if you search for it.  I’ll show you in pictures, with my mini toothpick jar as a prop.

Sis Mel - quite possibly one of the most efficient
and orderly gals I know - I'm jealous!

Bear in mind that Lori and I HATE laundry.  Any techniques that make folding laundry neater and faster are right up at the top of our awesome-ways-to-do-something-that’s-crappy list.

First, I’m left-handed.  The pictures are for a leftie.  If you are right-handed, turn the t-shirt the other direction so that the t-shirt neck is at your left rather than at your right (as seen in my pictures).

Lay the shirt in front of you, face up.

Turn the shirt 180 degrees if you're right-handed

With your left hand (remember this will be opposite for righties), trace out 2½” (going away from you) from the neckline and then slide down to the armpit of the shirt.  Pinch that invisible intersection.

Envision that invisible intersection coming downwards from the armpit
and coming leftwards from the shoulder.

With your right hand, grab and pinch that 2½” spot along the shoulder line of the shirt.

Toothpick jar marks where the armpit pinch is -
I needed one hand for picture-taking

Next fold the shoulder pinch over the armpit pinch – can you see where I marked the location of the armpit pinch with my toothpick jar?  When you fold the shoulder over the armpit, do not let go of the armpit pinch.

The shoulder (vertical line to the right of my hand) is
folding over the top of my hand pinching at the armpit
My left hand pinching the armpit is now completely covered
by the shoulder fabric; the toothpicks mark where the pinch is

Fold the shoulder all the way down to the bottom, keeping about that 2½” distance from the outside edge of the shirt inwards.

Grab the bottom ends of the shirt (right hand still) into the same pinch from the top shoulder and hold on tight.  Your left hand is still holding the covered-up pinch at the armpit.

I am pinching the shoulder and bottom edges together;
the sleeve of the shirt is to the right of my hand

Now keep holding the shoulder/bottom pinch in place and pull your left hand (keep pinching the armpit spot) outwards toward you.  This will give you a nice sharp corner. 

Armpit pinch is being pulled outwards; the toothpicks
mark the spot of the pinch
See the sharp point slightly left of center of the photo?

Lift the shirt up, holding in the same spots, and gently shake the shirt so the layers will lay flat. 

[For visual, I laid the shirt back down face up.  The shoulder and bottom pieces are now at the top right and the armpit pinch spot is at the top left – see where I marked it with my toothpick jar, top left?]

From the front

[I flipped the shirt over here so you will see what the back looks like.]

From the back - that's the left sleeve sticking out at the left

While you are holding the shirt up at your same pinch spots, fold the pinched spots over the remaining loose sleeve, so the ends match up.

Folding the front of the shirt over so it matches up with
the loose sleeve end.
The edges are matched up

See how perfectly rectangular and flat the shirt is?

This is what it will look like from the back.

Shaun likes his shirts folded in half again, and the nice thing about this technique is they stack up really nicely with the flat layers.

Perfection in a t-shirt.  Who knew?  I'm sure Shaun totally
appreciates this when he groggily grabs his shirt out
of the drawer, in the dark, each morning...

Now try this a few times.  You may not get it the first time, but once you do, it’s the easiest ever.  A nice flat t-shirt every time.  Lickety-split!  You’ll be amazed.

PS – Mel and I haven’t figured out how to make this technique work for long-sleeved t-shirts.  If you do, feel free to tell us about it.  We’d be more than happy to do a guest post starring you!

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