Fitted sheets are made with sewn-in elastic that makes it difficult to fold them neatly without bunching and an odd shape when you finish. There is more than one way to go about this task and the best method for getting a neat fold depends on the size of the sheet and just how much elastic it has. Believe it or not, the larger ones can be easier. Proper folding of sheets can ease wear and tear and extend the life so it’s good to know how to handle the job properly. Here are the proven methods to make this task easier and more satisfying
- It’s best, to begin with a sheet that has just been taken out of the dryer. When the fabric is warm and unwrinkled, it is a lot easier to work with despite the elastic.
- Find a large flat surface to work on. A bed will do fine. Start by grabbing the corners of the top of the sheet with both hands. Extend your arms away from one another and lay the sheet on the bed. There will be gathers at the top and on the sides. Start from the middle of the sheet and begin moving outwards to smooth out as many of the wrinkles as you can to flatten it out. Pull the top corners outwards to form to closest to a square shape that you can. The elasticized part will hang below the edge that you make at the top of the sheet. This will create a square top with the elasticized part of the sheet resting below the top and it may resemble a horse collar in the middle. This is perfect.
- Take the bottom 2 corners of the sheet in each hand. Find the seams where the elastic join to form the corners. Grab at the seams of the corners and pull the corners upwards. You will see the pockets that have formed at the top of the sheet. Pull the bottom corners up to fit into these pockets. Continue to pat and smooth as you go.
- The sides of the sheets will be gathered. Fold the right side inward just enough to get a flat edge. Repeat this process with the left side of the sheet. Continue to smooth as you go.
- Fold the fabric in half, bringing the bottom up to the top. Fold lengthwise, then finish with the final fold. If the sheet is large, you may need to make three folds to get the desired size for storage in your linen closet. The key is to constantly smooth the sheet to keep it flat.
Techniques for folding a larger-sized fitted sheet
King and Queen sized bed linens that have been elasticized at the corners can represent some big challenges. The method that works best for getting a nice tight fold is a little different.
- First step – Take the elasticized sheet out of the dryer and find the four corners. Shake it out while holding it by the top corners.
- Second step – Turn it inside out then grab the inside corners at the seams with hands inside the elasticized part with fabric lying over the hands. Pinch the corners and pull them toward you, stretching the material outward giving it a light shake. The opening of the elasticized sheet will be opposite your body
- Third step – Place the sheet on the bed with the flat side down and the opening on the top. Smooth it out. Pull the corners and smooth out the top to create an even edge so the opening with the elastic falls a few inches below the top of the sheet.
- Fourth step – Find the bottom corners with your fingers and grab them at the seam line. Bring the fabric up to fit neatly into the top line of the sheet. You will bring the two bottom corners directly up into the top corners that you’ve formed. Fit the bottom into the top, and make any adjustments that are needed to get the flattest possible fit as you slide the bottom into the top areas. Continue to smooth the fabric as you go.
- Fifth step – Smooth the bottom with your hands to make a neat edge then turn to the sides. They will be puckered. Make a fold on the right side just wide enough to create a nice flat edge. Repeat this for the left side, patting as you go.
- Sixth step – Bring the bottom of the fabric up to the top to create another fold, tucking and smoothing the side as needed. Sometimes it helps to give the fabric a few tugs and pats here and there to guide unruly puckers into their proper place.
- Seventh step – Take the top and bottom and make a length-wise fold and make sure that the side edges are even. Finally, fold the fabric in two or three folds to complete the task. The number of final folds that you’ll need to make depends a lot on the sheet size.
There are a lot of different ways to fold elasticized sheets neatly and relatively free of wrinkles. It always works best when you start with a sheet that is still warm from the dryer. We’ve discussed the two most popular ways to do the job, but there are really a lot of different methods that work well. Regardless of the method that you use it’s important to remember that these are basic methods to give you tips on how to more quickly and easily perform a difficult task. Everyone has their own heuristics and it’s a great idea to experiment as you go. It takes time and practice to get the techniques down, so have fun and be patient with yourself. If you find a better method that works for you, don’t be afraid to share it with others. After you’ve perfected your own techniques you’ll find that this is a task that is no longer daunting or frustrating.