Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to Fold a Sheet

Have you ever envied the aisles of perfectly folded, square sheets presented by many show barns? All it takes to accomplish this yourself is a little bit of practice and a few easy steps! These instructions make the process seem longer than it really is; once you've practised it a few times you should find that each step can be done in one fluid motion, leading to the next.

Even for casual at-home blanketing, folding your blankets squarely means that they will take up less room, one blanket won't get caught on another, and proper folding will contribute to a professional look.

As with most aspects of the horse world, you are likely to find some variation in technique at different stables and with different types of sheets, but this is a good folding technique to build from.

For ease of photography these first steps are shown on the floor, but you should hold the sheet yourself throughout the process, off the ground.

First, grab the front edge of the blanket at the top seam with one hand, and the back edge of the blanket at the top seam with the other hand. Bring both hands together while giving the blanket a flick so that it folds in half along the top seam with a straight fold. Shift your hands so that one is now holding each end of the doubled top seam.

Don't worry about the top seam matching all the way along, especially if the blanket is fitted along the back; this would result in lumpy folding.

Bring your hands together again so that the top seam is folded into four layers. Remember to give the blanket a flick as you fold in order to get straight, wrinkle-free folds!

You should now have the main body of the blanket folded into four even layers, with the shoulder area hanging free.

Double the folded section of the blanket over one arm while you grab the front buckle area with your free hand and fold it behind the quartered body so that the shoulder area is at the bottom of your folded blanket, lying against your arm.

Facing the blanket bar, flip the blanket so that the back seam is facing down (note that a blanket with writing on it will need to be rotated the other way so that the writing doesn't appear upside down). Fold the blanket over the bar, allowing the blanket bar to catch the shoulder area and straps without allowing them to fall free over the back of the bar.

By flipping the blanket upside down, the bar catches the straps and doubles them over under the blanket. This creates a much neater appearance and prevents long straps from getting caught as doors open and close.

For other blankets:

  • For a high-necked blanket, fold it the same as you would a regular sheet but grab from the wither area, not from the actual front edge of the blanket.
  • For embroidered sheets or prize coolers, practice until you find the best places to fold in order to display the writing properly. This might result in uneven quarters, which is fine as long as you can still tuck certain areas under in order for it to hang neatly.
  • For turnout blankets/sheets without a seam, it remains very important to grab from where that seam would have been in order for a square shape to result.