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I'm not saying it IS magic, but I'm not saying it isn't either.
June 14, 2013 8:03 AM   Subscribe

How to Fold a (Short Sleeved) Shirt in Under 2 Seconds. [slyt | via]
posted by quin (41 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is well-covered ground, sorry. -- restless_nomad



 
Can this method help you autonomously fold a previously-unseen towel?
posted by migurski at 8:06 AM on June 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Of course you have to spend >2 seconds laying the shirt out all nice and flat on your nice flat surface... (she says on a break from folding shirts on the arm of the sofa)
posted by olinerd at 8:08 AM on June 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Although the link doesn't appear to be working, I think this video's technique was the same as this one. I just recall seeing on Metafilter some Asian video using this technique, and I think that is the one.
posted by dios at 8:09 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


LOVE IT! Been doing this for decades. Always a hit at laundry parties!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 8:11 AM on June 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


The folks over on AskMe clamoring for laundry-based time-saving techniques are gonna flip!

Oh, wait: 1 2 3 4
posted by carsonb at 8:12 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Still not as fast as crumpling it into a ball and tossing it into your open dresser drawer from across the room.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 AM on June 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


octothorpe: well, when you gotta go to the trouble every time of raising that second arm to signal the trey...
posted by carsonb at 8:14 AM on June 14, 2013


I think this was the original version of this--7 years ago! Time flies on the internet. I'm surprised it hasn't been posted here before...
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:15 AM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Always a hit at laundry parties!

Uhm, these parties, do you have to participate or can I just bring laundry?
posted by yerfatma at 8:22 AM on June 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Related wizardry: How To Fold A Fitted Sheet
posted by spilon at 8:23 AM on June 14, 2013


utterly baffling.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:23 AM on June 14, 2013


How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

Just a warning: if you learn to do that, you'll be in charge of folding sheets at home forever. Ask me how I know.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:25 AM on June 14, 2013 [24 favorites]


Meh, the fitted sheet thing only works for sheets that only have the elastic scrunching on the corners. Almost all my fitted sheets are elastically scrunched all the way around.

That t-shirt thing is clearly the darkest of magicks, though.
posted by elizardbits at 8:26 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing -- this just isn't a very good way to fold shirts. Even if you get it perfect, the aspect ratio is all wrong, with the folded item being a lot taller than it is wide.

And as you can see from the video, even experience practitioners can't get 90 degree angles and straight sides on a consistent basis.

More traditional shirt folding methods might take up to 5x as long, but still, we are talking 10secs for shirts that you don't have to fight with in order to get them to stack properly.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:27 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I managed to burn down the apartment when trying this. Now what?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:27 AM on June 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


We just put all our shirts on hangers. Shirts come out of the dryer and we lay them flat then slip hangers in flipping the top of each over as we go, then just pick up the whole bunch and hang them in the closet. It's also nice because we always hang them up on one side so the stuff we don't wear very often naturally gets moved to the other end.
posted by VTX at 8:36 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can this method help you autonomously fold a previously-unseen towel

I'm one of those weirdos who actually enjoys folding clothes, and even I would flip for a folding robot.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:40 AM on June 14, 2013


This may be the only household skill I'm good at: I can fold a t-shirt neatly in mid air.

Grab the shoulders near the neck, front towards me, floop it outwards like a towel, twist wrists to flap the sleeves away from me while grabbing those outer thirds as they fly around, and when the bottom comes back towards you let it land on a table and quickly fold the top half down onto the bottom half, neatly trapping the sleeves in the middle.

Repeat until laundry basket is empty or cat is annoyed.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:44 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uhm, these parties, do you have to participate or can I just bring laundry?

Actually, everyone throws their keys into a glass jar, then each person selects a set of keys from the jar, and then you do the laundry of the person whose keys you picked.
posted by bitteroldman at 8:49 AM on June 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


We just put all our shirts on hangers.

Works great for wovens, but I stopped doing this for all shirts when someone (i.e. my wife) pointed out how stretched and slump-shouldered all of my knit shirts (i.e. t-shirts) were getting.
posted by dersins at 8:51 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


For long-sleeved shirts. It's pretty similar in most respects.

I just fold my shirts in 4 and drop them in the drawer, because they're going to be horribly creased within 10 minutes of wearing, because I'm one of those people.
posted by pipeski at 8:55 AM on June 14, 2013


I'm not saying folded fitted sheets isn't one of the biggest challenges you'll face in life like the lady says but I can certainly imagine a few scenarios where that's not the case.
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:10 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Life's too short to fold a fitted sheet.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:11 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I picked this up from the video Admiral Haddock linked years ago and I still love doing it. You can get away with just doing it in mid air for all but the final fold, and that only needs a vaguely flat surface. Sure, you need one more fold in half to get to a sensible drawer size, but you can just pick the finished product up from the middle of each side.
posted by lucidium at 9:22 AM on June 14, 2013


Of course you have to spend >2 seconds laying the shirt out all nice and flat on your nice flat surface... (she says on a break from folding shirts on the arm of the sofa)

Nah, once you've got it down and know where to grab it, you can pretty much do it straight out of the jumble of clothes in the laundry basket (provided you made sure your shirts were right-side-out before going into the laundry, which I consistently fail at).
posted by jason_steakums at 9:31 AM on June 14, 2013


That's cool, but what really changed my life was reducing my wardrobe until every shirt I have can go on a hanger. No more teetering towers of folded shirts, or jammed full dresser drawers for me.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:35 AM on June 14, 2013


That's cool, but what really changed my life was reducing my wardrobe until every shirt I have can go on a hanger. No more teetering towers of folded shirts, or jammed full dresser drawers for me.

Well, but hanging shirts on hangers takes time too. And t-shirts are a pain to hang — you have to pass the hanger up through the torso if you don't want to stretch out the collar.
posted by stopgap at 9:56 AM on June 14, 2013


The foldy stuff may not be magic, but surely the way he makes lines and letters by pointing his fingers has to be magic.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:03 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


This may be the only household skill I'm good at: I can fold a t-shirt neatly in mid air.

Me, too! I do this every morning when I pack my pannier with my work clothes.

Honestly, it's a lot faster end-to-end than this method, too. From scooping the shirt out wherever it is to laying the folded shirt on the bed takes under 3 seconds. No careful pre-arrangement needed.
posted by gurple at 10:09 AM on June 14, 2013


Mid-air folder here. Definitely easier than trying to clear and clean a surface to fold upon.
posted by a halcyon day at 10:18 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


For maximum effect, the video needs to begin by showing a comically inept person failing miserably at folding a shirt, giving up in frustration, then looking at the camera to say "there's gotta be a better way!"
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 10:25 AM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Like this
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 10:29 AM on June 14, 2013


you have to pass the hanger up through the torso if you don't want to stretch out the collar.

Whoa.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:34 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here's the thing -- this just isn't a very good way to fold shirts. Even if you get it perfect, the aspect ratio is all wrong, with the folded item being a lot taller than it is wide.

Yeah, that's what I don't like about it. When I fold a shirt the regular way, my last step is to fold it in half and get a nice little bundle. With the "2 second" method, it feels messy if you do that last fold.
posted by smackfu at 10:37 AM on June 14, 2013


I actually tried to implement this in production a few years ago, via the older asian video, and our problem was that when there's a whole stack of shirts, you end up pinching the one underneath half the time, & laying them out flat individually on a table was a time-killer compared to our more conventional technique.

If my conveyor dryers were big enough that we could lay out the whole shirt flat coming off the press, we could do this at the end of the belt, but alas, they are not. We've got 2 presses sharing each belt, and the bottom part of the shirt without any printing on it gets folded under to make room for the opposite press, which ruins this technique entirely.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:47 AM on June 14, 2013


I managed to burn down the apartment when trying this.

I think you accidentally clicked on the video for making a mini bow and arrow with a lit match.

Now what?

Call 911.
posted by drlith at 10:58 AM on June 14, 2013


I, for one, welcome our new shirt folding overlords.
posted by dry white toast at 11:19 AM on June 14, 2013


Unfortunately these videos (of which there are plenty) never include laying things out flat and smoothing them in their time counts. At which point manually folding is just as efficient.
posted by Phalene at 12:28 PM on June 14, 2013


When you're hanging T-shirts you stuff your arm down through the neck and out the bottom and gather shirts on your arm like some sort of giant arm bracelets. Then you grab a hanger by the top and slide the last shirt down over the hanger and hang it up. Repeat until you have no more giant bracelets. Repeat until you have no more T-shirts.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:47 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


carsonb: The folks over on AskMe clamoring for laundry-based time-saving techniques are gonna flip!

Oh, wait: 1 2 3 4
Yep, this isn't just a repeat; it's a fivepeat for the Blue.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:44 PM on June 14, 2013


I fold the t-shirt lengthwise so that the corners meet (and however much of the two edges as will come along for the ride), tuck the sleeves flat on one side and roll it up.

I find I can store a lot more in my limited space using the roll method.
posted by the sobsister at 4:15 PM on June 14, 2013


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