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Fold T-shirts The Japanese Way!

Updated on July 18, 2014

Improve and Streamline Your T-Shirt Folding!

Yes, it's true there is this efficient, Ninja-quick, Japanese method for folding a t-shirt that reduces all the motions to just a few economical ones.

Anyone who's ever worked in retail and had to spend countless hours refolding and stacking shirts and sweaters will totally appreciate this folding technique. And it's super cool to use for your home laundry too. Moms who find themselves doing laundry for a big family will find this a time-saver. Husbands and teenagers have even been known to fold t-shirts after seeing this method! Whether you have six or six hundred t-shirts to fold, why not fold them the fastest and easiest actually scientifically researched by Japanese ergonomic specialists?

This shirt-folding technique is easy to understand, ergonomic in movement, and takes just a few seconds per shirt to do!

How To Fold A T-Shirt

So, what's the benefit of knowing this?

Ergonomics - When something is "ergonomic" it means it's been adjusted and adapted to fit human needs and movements. It works to eliminate repetitive stress and uses a minimum of motions to get the job done which saves you effort and time.

Space-saving - Take a whole lot of t-shirts and empty out a drawer in your dresser or get an empty suitcase. First, try stuffing all the shirts into the drawer or suitcase without any folding. See how much space they take up. Then, take them all back out and fold them using the method shown here. See how much less space they take up? Now that airlines are charging money for how many bags you bring when you fly, getting more stuff into one suitcase isn't just convenient, it's an actual money-saver!

Better appearance - It's a fact that t-shirts which are folded up nicely not only take up less space, but they don't get as wrinkled as clothing that is just stuffed into a drawer any-which-way. This lets you'll look nicer and less scruffy when you wear them.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The Shirt Trick, now with Longer Sleeves

Sure, that looked really easy but what the heck are you going to do if you are facing a big pile of long-sleeve t-shirts That need folding? That's where this second video will show you how to adapt the original, Japanese speed-folding technique to shirts with long sleeves. All it takes is a few more folds and you get the same nicely-folded shape.

...second verse, same as the first...

As with any other skill, the real trick is to practice. The next time you do your laundry, put all your t-shirts into the same load and when they are dry, sit down with the whole pile at a table or on the floor where you have enough room to lay them out flat and practice with the entire batch. Most people find that after two or three "practice sessions" they've got the method down and can remember it, but don't panic if it takes you a bit longer. But it really does turn out to be a real time-saver!

Fast folding for long-sleeve t-shirts

Fold Your Pants

T-Shirt Ninja Message Board

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    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      RottenGirl, it's totally worth it!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, I just might fold last week's laundry. :)

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      No, I'm not of Japanese heritage. I just have a love of many facets of their culture.

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Eileen, try teaching your son. He might find it fun enough to do some folding himself...

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 

      6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      Never thought I'd have fun folding my son's t-shirts - thanks for this love it.

    • emimemo profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I remember this!!! I never tried, but I thought it was cool. And it is stll cool. Thank you for this hub.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      I love this Hub- thanks, I'm off to get a t shirt!

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Kikalina, sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference.

    • kikalina profile image


      6 years ago from Europe

      Wow this is impressive. I do all the folding for 4 people.

    • ScentsForCandles profile image


      6 years ago from Utah

      This is incredible! I'm so slow at folding laundry. I'm going to try this for awhile and try to master it. I'm sure it will speed things up.

      Great tip!

    • prektjr.dc profile image

      Debbie Carey 

      7 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      Oh My Goodness!!! That is awesome!!! I will definitely show that to my college age son!! How cool!

    • edw4rdcull profile image


      7 years ago

      I love Japanese culture and especially its art ... I would love one of those shirts

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      No, I'm not Japanese (if you look at my avatar, I think that's pretty clear) and I find this method to most un-technological as it takes no special tools or machinery.

    • kethyjewel profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Relache, Are you japanes? Japanese are always experts in all the technology.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Very nice. I'm amazed that it took 20 tries for me to get it right though. Thank you.

    • 2uesday profile image


      7 years ago

      This is such an amazingly quick way to fold a T shirt, almost like origami for clothes. I expect some of the guys need to watch the second video a couple of times to appreciate how to fold the tee shirt properly. I really think this is a good idea, so neat when packing clothes for a suitcase.

    • sunshinegirl323 profile image


      9 years ago

      Awesome. I can't wait to try it.

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Reynolds_Writing, you know, actually this Hub is about a Japanese technique.... which is pretty different than anything that might be Chinese.

    • Reynolds_Writing profile image


      9 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Interesting.... I never knew there was a Chinese way to fold shirts. Thanks for the tips.

    • pontarae profile image


      9 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      My wife of thirty years will be SO impressed with my new mad shirt-folding skillz :-)

    • daoine profile image


      11 years ago

      I don't know what's wrong with me but I have not been able to get this right without scrumpling the tshirt into a messy bundle. LOL I don't get to impress anyone...

    • KonaGirl profile image


      11 years ago from Slingerlands

      I don't know if it came from the Japanese or not, but I folded shirts like that for 20 years as a retail manager in the US.

    • teeray profile image


      11 years ago from Canada

      Whoa - that is so QUICK! I don't quite have the knack of it yet, but I'll get it! Thanks for showing hubbers how to do this!

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I know several single men who have impressed women who don't work at clothing stores by folding t-shirts this way.

    • darkside profile image


      11 years ago from Australia

      I learned this technique months ago and got to show it to someone working in a menswear store.

      Here's a tip for single guys: learn it, and impress the hot chicks who work in clothing stores!

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I don't know a t-shirt geek yet that hasn't fallen in love with this technique...

    • embitca profile image


      11 years ago from Boston

      Oh man, those videos are awesome. I can't even believe how simple that is. I must try it. I really, really hate folding laundry! And I have many t-shirts.

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Hahahahaha, Scott.... Whatever you do, don't confuse your t-shirts and your restaurant leftovers!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      This is great but why did I end up with a swan? JK. Great hub as always!

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      It only take a few tries and then most people get the technique down pat... but having a refresher from time to time sure helps!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thank you for this Hub! I'd lost the knack for doing it and now I can watch the video!!!

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I'm guessing that someone was hired somewhere to find a way to do it faster. That's usually how these things work.

    • IcarusInflight profile image


      11 years ago from Manchester UK

      Why are the Japanese so good at these things ?

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      It's not only easy, it's ergonomic too!

    • taylorblue profile image


      11 years ago from Canada

      That is crazy...I am doing laundry today...I will have to try it!


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