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Is folding or rolling the better way to pack?

Is folding or rolling the better way to pack?

Everyone's got an opinion, but no one's 100 percent sure whether they're right. Is folding or rolling the better way to pack? "A lot of guys would be wary of rolling for fear the clothes would emerge from a bag really wrinkly," says Thread stylist Alice Watt. "But folding can be such a palaver that there's got to be a better alternative."

In order to determine definitively which method trumps the other, Alice packed two identical bags: one folded, one rolled. Below, she shares which technique emerged the victor – and the best ways to pack your trousers, t-shirts and shirts before your summer holiday

Part 1. Is rolling or folding the superior way to pack?

If you're light on space, roll

"The pile at the left came from the rolled bag and the pile on the right came from the folded bag. I put exactly the same into each one, pretty much in the same order – shoes first, then trousers, then tops. When I'd filled the folded bag, I still had a huge amount of room in the rolled bag – enough for seven extra t-shirts and shirts. If you're only taking carry-on, rolling instead of folding would definitely mean you could bring at least one extra outfit."

Roll for fewer wrinkles

"The shirt on the left was rolled, and the one on the right was folded. Neither technique was perfect in terms of wrinkles, but the wrinkles in the rolled shirt would be far less noticeable once you put it on – and would largely fall out if you hung it up overnight.

"The wrinkles in the folded shirt, on the other hand, are sharper and much more noticeable, meaning you'd probably have to do a bit of ironing before wearing it."

How to roll a shirt

  1. Place the shirt front-down.
  2. Fold the sleeves in.
  3. Fold the shirt in half vertically. This will prevent a crease as the button placket isn't prone to creasing.
  4. Roll from the bottom up. Careful to roll continuously rather than folding to keep from making any creases.

How to roll a t-shirt

  1. Fold the sleeves in.
  2. Roll from the bottom up. Keep flattening out wrinkles as you roll to ensure it's as smooth as possible; the jersey fabric can bunch up quite easily otherwise.
  3. Fold the rolled t-shirt in half. This will prevent a crease because the already-rolled shirt won't make a sharp fold.

How to roll trousers

  1. Fold the trousers in half, lengthwise. This will prevent a crease because you're folding along the seam.
  2. Roll from the bottom up. Roll continuously, rather than folding, to keep from making any creases.