Does Rolling Clothes for Travel Ruin Them?

does rolling clothes for travel ruin them

Traveling can be pretty rewarding—you get to see beautiful views, enjoy magical experiences, hang out with new people, and maybe even try out that dish you’ve seen all over social media. But a lot goes into a great travel experience—planning, logistics, and packing your bags, all of which can be stressful. Undoubtedly, loading the perfect travel suitcase is vital, and it’s normal to wonder if it’s a good idea to roll your clothes for travel.

Rolling clothes for travel doesn’t ruin them, and it can even help you save space, reduce creasing, and help you better organize your suitcase. You can roll almost every cloth you can fold—except for delicate fabrics like silk, lace, and linen.

Most people fold clothes into their suitcases before they travel. And while it’s not a bad practice in itself—after all, we were taught to fold, and it’s been pretty effective for ages—rolling your clothes might be a better alternative for your next travel suitcase. Keep reading to learn more about rolling clothes for travel, how to roll clothes, and great tips for packing your travel suitcase.

Is It Better To Roll or Fold Clothes for Travel?

There are many resources about packing overnight bags and travel suitcases. Still, very few ever mention anything about folding and rolling clothes—mainly if there’s an advantage to doing one over the other. However, I’ve taken it upon myself to ensure you’re well-armed with the truth, should you need to pack for travel.

It’s better to roll clothes for travel than to fold them, with the exception of delicate fabrics. And while folding your clothes will not harm them, there are more benefits to rolling. However, you must roll the clothes properly, or you won’t see the benefits when you get to your destination.

The most significant advantage to rolling clothes for travel is that they will typically develop fewer creases when you open your suitcase. Wrinkles can be a severe problem if you fold your clothes, especially if you iron them before traveling, but you can easily avoid them by rolling instead.

You can also save more space if you roll your clothes instead of folding them since you’ll be able to pack the fabrics closer together. Rolling will also allow you to fill all the corners of your suitcase, enabling you to use the travel bag effectively. Therefore, you’ll be able to stack your clothes without worrying about order.

Rolling also helps you better organize your luggage since you can stack clothes conveniently, regardless of their size. Therefore, you’ll be able to quickly get all your clothes when you arrive at your destination. And depending on how you pack, you can avoid spilling your entire suitcase when looking for a shirt or the occasional sock.

There’s no inherent danger to not packing your suitcase correctly, but you’ll negate the many advantages of rolling clothes for travel if you don’t do it well. That’s why I decided to share a quick and easy way to roll clothes for travel in the next section of this article.

How To Roll Clothes for Travel

rolling clothes for travel

I know it might seem ridiculous, but there’s an art to rolling clothes—and even folding them—for travel. It goes beyond bunching them up like fabric shawarma wraps, but you can learn how to do it in just a few simple steps. However, don’t let the ease of the process discourage you from doing it correctly.

Here’s how to correctly roll clothes for travel:

  1. Place your suitcase on the same surface you’ll be rolling your clothes to ensure the entire process is more manageable. The bag you use for your clothes is vital, so I recommend getting a suitcase like the Coolife Luggage Expandable Suitcase (available on It’s perfect for all travelers and has a hard shell and sturdy design that’ll survive almost anything you throw at it.
  2. Place the clothes on the surface and sort them according to type. You still need to sort your clothes before packing them in the suitcase, but it’s better to do this before rolling. After all, it’s easy to confuse clothing items for each other once they’ve been rolled.
  3. Lay each clothing item on the surface and carefully smooth out any creases using your hands. It’s crucial to remove wrinkles before rolling to ensure you don’t cause the wrinkles in the clothes to set. This step is critical, so ensure you don’t skip it.
  4. Fold the ends of the clothes toward each other. For example, take both sleeves and fold them inwards to the center if it’s a shirt. For trousers, skirts, and other items, fold them in half.
  5. Roll the clothes by grabbing the bottom end and folding at least 2.5 centimeters (1 inch). Ensure you smooth out wrinkles with each successful roll and make it as tight as possible. Don’t fuss about starting all over if you mess it up at any time.
  6. Place the clothes in a plastic bag and store them in your suitcase. The plastic bag will help prevent the clothes from unrolling, but you don’t have to do this. Instead, you can directly store the clothes in the suitcase.

You may need to experiment a few times with rolling before you nail it, but you’ll get better the more you use it. Remember not to roll delicate fabrics of any kind, so you don’t damage them or give them permanent creases. I also advise you to carefully treat detailed fabrics and stiff materials as they might be unsuited for rolling.

Tips To Efficiently Pack for Travel

As I mentioned, packing a suitcase for travel is an art, and you’ll feel better when you get to your destination with properly packed luggage. And although rolling is an efficient practice, there are a few tricks that’ll help you travel better, regardless of your destination.

Here are a few tips to efficiently pack for travel:

  • Always pack the necessities first.
  • Have a comprehensive list at hand.
  • Pack light and don’t cram your suitcase with clothes.
  • Don’t forget your toothbrush.

Several other tips will ensure you enjoy your journey, and you probably know a few of them. However, I’d advise you to remember these as they are essential, no matter the length of your journey.

Final Thoughts

I used to imagine the worst thing that could happen to me during a trip was finding out I forgot to pack a toothbrush—with good reason. But there’s nothing as awful as arriving and opening a suitcase of poorly packed luggage. Fortunately, rolling your clothes instead of folding them might help you, but you must ensure you do it right.


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