I'm trying to create an effect where a piece of fabric flies in from the side as a flat sheet from the left, then drops and drapes, then another piece flies in from the back as a flat sheet then drops and drapes, then a third comes in from the right as a flat sheet, then drops and drapes. So for each piece I want an animation to happen, finish, then the cloth simulation to start. This seems like something I would have thought would be easy, but I just can't seem to work out how to delay the start of my cloth simulations for each piece so they start after the animation. How can I animate the start of the cloth sim? I can see check boxes next to each individual property in the cloth sim to animate those properties, but I can't work out how to stop it doing any simulating at all until after the animation has finished.
The simulations in Blender usually all come with an option for caching, and the place to cache the cloth simulation also serves as a control from when to when the simulation will be taking place.
So to speak of the most simple solution, all you have to do is to set up the simulation and limit the start and maybe the end (means the cloth would not continue falling or folding and just stay stiff in the last calculated form) of each cloth object simulation.