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Thread: So once you pre-wash your fabric.. how do you get it to be stiff again for cutting?

  1. #11
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    starching fabric

    I use the liquid starch in the blue plastic bottle, I think it's called Vano? I mix it 50/50 with water. Put it in a yard sprayer (about $15 i bought for this task ONLY) and holds about a gallon. I lay the fabric on plastic tablecloth and spray the inside of the fabric, roll it up and put in the refrigerator or freezer in a zip lock bag. Then when I want to do something other than sew I pull out a couple pieces and iron on the right side. works like a dream. If you want it stiffer, use less water.
    Sally Dolin -The Lazy Quilter
    Gammill Classic+
    Rock Island, IL

  2. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alikat110 View Post
    Lori, this sounds interesting. More info?
    I buy the starch concentrate Stay Flo it is in a blue 1/2 gallon jug . Walmart carries it with all of the other starches. I can dilute as a need. For really really stiff use full strenght. I like really really stiff when working with small skinny pieces. I can make 1/4 inch sewn( 3/4 inch cut) skinny borders using full strenght. I can just paint it on one end of the fabric for using with borders , using a sponge type paint brush , let it dry naturally by hanging. then iron then cut.
    When I am doing scrappy quilts I will mix approx. 1 to 1 ratio in a large tupperware bowl with lid. thorw in a batch and shake until everything is fully saturated then using a drying rack for drying.
    I also keep a bowl mixed and immerse strips until saturated hang dry then iron prior to cutting.
    One of the benefits of heavily strached fabric is the seams stay where you press them , no flipping back as you are sewing. Cutting accuracy is also greatly improved . If you are a finger pressing person.... it makes the finger pressing more like regular pressing.
    It may seem like a bit of work but I find the benefits are worth it, particulary if you are going to work with small cut pieces. For paper piecing it helps to keep the faric from flipping as you go to sew the seam. I found it very frustrating when paper piecing to turn the paper over only to find one of the fabrics had folded back on itself.
    Dipping into the starch or immersion allows to cotton to completely take in the starch, as apposed to spray that does not fully saturate the fabric.
    Starch does wash out, it also once dry will fall out naturally. Ever worn a starched shirt and at the end of the day its not as stiff.. thats the starch falling out as the fabric is moved or manipulated. When I was a kid and we would starch clothing , if we put it outside on the line to dry on a windy day , not much starch would be left when we brought in the clothes.

  3. #13
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    Oh my, I am new to quilting. I really do not think I will have time for this hobby if I have to do all that before I cut the fabric. May need to rethink this at least until I retire. Do most quilters pre-wash?

  4. #14
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    Tezell0801-- I decided that I should probably pre-wash the dark batiks that I buy. I really do not want those colors to run when I finally need to wash the quilt. I did run out and by some of the Shout color catchers too.

  5. #15
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I use spray starch.

  6. #16
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tezell0801 View Post
    Oh my, I am new to quilting. I really do not think I will have time for this hobby if I have to do all that before I cut the fabric. May need to rethink this at least until I retire. Do most quilters pre-wash?
    It is a topic that is hotly debated!

    The prewashers list: pre-shrinks your fabric, washes out remaining dyes, washes out chemicals/sizing used in manufacturing process.

    The non-prewashers list: like the feel of the fabric before washing, don't want it to shrink yet, are eager to start cutting, don't want to bother with washing.

    I'm sure others will pipe up with their reasons, or you can simply do a search on this board and find many threads discussing this topic.

  7. #17
    Super Member Ruby the Quilter's Avatar
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    I take the fabric out before it is completely dry then press it and use a little starch on it. Love Mary Ellen's Best - buy it by the gallon and last me over a year.
    Quilting in the Desert

  8. #18
    Senior Member COYOTEMAGIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tezell0801 View Post
    Oh my, I am new to quilting. I really do not think I will have time for this hobby if I have to do all that before I cut the fabric. May need to rethink this at least until I retire. Do most quilters pre-wash?
    All the fabric in my house has been prewash. I've got tons of allergies and just feel safer with all the "stuff" washed out of the fabric. I've never used starch. Use a glue stick instead of heat bonds like most folks. Use Elmers School glue to bast my quilts. Shoot I don't even iron my fabric after I wash it.I just fold it and put it away. Why? You're just going to have to iron it after you take it off your shelf to use.

  9. #19
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    What is sizing? I thought that meant starching but I am wrong I can see. I would like to know about sizing though. Please let me know. Thanks in advance. Jeanne
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  10. #20
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    I love Mary Ellens Best Press the fragrance free kind.

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