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

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question So once you pre-wash your fabric.. how do you get it to be stiff again for cutting?

    I will admit it that I never have pre-washed my fabric before starting a quilt. It sounds like I need to change that, since so many of the fabric bleed these days. I like to cut my fabric when it it is still stiff from coming off the bolt. How can I get the stiffness back once I have washed the pieces?
    I would appreciate any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Starch is your friend. Either use spray starch (I use the cheapest I can find) or I have dunked whole lengths into liquid starch and let it dry outside. Iron your fabric and you will have the stiff feel you are looking for.

  3. #3
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    Right. I use spray starch. It works great.

  4. #4
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    I use a method I learned about from author Anita Grossman Solomon. I put the fabric and starch in a ZipLoc bag and refrigerate it, usually overnight. I like my fabric to be almost as stiff as a piece of paper --- not to everyone's taste, but doing so has helped me achieve excellent results. Take good care!
    Last edited by Groucho; 03-08-2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Poor spelling

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Starch can be a quilters best friend. I do prefer the starch concentrate , then immerse the piece and hang to dry before ironing. If I want to I can make fabric as stiff as card stock.

  6. #6
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    I agree that starching/sizing a fabric is helpful when working with bias edges. It does seem to stabilize the fabric. It also seems to minimize fraying while being handled.

    However, my personal feeling is that if a fabric does not have enough body to be workable with after it's been washed, it's not worth bothering with.

  7. #7
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    Starch and I bought the spray can when I first started...don't do it!! Expensive (at Jo Anns) and the nozzle broke before I had used half a can, bought another can and the same thing happened. Now, I buy mine at Walmart, Niagra in a a pump bottle for about $3.00 and it lasts about 2 quilts. Smells good too. There are a number of quilters that make their own and if they give a recipe, you could refill the pump with that and it might be cheaper but I like the convenience at Walmart.
    Busy in Ohio

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Most of the time, simply ironing it works for me, but I also like to use starch. Sizing is another great option, especially if you're going to store it and you live in an area with bugs. Silverfish like starch.

  9. #9
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Lori, this sounds interesting. More info?

  10. #10
    Super Member jmabby's Avatar
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    I spray it with water first, then spray startch it with a bottle and spray. Roll it up, put it in a zipper bag and refrigerate it overnite, then iron it.

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