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Thread: Using Starch

  1. #1
    Super Member Surfergirl's Avatar
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    I know this topic has been discussed recently, but I just found some info online concerning the use of starch when quilting. Everyone loves it, of course, but starch is a protein and attracts bugs, silverfish, in particular, and washing doesn't totally remove it as it is deep into the fibers after pressing. Also, over time, starch will "yellow" fabric. It has been suggested that using Magic Sizing spray instead of starch works well and it doesn't flake or build up on the iron. Any thoughts on this subject?

  2. #2
    Super Member MinnieKat's Avatar
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    I've also heard that Magic Sizing is better to use than spray starch.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I really do not have a bug concern, living in a cold climate, and never found any evidence of silverfish. I have been starching for years and not had a yellowing issue. It will be interesting to see if others have had yellowing.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    All of the quilts that I make are used often, frequently washed, so I am pretty sure that the starch isn't going to be a problem.
    I don't think it would linger in the fabrics after a couple of washings. I give mine an extra rinse to make sure that it is all out, and the quilts are nice and soft :D:D:D

  5. #5
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    I use both--Magic Sizing on light fabrics and starch on all others and have never had a bug problem since MIL moved out. Her junk food attracted bugs. They all seem to have followed her.

    I'm not patient enough to use starch on lights so end up scorching it--even the non-scorching type.

    Wool is a different story. It will be eaten very quickly if you don't keep up with the moth crystals or cedar shavings.

  6. #6
    Junior Member scrappycats's Avatar
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    I know we are supposed to be quilting for future generations, but really cannot find it within me to worry about it yellowing a few decades from now. I just can't see my quilts being in a museum or whatever 100 years from now and someone saying if only she had not used starch. LOL I will not give up my starch!

    When making quilts, I am making sure they are washable, even the hand quilted ones. The hand quilted ones have lots and lots of stitches closely spaced to make them washable. Surely any starch would come out eventually. Plus, now days all you gotta do is add those non-chlorine bleach additives that will take out the yellow.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    I've always used Magic Sizing. It does a great job on my blocks. It makes them easier to handle and to sew together. I don't think I've ever used starch. I know that way-back-when, I deliberately made a decision against starch and for the sizing but for the life of me, I now can't remember why I chose sizing in the first place.

  8. #8
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    People have been using starch for centuries with no problems. In fact,old table linens that were heavily starched, are generally in better shape than clothing of the same vintage, which was not. I'm not really sure that your source is correct. Yellowing on old textiles is often from dust and smoke. Before electricity, homes relied on burning gas-oil-kerosene for light and wood and coal for heat. Add tobacco smoke, and even modern fabrics will yellow, regardless of starching.

    Starch DOES wash out, or else accumulated starch would have commercial linens stiff as boards! That is one strange theory!

    I starch on the wrong side of blocks, and keep the iron temperature appropriate to minimize flaking. No problems, and no problems with bugs, either. Can I blame starch on the tiny lizards getting in the house?

  9. #9
    Super Member dglvr's Avatar
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    I use starch all the time and never had a problem. I never noticed any left overs on my projects after washing it. I'm always hearing about bugs too but never had that problem either. I'll keep using starch.

    :thumbup:

  10. #10
    Super Member Juliebelle's Avatar
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    I am a big fan of Magic Sizing, it works great for me and I was also told when I first started quilting that starch attracts bugs. I am in NC and we have lots of bugs here so better not to take chances.

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