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To starch or not to starch?

To starch or not to starch?

Old 04-14-2019, 06:57 AM
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Location: Wis
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I don’t prewash and I rarely use starch. It seems everyone has their own opinions, and, in my opinion, there is no right or wrong.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:08 AM
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I wash all fabric before using; I want it to shrink before it is stitched. I have not investigated traditional starch yet, as I understand you have to let it soak in before pressing, and some methods sound complicated (like soaking fabric and putting in freezer?). I use Best Press when pressing yardage before cutting and when pressing seams.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:29 AM
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I always wash my fabrics as I have to go thru the laundry room to get into the house so I just drop my fabric in there and wash when I get enough fabrics alike to do laundry. I very rarely starch.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:57 AM
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As you can see, there are no set rules. I always wash. I want the fabric clean,no smell, no chemicals, no bleeding, shrinkage, and I can see how the fabric handles being washed and dried. I also starch. I like the crispness that starch/sizing gives the fabric/feel when I handle it and sew with it.
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:19 AM
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Location: South Dakota
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I prewash everything unless it's smaller than a charm - and so far I've starched almost nothing. I like fabric to feel like fabric, not paper so like no sizing what so ever.
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:27 AM
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Location: Vancouver Island, Beautiful BC
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I tend to prewash most fabric as I get eczema from chemicals in some fabrics.

I learned the hard and expensive way to starch when I am planning a quilt that will have bias edges. I finished the quilt I was making, but am not at all happy with the results. It was meant to be a gift, but I could not give it to the recipient.

No, I am not a perfectionist and do not worry about cut off points etc. The quilt I was making had 8.5 inch blocks, that grew after being squared up. When I squared them up the second time I lost quite of bit of the design that created a beautiful secondary design.

I have learned that if I need HST in a design I used methods to make them that do not result in bias edges on the outside of the blocks.

I use homemade starch using cornstarch from a recipe I found online. I make it up as needed for each project.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:37 AM
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I prewash sometimes. If the fabric has a loose weave, if it smells funky, feels funky or is a bleeder. I always launder my finished quilts as the final step to completion after the binding. I often starch yardage before cutting. It helps with precise cuts, more accurate blocks. It’s all personal choices- try different methods then decide and do what works for you.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:36 AM
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I prewash nothing and starch nothing. So far so good. I don't have any chemical sensitivities
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:17 PM
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Location: NE Pa.
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I agree with most everyone on prewashing, fabric shrinks, bleeds and I want any chemicals that remain washed out if possible. I do not starch and have been quilting for 30 plus yrs. I also buy only the best fabric from the quilt shops and you can call me a quilt snob if you wish but that's the way I do it lol
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:10 PM
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I prewash all fabrics. I only buy yardage, no precuts. I never starch.
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