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Thread: Starch/Sizing -

  1. #1
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    Starch/Sizing -

    For most projects, I avoid using it.

    The one or two times I did, my pieces stretched a lot!

    Is there a trick to 'using it properly'?

    I've come to the conclusion that soaking the fabric, and trying to iron/press it dry is NOT the right way to do it.

  2. #2
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    I used spray heavy duty starch for my current quilt and it's been a life saver. My pieces are 1.5" squares and it keeps them nice even. I just spray it on and then iron away. I'm using bounce sorry for my current quilt nd like it too.

  3. #3
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I don't know how others do it but I never try to press it when it is very wet. I roll mine up in up in something and get a lot of the water out then press it on the ironing board with my hands and smooth it as much as I can then lift my iron up and down to press never moving the iron on the fabric as that will stretch it. I hope this helps you.

  4. #4
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I starch, let it soak overnight in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
    Next day, if it's yardage, I spin it and half dry in the dryer. Then it's easy to iron.
    For fat quarters and anything smaller, I put them between layers of towels and
    let it absorb most of the water. You want the fabric slightly damp but definitely
    not soaking wet. Then I put a big old towel on my ironing board, and cover
    the fabric with a piece of muslin and press. When it's 99% dry I remove
    the muslin and continue pressing. There might be a slight distortion but that
    doesn't bother me. At least the fabric doesn't fray or stretch while I'm sewing.
    Last edited by EasyPeezy; 10-20-2012 at 09:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I use Best Press and spray and iron the fabric before I cut it. I don't use enough to get the fabric wet. Then I don't use it at all after that.

  6. #6
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    ​I just spritz and iron my fabric. If I needed a fabric really stiff for appliqué or embroidery, I think I'd just use stabilizer.

  7. #7
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I soak a piece of fabric in a mixture of 50% blue liquid starch and 50% water. I squish out as much moisture as I can; I never wring it though. I hang it somewhere to dry (usually my pieces are 20" X 20" or less so I hang them over the edge of my ironing board) and put something to absorb the drips underneath. When it is totally dry I iron with the grain of the selvage. I don't notice any stretching or distortions of the fabric. Trying to iron the fabric dry when the fabric is wet has not worked for me - the starch scorches.

  8. #8
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    For most projects, I avoid using it.

    The one or two times I did, my pieces stretched a lot!

    Is there a trick to 'using it properly'?

    I've come to the conclusion that soaking the fabric, and trying to iron/press it dry is NOT the right way to do it.

    I use half way heavy Sta-Flo and it makes piecing---------actually any sewing--------so much easier.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  9. #9
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyTheSewer View Post
    I soak a piece of fabric in a mixture of 50% blue liquid starch and 50% water. I squish out as much moisture as I can; I never wring it though. I hang it somewhere to dry (usually my pieces are 20" X 20" or less so I hang them over the edge of my ironing board) and put something to absorb the drips underneath. When it is totally dry I iron with the grain of the selvage. I don't notice any stretching or distortions of the fabric. Trying to iron the fabric dry when the fabric is wet has not worked for me - the starch scorches.

    I just spray----------don't wet the fabric, just dampen.
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  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyTheSewer View Post
    I soak a piece of fabric in a mixture of 50% blue liquid starch and 50% water. I squish out as much moisture as I can; I never wring it though. I hang it somewhere to dry (usually my pieces are 20" X 20" or less so I hang them over the edge of my ironing board) and put something to absorb the drips underneath. When it is totally dry I iron with the grain of the selvage. I don't notice any stretching or distortions of the fabric. Trying to iron the fabric dry when the fabric is wet has not worked for me - the starch scorches.
    I use this method as well. Soak , air dry, then iron. Best advice ... let the starch dry prior to pressing/ironing. Depending on the project ..I will alter the strenght of the starch . Currently work ing a log cabin with skinny strips..some one inch. Other than paper piecing , this( starch) is the best method for accuracy.
    I especially like to starch scrappy projects as the grain ( lenght or cross) is not quickly determined on bits of scraps. starching keeps them all behaving and playing well together.

  11. #11
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    I mix 1/2 sta-flo starch and water in a spray bottle and use that to starch my fabric, never had a problem and it works great, if I want it really stiff I spray and press again.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If I am starching yardage, I mix a solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water, "paint" this on the fabric using a large wall painting brush (fast) until the fabric is saturated, toss the fabric in the dryer, and then iron with steam. Steam will re-activate the starch just enough. I do think it's a good idea to let the fabric rest awhile before tossing in the dryer, as it can take some time for the starch to penetrate all the fibers -- especially if the fabric is not prewashed. I do not prewash fabric, and the finishes on the fabric from the manufacturer can slow down absorption of the starch.

    For spray starch, I usually spray the right side of the fabric, try to wait for the starch to absorb (I am impatient, so this step is hard for me), and then iron with steam from the wrong side. Too hot of an iron on unabsorbed starch will scorch the starch. The scorch will wash out, but it's discombobulating to see!

    Sizing provides so little additional stiffness and stabilization that I generally don't bother to use it.

    In case you are wondering, starch is an organic product (usually made from corn starch, but can be other vegetable starches) while sizing is a man-made chemical product.

  13. #13
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I used to use starch, but no more. I don't like sizing with quilting.

    I now want to save time and don't have space in the refrig, so I use Best Press. I love it as all I have to do is lightly spray and then press. POne of the groups I belong to orders the gallons in large quantities when enough of us want it and we share the discount.

    Remember PRESS is where you just lay down the iron without any, or very little, motion to the iron. IRONING can distort the fabric as you are moving the iron over the fabric.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  14. #14
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I don't use anything. After prewashing all the chemicals out of my fabrics, I don't add any more back in. I know I'm in the minority, but I much prefer to work with the fabric in it's natural state , not force it into sunmission. My pieces do not stretch, warp or buckle; my blocks stay flat; and my quilts stay square...all without spraying something all over the fabric surface. It works for me and I'm sticking with it.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I shake the can of spray starch like my life depends on it. I spray and PRESS. Do not move the iron, just press. It is my life saver. I am currently at the stage where I want to bang my head against something hard with this Bargello that I am working on. If it was not for the spray starch this quilt top would have been history.

  16. #16
    Senior Member batikmystique's Avatar
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    I only use it if the pieces I'm working with a very small. I always lightly spritz the fabric with water then press to see how stiff the fabric might be on it's own. Seems different manufacturers put different amounts of sizing in their fabrics during production anyway. If it's not stiff enough after a quick press with the water, then I lightly spray will starch, giving the fabric a few seconds to dry a bit before pressing, so as not to take a chance on scorching-especially with the lighter colored fabrics. When I do use starch, I spray the back side of the fabric, never the front. I don't use a special starch, so sometimes there is a very slight amount of residue that I want to avoid having on the right side of the fabric.
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

  17. #17
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    I buy sizing at Walmart, get a large can for 96 cents.

  18. #18
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    Thank you for all the replies.

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