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Thread: Starch

  1. #1

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    I read a lot on this board about starching. Someone recently wrote something like: I starch, starch, starch, and starch some more.

    I usually spray starch on as I'm pressing my fabric, but only once. I'm curious how the rest of you use starch. Maybe I'm missing something.

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I saturate my fabric with starch, let it dry and then press my fabric. If it is not stiff enough for what I am doing (like bias cuts), I will starch it again. Sometimes as I am pressing my blocks I will add a little more if it needs it.

    Heavily starching long strips can keep them from bowing when sewing and pressing them, it keeps bias from stretching, my hex blocks did not distort at all when making OBW's.

    Cutting starched fabric is easier for me too. It seems to help the fabric "stick" to the cutting mat better and my ruler grips it better too.

    Starch also helps when pressing seams, they stay better and I don't have to keep pressing the same seams over and over as the blocks/quilt top progresses. It also only takes one sweep of the iron to get a seam pressed, other wise I sometimes have to go over it again which can cause distortion.

    I don't think you can ever use too much starch, too little? Yes!!! :D:D:D

  3. #3
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I'm with amma, i use a lot of starch

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bstanbro
    I read a lot on this board about starching. Someone recently wrote something like: I starch, starch, starch, and starch some more.

    I usually spray starch on as I'm pressing my fabric, but only once. I'm curious how the rest of you use starch. Maybe I'm missing something.
    I rarely use any starch. Typically finger press til the block is done, then iron.

  5. #5
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    This starching topic is interesting. Just started using some starch yesterday to hold my seams open...it really worked well! Will have to use it for other situations. Thanks every one on this thread and others!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I saturate my fabric with starch,
    I'm sorry if I sound dumb, but how do you do this? Do you put it in a sink/tub/washer? I'm a starching ignoramus and don't know a thing about it. Do you dilute it? Use it full strength? Do you saturate the fabric before or after cutting? What brand do you like?

    Thanks for your help on this.

  7. #7
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    I seldom starch/size.

    When I do, the fabric stretches.

    I feel that if the fabric is too flimsy to be used without starch, forget it!

    Exception: When I was fussy-cutting kite shapes for a kaleidoscope type block.

  8. #8
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I have never starched and when I was helping my mommy friend make her daughters blanket I had her starch very heavily. It was a world of difference. I just couldn't believe how nice and crisp the corners were coming out.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It is an additional step or two, but I have never been unhappy with the end results :wink:

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I seldom starch/size.

    When I do, the fabric stretches.

    I feel that if the fabric is too flimsy to be used without starch, forget it!

    Exception: When I was fussy-cutting kite shapes for a kaleidoscope type block.
    That is why I started letting the starch thoroughly dry first, when any fabric is damp it can stretch/distort.
    I don't use it because of flimsy material, I use it because I like the way the material handles when it is really crisp. :D:D:D

  11. #11
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I always starch it makes the whole process easier. Cutting, piecing and pressing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I seldom starch/size.

    When I do, the fabric stretches.

    I feel that if the fabric is too flimsy to be used without starch, forget it!

    Exception: When I was fussy-cutting kite shapes for a kaleidoscope type block.
    That is why I started letting the starch thoroughly dry first, when any fabric is damp it can stretch/distort.

    I don't use it because of flimsy material, I use it because I like the way the material handles when it is really crisp. :D:D:D
    I missed the "let it dry first" step.

    I ironed/pressed when it was sopping wet.

  13. #13
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    starch is my BFF.

    i dilute it 50/50 in a good-quality spray bottle, so it sprays evenly. i spray until it's saturated. let it dry and press or iron. watch out for overspray. when it hits the floor it's very slippery. also, watch and see what happens under the ironing board. yuch!! have your spongemop handy.

  14. #14
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I have a rod that I hang it on to spray it and let it dry. I put a $1 shower curtain under it to catch the over spray :wink:

  15. #15

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    Okay, that helps. I put a sheet under my ironing board to catch the overspray. I can throw it in the wash when it gets too bad. My silly cat likes rolling up in the sheet though and so I'm constantly having to straighten it out.

  16. #16
    Pam
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I saturate my fabric with starch, let it dry and then press my fabric. If it is not stiff enough for what I am doing (like bias cuts), I will starch it again. Sometimes as I am pressing my blocks I will add a little more if it needs it.

    Heavily starching long strips can keep them from bowing when sewing and pressing them, it keeps bias from stretching, my hex blocks did not distort at all when making OBW's.

    Cutting starched fabric is easier for me too. It seems to help the fabric "stick" to the cutting mat better and my ruler grips it better too.

    Starch also helps when pressing seams, they stay better and I don't have to keep pressing the same seams over and over as the blocks/quilt top progresses. It also only takes one sweep of the iron to get a seam pressed, other wise I sometimes have to go over it again which can cause distortion.

    I don't think you can ever use too much starch, too little? Yes!!! :D:D:D
    Amma, I lady I know uses the sta flo liquid starch, washes the fabric, while still wet submerges it in the starch water mix, about 1/4 starch and hangs on the line to dry, NOTHING shifts! Thought you would like to know. I have not tried it yet, but I plan to.

  17. #17
    Pam
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    Quote Originally Posted by bstanbro
    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I saturate my fabric with starch,
    I'm sorry if I sound dumb, but how do you do this? Do you put it in a sink/tub/washer? I'm a starching ignoramus and don't know a thing about it. Do you dilute it? Use it full strength? Do you saturate the fabric before or after cutting? What brand do you like?

    Thanks for your help on this.
    Most just use the spray starch frome the grocery store.

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I use the $1 a can heavy spray starch most often, I hang the fabric over a rod and spray it. I have tried the bottled, but I have to mix it heavier than 50-50 sometimes to get the same effect.

    I starch after washing and drying the fabric and then cut it.
    Some fabrics like muslin doesn't like to stay as stiff, so I will respray it as I work with it if I feel like it needs it.

    I am working on a EPP project, that fabric is as stiff as cardboard LOL but when the papers are removed, it holds it's shape perfectly without having to be pressed. :wink:

    I will have to try that, maybe move my rod to the bath tub LOL

    ******CAUTION****** I used to have the rod over my tub, but one time I forgot to clean the tub before showering and the dried starch was VERY slick when the water hit it. It was like a very slippery slip and slide!!!! That was when I moved the rod and bought the shower curtain to place under it :D:D:D

  19. #19

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    Thanks, that's a big help. We have a bathroom with a bath tub/shower combo and shower curtain that never gets used. I'm thinking I might just move the tension rod further in and put something down to protect the tub. (My falling-apart floor rug in front of my washing machine/dryer comes to mind.) Normally, I hang my wet fabrics in there after washing them. (I don't put them in the dryer.) Right now my Roll-Pat and Sil- Pats are hanging in there drying from some baking I did. You just never know what you'll find hanging in our bathtub.

  20. #20
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I love my starch, would not want to piece with out it. I starch before cutting. Its amazing that something this simple can really make a huge difference. I sometimes work in very small strips ....7/8 inch. I would not want to cut and sew that without it being heavily starched first. After my rotary cutter and mat its my favorite tool.

  21. #21
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    lots of good comments thanks everyone

  22. #22
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    when my kids are bigger and I get to quilt more I will have to try submerging in liquid starch and hanging to dry.

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