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Thread: Weird experience with starch. Is this normal??

  1. #1
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    I've only been quilting for a few months and have been hearing about people using starch so I bought some Mary Ellen Best Press. I did a few spritzes from the bottle onto my finished blocks (I put 4 blocks close together to experiment first). They got pretty "wet" and instantly started to curl and warp a bit. I let them sit for 10 minutes to dry and yet they were still really damp. I waited a few more minutes and then used the iron to dry them the rest of the way.

    The did end up with a bit more stiffness to them which is nice but it seemed weird that they got so wet and they never really dried without using the iron. I have read a lot of posts that indicate you should wait till they are dry to iron them.

    I was planning on doing this process to my whole pieces of fabric (1/2 to 1 yard pieces) before starting my cutting but now I'm not sure? Do you starch entire pieces of fabric?

  2. #2
    Super Member MellieKQuilter's Avatar
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    Maybe you are using too much?

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't think Mary Ellen's Best Press is starch. (Starch is normally made of corn flour, but potato flour and others can be used as starch too.)

    Edit: With spray starch, you need to wait for it to dry (or at least soak into the fabric so it's not just sitting on top of the fabric) before ironing so you don't scorch the starch. With Mary Ellen's Best Press, I don't think you need to do that.

    To starch yardage, I mix up a solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water, "paint" it on with a large wall-painting brush until fabric is saturated, toss in dryer, then iron with steam. It's a pretty fast method, plus my finger doesn't get sore from spraying.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    when you spray starch your fabric gets wet- the iron dries it....that's how it works

  5. #5
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    I spray entire block let it sit 5 mins to soak in and then iron dry...

  6. #6
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Make sure your nozzle is on spray, not stream and don't hold it too close.

  7. #7
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Maybe you are using too much.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If you wait for the starch or sizing to dry, hot iron won't do anything but heat the dry starch. I get my fabric almost sopping wet with starch then press dry before cutting. My fabric isn't going to distort or ravel at all.

  9. #9
    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    I always spray my blocks until they are wet, then iron them dry, thats how it works. If you are spraying dark fabric, spray on the back, it helps avoid any white residue on the front that sometimes shows on dark fabrics.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gypsyquilter's Avatar
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    with the ellens best press, try shaking the bottle before spraying.

  11. #11
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    Just read the label on my bottle of Best Press. Says it is a "clear starch alternative" -- whatever that means. Also says at the top of the label "SCENT FREE MIRACLE STARCH." Anyway, I use it on fabric that has been dried in the electric dryer, just the way you use sprinkles of water. I don't think it is intended for unwashed fabrics.

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Best Press is not really starch. If you want something a bit ...stiffer or firmer ... use starch. I am a HUGE fan of starch, didn't find much value in Best Press for the $$ it cost.

  13. #13
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I use Best Press for all my pressing, including my clothing. You do have to make sure you don't over saturate the fabric, just like with regular starch. I lightly mist my fabrics and then I iron or press them dry. The finish can't be beat, and there is no flaking as with some spray starches. FYI I water my Best Press down and I get the same results as if I used it full strength. I get the jumbo bottle at Hancock's with a coupon and it is worth the money. IMHO!

  14. #14
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    That pressing stuff has alcohol in it so it will evaporate.

  15. #15
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    I dont like Best Press I use regular spray starch love love love to starch I use a lot of small pieces so I need them to be right Spray and let it soak in before applying your iron then no flakes

  16. #16
    Senior Member ploverwi2's Avatar
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    I love using the starch from WalMart. It comes in a pump bottle, and it is so easy to use and control. It is not expensive either. It is the laundry soap isle.

  17. #17
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    I use Mary Ellen's, lightly spray against a large piece of cardboard attached to the wall, wait a minute or two, then iron with a dry iron. No steam. Fabric is easy to handle, slightly stiff'er', and sews perfectly.

  18. #18
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    Does sound like you are using too much. I spray starch with just regular brand name starch in a can ... lightly ... then iron while it is still damp. Works beautifully.

  19. #19
    Senior Member quilter1430's Avatar
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    I never wait until the fabric dries and have never had a problem with my iron or the fabric.

  20. #20
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NanaCsews2
    I use Mary Ellen's, lightly spray against a large piece of cardboard attached to the wall, wait a minute or two, then iron with a dry iron. No steam. Fabric is easy to handle, slightly stiff'er', and sews perfectly.
    :thumbup:

  21. #21
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    I just had the same experience with preparing fabric for a class tomorrow. I had an 8" wide strip and it curled! There was such a curve in the piece that I wasn't able to use it.

  22. #22
    BMP
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    what was your iron setting on ???

  23. #23
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ploverwi2
    I love using the starch from WalMart. It comes in a pump bottle, and it is so easy to use and control. It is not expensive either. It is the laundry soap isle.
    Lucky you. I have checked at the only 3 WalMarts that are in the area and cannot find that non-aerosol in any of them. Have been looking for about three months now. They do carry a Wrinkle Realeaser that is something over $6 a spray bottle,so I am thinking this is not what everyone has talked about. I think they were saying the Faultless non-aerosol was about $1.89 or thereabouts.

  24. #24
    Super Member pjnesler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn
    I use Best Press for all my pressing, including my clothing. You do have to make sure you don't over saturate the fabric, just like with regular starch. I lightly mist my fabrics and then I iron or press them dry. The finish can't be beat, and there is no flaking as with some spray starches. FYI I water my Best Press down and I get the same results as if I used it full strength. I get the jumbo bottle at Hancock's with a coupon and it is worth the money. IMHO!
    I agree, it is worth the money - I haven't tried watering it down, but now I will - thanks for the tip!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Moon Holiday's Avatar
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    When I've wanted to really stiffen the fabric (such as triangles with 2 sides being on the bias) I've spread them out on the backside of an old cutting mat and sprayed the heck out of them with Mary Ellen's Best Press (yes, the bias side at points curled slightly)... left them overnight and then pressed them. The triangles flattened out were nice and stiff... making it much easier to piece together.

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