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Thread: What kind of starch do you use?

  1. #1
    Member Sassy08's Avatar
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    What kind of starch do you use?

    I'm a brand new quilter. I read the QB every day and I'm learning so much from all of you who are willing to share from your experience. I've been reading over and over about starching. Do you use spray starch or liquid and what brand(s) do you recommend? Also, am I understanding correctly that it's a good idea to starch all fabric before cutting it as well as starch the backing before basting?
    Thanks so much!

    His compassions are new every morning. . . Great is Your faithfulness!

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Best press is what I use
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  3. #3
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    I mix my own starch when ironing fabric. When turning the edges for applique I use the gold top Niagara Spray - spray it into a little bowl and paint it in the seam line.

  4. #4
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    I dilute Faultless Concentrate per directions on bottle and pour into a spray bottle.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    To heavily starch yardage, I mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water, "paint" this solution onto the fabric using a large wall painting brush until the fabric is saturated, wait a couple of minutes to make sure the starch penetrates the fibers, toss in dryer, then iron with steam. This is what I do for quilt backings and flannel (that I plan to piece), as it creates a very stiff and stable fabric.

    I do not prewash fabrics for my quilt tops and find there is enough starch/sizing in them to make for accurate cuts. I use spray starch as I create blocks and strip sets, to add stability as I go.

    Sizing does not stabilize as much as starch, so starch remains my favorite.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Best Press is the best IMHO!

    Starch can cause scorching when you are pressing ... and I have yet to see that happen with BP.
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  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I have had spray starch scorch because (1) I did not give it enough time to penetrate fibers, so it was sitting on top of the fabric and/or (2) I used too hot of an iron on it. Usually I did both. In all cases, the scorched starch washed out of the fabric. My dryer method for yardage has never resulted in a scorch, even when using the hottest setting on my iron. With spray starch I have learned to give it a couple of minutes to be absorbed and I also dial down my iron temp a notch.

  8. #8
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    I love BP but it's a bit expensive for large pieces such as backin' in those cases I use Stay Flow starch & mix it very strong. I then put it in an empty Niagra starch bottle. That way I really know it is starch.
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I starch , and use the Stay Flo concentrate , that way I can mix my own , and its much cheaper. I found use the cans of spray starch just got too costly. The only place I have found that carries the Stay Flo ( blue plastic jug) is Walmart.
    Do let the starch soak , and or dry into the fabrics for the best results. Issues with flaking or sometimes even scorching come from trying to iron too soon after applying.

  10. #10
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    I use the Stay Flo concentrate also - love Best Press but I use a lot and it gets just a little pricey. I bought a spray/pump bottle of the Niagara and then just keep refilling it. I found that the aerosal cans get clogged way too easily and quickly.

  11. #11
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    I starch only sparingly, but I'm kind of a sloppy quilter, LOL. I only starch usually when I'm pressing blocks, not on uncut fabric, and then only occasionally. I do like Best Press best; I've tried regular starch from the grocery store once when I ran out (can't remember the brand; something in a red & white aerosol can) and it was a disaster. Flaky & messy and left white spots - it didn't even spray out neatly but went sputtering out everywhere. No thank you!

    But so far my quilts have mostly been straight lines and boxes; not a lot of points or complicated blocks - it seems to me starch would be really helpful if you're doing kind of 'fussy" quilting like that.

  12. #12
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    I boil my own, make it real thick then put it in a jar and put in fridge. When I need starch I just add what I need to hot water and mix. It stays a pretty long time in fridge and doesn't smell.
    To prevent any lumps I pour the mix thru a strainer while pouring in bottle. It's inexpensive and very effective. I think the brand if Niagra.

  13. #13
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I never starch.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  14. #14
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    I just use Niagra, I've had really good luck with it and for a dollar a can you can't go wrong. I spray and give it a few seconds to a minute to soak into fabric before ironning. This keeps that white residue from forming on your fabric. I especially starch heavily when I'm cutting on the bias to prevent added stretching.
    Judy

  15. #15
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I've used then all from the powder you boil to the cornstarch recipe to the vodka. If it's a new pressing spray I'll try it. Honestly I can't tell much difference, they all do the job. Some smell better then others. I mix a lot of them. Right now I'm using StaFlo liquid concentrate added to Bounce ironing spray. I like my fabric stiff before cutting.
    Got fabric?

  16. #16
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    I use Best Press. I buy the gallon container online from Joanns with a free shipping coupon code. I also read some where on QB to water it down a bit - makes it go farther. I've been doing that and it seems to work. I also don't starch my fabric before cutting. I apply it to my cut pieces being careful to press and not iron.

  17. #17
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I use Best Press also. I now use it on all my fabric before I cut as it is so much nicer to cut and sew this way. I do use it somewhat sparingly. Someone I know did a bulk order for a lot of us and we all saved a bundle that way. Not sure where she ordered it from, but she has a conncetion from working with quilt shops and gets great discounts.

    Just an added note: I am asthmatic and the smells in BP don't bother me. Hmmm. Guess I really don't use much after all.
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  18. #18
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I've been quilting a long time.... since 1990's and been sewing a lot longer.... since 1950's. I had never used starch for quilting until a few years ago.... and I only use it if the fabric frays easily or is really limp. Anyway, when I started using it on the advise of my LQS, they told me to use sizing instead of starch. Starch is flour based, sizing is not. Rodents and bugs like flour.... it's food to them.... so they might like to feast on your quilt or starched stash if they get the chance. Since I spend 6 months at a winter home and 6 months at a summer home, I'd rather not take the chance on anything happening at either place. Maybe it's not as big a problem as the LQS suggested but, I always use sizing and have never had a problem so far.

  19. #19
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    I use Magic Sizing....works for me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jigs1354's Avatar
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    Hello, just found your you wanting information on starch to use. First of all I started quilting back in 1987 and made my first tablecloth. found out much later that it wasn't a beginner project, but at the time I didn't know. I like the board here and all the members too. I found 1 partner in a swap block and that was back in 2011. She & I are emailing each other even 2 yrs. later and have become good friends and my husband & I flew out to meet her and her 2 sweet kids.
    So now "starch" I use Spray Faultless Heavy lavender scented.I get it from my grocery store or Walmart and cost 97cents.
    I only use on fabrics before cutting out pieces. Nothing else gets the starch. I think the fabrics need it to keep from stretching out of square. Makes cutting so much easier. And it smells great also. I keep it down stairs in my sewing room and upstairs for use there. Now its such a habit that I don't even think about it just grab the can and spray as I go.
    Hope this helps you out.
    Jigs
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  21. #21
    Member Sassy08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gannyrosie View Post
    I boil my own, make it real thick then put it in a jar and put in fridge. When I need starch I just add what I need to hot water and mix. It stays a pretty long time in fridge and doesn't smell.
    To prevent any lumps I pour the mix thru a strainer while pouring in bottle. It's inexpensive and very effective. I think the brand if Niagra.
    I haven't thought of it in a long time, but I remember my mom and grandmothers boiling starch. As a matter of fact, I remember having to wash the pot Mom cooked it in!.
    Last edited by Sassy08; 05-06-2013 at 06:37 PM.
    His compassions are new every morning. . . Great is Your faithfulness!

  22. #22
    Member Sassy08's Avatar
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    So, thank all of you SO much for your input! I received a lot of information. I can use liquid or aerosole or boil my own or use none at all, I can paint the starch on or I can spray it on, and I can choose from several different brands. I really do appreciate you taking time to reply and I learned that having several options probably means I can try one at a time and decide what works best for me without being afraid I'm messing up! And I did know the importance of letting it dry completely to avoid the "dandruff", but glad for the reminder.


    Linda
    His compassions are new every morning. . . Great is Your faithfulness!

  23. #23
    Junior Member Karenowc's Avatar
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    For normal cutting, I use Mary Ellen's Best Press. If I am doing an appliqué then I spray some regular starch in a small container and use a small paint brush on the edges.
    Karen in CA
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  24. #24
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    I use BP. I thought I was using a lot and decided to get something cheaper. DH was using the BP on his shirts. He asked me to keep getting the BP. He likes it better than any other starch in his shirts. I told him I didn't get it for laundry and he said it still works for it. So that is the only starch I get now for everything.

  25. #25
    Member Sassy08's Avatar
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    Well, it may be a little pricey, but at least he's doing his own shirts and it's probably less expensive than sending them out!
    Thanks,
    Linda
    His compassions are new every morning. . . Great is Your faithfulness!

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