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To Starch or Not to Starch

I would love to know your thoughts! Do you starch your fabric before piecing? I get questions about preshrinking and starching fabric all the time, and I have to say there are pros and cons to both… I do not often preshrink my fabric (controversial I know ;) but when I do, I always starch it before cutting. I am somewhat of a starch convert. I recently started using a light weight starch on all my fabric (pre shrunk or not). I even use a little mist of “Best Press” during the piecing process to handle wonky blocks or press my seams open. I know, I’m becoming a radical!

So, here are a few starches out there on the market. I compiled this list and some of their reviews left by quilters who have used them with success. I would love to know if you are a starcher and what your go to starch is!

"Like a lot of people, I use this starch for quilting. It won't get things crazy stiff like some aerosol starches, but it adds body so the pieces don't warp. Anytime I press seams for my quilt blocks, I spray a little of this, keeps seams nice and crisp. If you want to pre-wash your fabric, but like the stiffness of unwashed fabric, I'd suggest using this on washed fabric before cutting pieces. The lavender smell is subtle, mostly has a light starchy scent. I barely notice it. Haven't had any fabric stained, though I've found that if I overdue it on black fabric, it can get a little shiny."

"This is one great little 'tool' for use in quilting. Ironing is a huge part of the quilting process and every time I use this I am happy with the performance of this little spray as it does smooth out the fabric with no flaking. The smell of pineapple is amazing with no chemical smell, just the wonderful fruity smell of pineapple. Looking forward to trying some of the other choices available."

Magic Sizing

"Magic Sizing makes my seams more accurate, both for hand piecing and machine piecing of quilt blocks. When I press quilt fabrics before cutting, I almost always use Magic Sizing. Even if the fabric is high quality, and fresh off the bolt, I still use Magic Sizing with a very hot, dry iron to give the fabric a little more body before I cut into it. Even if I press one day and cut another, or cut and don't sew for a long time, the crispness remains.

When I'm using fabrics that are not the best, Magic Sizing is essential. I spray both sides of the fabric, let it sink in a while, then press. Even a not-so-stable woven fabric can be improved before I sew with it.

I would not want to do my quilting without it!"

"This product gives the fabric a nice body which makes cutting and sewing easier. And it smells great! I will buy it again. Great way to starch with wonderful scent that will last after it’s dry. I only wish that they would sell it in a gallon size, so I wouldn't have to buy these three packs all the time."

"I've been using Faultless spray starch for as long as I can remember. It's the only thing I like about ironing. It makes fabric crisp, not overly starched. I believe they make one that's heavier. I prefer this version."

"Great product, also comes in unscented. Great for travel. I use it for quilting. Really helps for pieces cut that have a stretch to them. Made in the USA too. I also purchased the bigger size for home use."

Quilters Corner Spray Mist Bottle

If you don’t want your fabric or piecing to get too wet with starch, try putting it in this bottle! It can be used with liquid starch sprays i.e. Best Press, Flatter, etc., as well as water. Get better coverage with your starch, it produces an endless spray, allowing large areas to be covered quickly and easily without soaking the piece.

Happy Sunday everyone!


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