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Starching your Fabric // Technique Tutorial Tuesday

This post is part of the Technique Tutorial Tuesdays Series. Click here to see all of the posts and learn more about the series.

Last week I was unable to do a Technique Tutorial for the series, but I am back today with a tutorial that should really be helpful in your quilting. I personally feel it is absolutely imperative that you do this with all quilting projects! So what technique is it? Drumroll please…

Starch Your Fabric!

Well, you may be thinking starch? What? I haven't starched anything since 1980, who uses starch anymore? When ironing my clothes I never use starch, but with quilting I ALWAYS use it. Yes, this may seem silly, but just try it once and you will be hooked.

This is one of the steps I talked about in the Skill Builder BOM and I had a few questions on exactly how I starch my fabric, how much starch to use, and so on. So today I have prepared a 2 part video tutorial walking you through each and every step.

Part 1

Part 2

Summary of Video Tutorial

Here are some important points to remember:

  • Starching your fabric before cutting it can help stabilize the fabric and prevent it from stretching. It can also help you achieve more accurate piecing.
  • You want your pressing table/board to be harder than a standard ironing board. A soft table will cause issues when trying to press your fabric.
  • Use a DRY hot iron (medium-high heat), no steam, preferably 1600 watt or more.
  • Always put the side of the fabric you sprayed with starch down toward the pressing board and press the dry side with the iron. (don't worry about getting starch on your pressing board).
  • Starch your fabric in layers, using very little on each layer. I usually starch mine 2 - 3 times on each side.
  • Press your iron - do not rub or move it too quickly or roughly.
  • Don't worry about how your fabric feels, the starch will wash out when you wash the final quilt.
  • If you have small precut pieces that need to be starched, just be very very careful to gently press them so that they do not become distorted or stretched.
  • When starching a finished block, spray starch very lightly on the back side only.
  • When pressing your final block be sure to pay close attention to the seams. If they were all pressed open they need to stay open!
  • Something I did not note but wanted to mention. If you notice burn marks on your fabric you need to lower your heat and possibly use lighter layers of starch.

    So as silly as it may seem I promise you that starching your fabric can be life-changing. Give it a try and let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

    Jacob Lichner

    Jacob Lichner

    Creator of Pile O' Fabric


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