To starch or not?

To starch or not?

I recently completed a quilt where I had not starched the fabric prior to cutting, as I was using a pre-cut and it would have shrunk if it had been treated. I've come to regret this decision, as I look on the finished product and see quite a few seams not matching up! This frustration has led to this blog post. 

I converted to starch usage after watching a lot of YouTube and seeing well known quilters using the technique of spraying their fabric prior to cutting to obtain accurate piecing. Most of these quilters are US based and the starch products they were using are not available in Australia. 

So, my inner scientist came out and decided to undertake a trial to work out the best product to achieve the 'stiffest' (yet not too stiff) starched fabric. The photo attached to this blog lines up the 5 different types of starch I could obtain from my local supermarket/craft store. 

It's pretty hard to describe the 'stiffness' rating using a photo so you will have to bear with me. The ranking of least stiff to stiffest follows the photo from left to right: Best Press (least stiff), Black and Gold Spray Starch, Fabulon, Crisp, Fabric Stabiliser (most stiff).

My preferred product is Crisp, it produces a really stiff product that when you allow the fabric to stand up does not bend. The 'Fabric stabiliser' produced the stiffest product and reminded me of those wedding bonbonnieres you would get in the 1980's where you had scorched almonds in a lace/crocheted basket! 'Best Press' was the least stiff, I see many people use this just prior to putting something under the iron for just a little stabilising. The remaining two I suspect you really get what you pay for! 

Anyway, hopefully that provides you with some food for thought -I doubt whether I will ever make a quilt again that is not starched! If you have any thoughts on the matter I would love to hear it!

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