I’ve mentioned starch before, but never devoted a post to it. Lately I’ve used lots of starch, and noticed different starches when picking up a can (or three!). So I decided to collect, use, and share my opinions.
Brands represented: Faultless, Niagara, and Best Press
Why take the time to use starch?
I love the crisp, stiff feel to the fabric once it’s been pressed with starch. It helps make my cuts more precise, and the fabrics less likely to fray. In my experience, of course. Starch helps stubborn creases release and lay flat, and crisp fabrics are easier to feed through the sewing machine. Starch also helps with any precision that I may be aiming for.
When and how to use starch?
I use starch while pressing before I cut any pieces. If I do not use it before cutting, I do not use it at any other point in my project. Sometimes, I like to starch quilt blocks to keep the seam allowances where they should be. I treat all the fabrics being used in my project the same way, even if that means running to the store just for starch, so that I can continue to sew!
A light to medium spray over the section on the ironing board, does the trick! Wait for any foam to absorb, then press until dry. Sometimes I’m too hasty, and I have to go back and iron a couple sections again – that works too.
Any reason to not use starch?
I don’t use starch with projects that will be used for, or around electronics. Or items that may not be washed right away. Some of the fragrances added to the starch, can cause allergic reactions, so be careful of who it’s for, or be sure to wash before giving. Or if you are having trouble breathing while using it – Stop!
The most often used in the group above is the Faultless Premium. It has a nice fine mist, and crisp finish. I like the Best Press as well, but I’m very sensitive to the fragrances used, and have to use the unscented. Best Press yields a little less body than Faultless, but still nice and crisp.
The non aerosol, trigger sprays by Faultless and Niagara, are not my favorite. They tend to saturate the fabric more, thus I spend more time ironing. And the Faultless Heavy Starch works, but I prefer the finer spray of the Premium label. (Less time ironing).
What do you think? Do you regularly use starch? If so, do you have a favorite?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
**If you are concerned about the cost of Best Press, Joann.com (not in stores) sells it by the gallon, which you can occasionally use a coupon for.