Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tip of the Week (Catch up 3) - Homemade Liquid Starch

It might not seem like a big deal, but the starch you use for quilting and appliqué can make a difference.  Liquid starch will leave a crisper finish than spray starch--highly desirable when doing appliqué, and makes your pieces stick together better when you're sewing, which means less shifting and less pinning.

Nearly all fabric is treated with sizing.  That's why it feels so wonderfully crisp in the store.  There is a difference between sizing and starch.  Starch is edible.  If you want to iron your fabric and store it, you should use sizing, which does not attract insects.  Liquid starch is hard to find, but easy to make.  You can make it from corn starch, or if you find a bottle of liquid starch, you can dilute it; it will last a long time.

Homemade Starch
1 pint cool water
1 tablespoon corn starch (preferably organic)

Dissolve the corn starch into water and put into a spray bottle.  You can use other starches as well,  (i.e., potato starch).  Regardless of what type of starch you use, make sure you shake it continuously for a couple of minutes before you use it to redissolve the starch.  You can make smaller amounts by reducing the proportion.  For extended storage, keep the starch in the refrigerator, but allow it to come to room temperature before use.  If you can find liquid starch such as Linit or Sta Flo, mix equal portions of liquid starch and water.  The liquid starch solution does not require refrigeration.

Two cups of liquid starch will treat three yards of fabric.

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