Starch Quilt Fabric

Why & How

We starch quilt fabric to make our fabrics behave as we want them to. This technique has been used for decades & the only real change over the years has been in the number of manufactured spray starches that have come onto the market.


Have you ever wondered how quilters make such beautiful quilts - maybe using a spray starch is one of the tricks...



Using a spray starch when making your quilts has many benefits:

  • It makes the fabric easier to manage
  • Helps you make sharper points 
  • Reduces fraying on the fabrics edge pre stitching 
  • Allows a crisper fold 
  • Helps you finger press your seams
  • Helps you to sew straighter seams 
  • Stops fabric movement both when cutting and sewing
  • Much less frustration!


There are quite a few different varieties of spray starch that are available today. There are the store bought ones either in a bottle or a can. And there are the homemade ones. Which ever you decide to use you will reap the benefits immediately in your quilt creations.


While researching for a homemade starch recipe that was super quick & easy to make I came across an interesting story that made me chuckle.



A group of older quilters were seen spritzing their fabrics with starch at the ironing table when they started spraying some in their mouths & laughing uproariously! 

What was in there? Chemicals...?

Turns out they had made their own spray starch from water & vodka!



You can also use spray starch after you have sewn a block (or quilt) together and find that the block looks subpar - results shown below!



Make your own Spray Starch


As with any topic to do with quilting you will find those who swear by their starch quilt fabric method & product over all others. I'm not about to do that here but rather share  a couple of recipes that I have come across in my research so you can make up your own mind what suits you best.


Two Vodka Recipes


Please note that the recipe on the left uses a lot more vodka so make your own decision as to which one suits you best. It's good to know that you can vary the vodka amount this much to get the level of starch that suits your style. 1 cup of vodka is almost 8 ounces!


In a 32 ounce bottle add:

  • 1 cup vodka - bottom shelf cheap brand
  • 2 cups water
  • A few drops of essential oil of your choice - totally optional

1. Shake to mix

2. Spray on fabric

3. Press

In a 32 ounce bottle add:

  • 3 ounces of vodka - cheap is best
  • 24 ounces of distilled water
  • A few drops of essential oil

1. Label and store in a large spray bottle.

2. Shake well before using


Two Cornflour Recipes


The recipe of the left is raw & does need shaking before every use. It can also clog up the spray nozzle so you will need to rinse that under hot water. Whereas the recipe on the right is cooked and this helps to suspend the cornstarch in the water. You choose which one suits you. 


In a bottle add:

  • 3 1/2 cups cool water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 drops essential oil - optional

1. Shake 

2. Make sure you shake before every use.

In a saucepan add:

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Mix to ensure no lumps

2. Bring to the boil for 1 minute

3. Cool to room temperature

4. Bottle


I hope this was helpful to you.

If you have a favourite starch quilt fabric recipe then please share it in the Facebook comments section below!

Thank you :)

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