The Design Studio Blog


July 19th, 2016 by Suzanne @ Camelot

I have received a very good comment in our Moody Monday featuring the Fleece and Flannel.  And I think this How To Tuesday is a great place to debate whether or not to use starch on flannels.

First of all, let me remind you that it’s important to wash your flannels twice as they shrink more than regular cotton. Which means that if you do not wash your cottons, than you can simply wash your flannels once.  But I do recommend that you wash your cottons before starting a project.  You might also want to consider sewing with a wider seam allowance since the flannels tend to fray more.  Keep in mind that if you have pre-washed all your fabrics, it won’t be such a big deal.

Now that I got this part out of the way, let’s discuss starch!  flannel tends to be more flimsy compared to cotton and that can be problematic.  If this is the case than I do recommend adding starch to the wrong side of the fabric to help your sewing.  You should add some before cutting your fabric.

I have seen quilters using starch in a block that is just a bit short:  by adding starch and ironing the block we can magically see the block become the correct size, even a bit bigger!  But I advise caution at this point as once the quilt will be finished and washed, the starch will disappear and the block will go back to it’s initial size.  So be careful and use starch wisely.

Final question: which starch to use?  that is even a longer debate.  There are home-made recipes and we can buy some in grocery stores but my favorite is only available in quilt shops and is scent free.  I found out in a class several years ago that I was allergic to most starch… I had to leave the classroom as my eyes were irritated.  Since that day, I only use the scent free and ensure that I sign up in no-starch classes.

I hope this clarifies how to use flannels in quiltmaking.

Happy Sewing!


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