Should you starch fabric for better quilting results?

I’ll be up front. I don’t pre wash my fabric. I have a family, work, volunteer commitments… more laundry is not something I want to put on the to-do list. 

However I will starch my fabric when I’m working with bias cuts. I press anyways before cutting, and adding starch is minimal extra work. The payoff when sewing bias cut fabric is worth the extra effort.  

What is bias? Well, fabric is woven crossways, up and down, and side to side. When you’re cutting your fabric straight with that grain, everything will be just fine. If you’re cutting diagonally though, mega stretch is going to happen.

starching quilting fabric pros and cons

When I pull this fabric along the grain, you can see there’s barely any movement.

should you starch quilting fabric


However, when I pull along the bias, there’s a ton of movement!


should you use starch on your quilt fabric

Every piece in the block above is sewn on an angle other than 90 degrees. That means the seam lines can stretch really easily when I’m piecing them together. 

Starch will help stop the stretch! Simply give your fabric a light misting before pressing. Then cut your pieces afterwards. 

Starching when cutting with the grain is totally optional. I do like to spray with water or use the steam function on my iron to get a nice crisp press anyways. 

Starch before using your fabric – not if you’re going to put it away for later use. Any wrinkles or folds from storage will be really hard to get out! 

 Happy pressing! 




Michelle Brassens

Hi, I’m Michelle! I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like. Sewing however was where I really found my groove! So I left behind life as a pastry chef and concentrated on making things with fabric instead of food. I work at Dinkydoo Fabrics now and get to write about sewing and quilting for work. Stick with me and I’ll show you all kinds of tips and tricks, from beginner to expert maker level. Can’t wait!