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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > Starching silk ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Starching silk
Can you really do this?
OP Gal
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OP Gal
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Member since 10/14/03
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Date: 3/15/07 2:49 PM

I have some china silk which I'm using to make a top with a cut-on sleeve. The pattern pieces have to be laid out on the crosswise grain in order to fit on the fabric. This means I have to fold it the opposite way than usual. As a result, I'm wrestling with getting the fabric to behave enough to even pin the fabric to paper before cutting out.

I read somewhere on a thread about starching silk to make it behave when cutting it out and sewing it. Supposedly, it washes right out.

Has anyone had problems with this, or would anyone recommend against doing this?

------
a/k/a Sondra

If I sewed any slower, I wouldn't be sewing at all. -- Kellie R.

blue mooney
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blue mooney
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Date: 3/15/07 2:55 PM

I always starch slithery silks before cutting & sewing. It makes the whole operation much easier. I use plain old spray starch.

You will want to be sure that you've washed your silk beforehand so that you can wash the garment afterward...those are my only words of wisdom.

------
--Robyn
sewing blog: http://bluemooney.wordpress.com/
illustration blog: http://storybooky.wordpress.com/

Elona
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In reply to OP Gal


Date: 3/15/07 3:29 PM

I do this all the time--works like a charm. If you lay the silk out really flat before you spray-starch it, you don't even have to iron before working with it.

Irene Q
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Irene Q  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/16/07 11:57 AM

If you're starching a lot of fabric, you might want to try liquid starch. It should be right next to the spray starch in your grocery store. It's a little more economical, and you don't end up spraying starch on the floor all around the ironing board.

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/16/07 12:54 PM

One thing to keep in mind, though: the silk isn't nearly as nice to touch with when starched. It's stiff & (relatively) rough, compared to it's usual smooth self. This is, of course, the whole point, but I am not fond of the feeling of silk when it is starched.


P.S. Of course, it will wash out; it's only while sewing that it affects the feel.
-- Edited on 3/16/07 12:54 PM --

------
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

OP Gal
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In reply to AnneM


Date: 3/16/07 4:25 PM

Yes, I'm absolutely planning to wash it out. This appears to be habotai silk, so otherwise, it would be defeating the whole appeal of it--unless it was noil, tussah or some stiffer variety. I was mainly interested in knowing if it washed out satisfactorily or if it somehow changed the feel permanently or stained.

------
a/k/a Sondra

If I sewed any slower, I wouldn't be sewing at all. -- Kellie R.

nicegirl
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Date: 3/20/07 10:39 AM

I did a swatch of a silk charmeuse with heavy starch and then washed. The starch actually didn't come all the way out so when I do the garment I'm going to let it soak for a bit in the middle of the cycle. But otherwise it was fine and didn't damage the fabric and made it MUCH easier to keep in shape.

------
http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com
=================
2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far

Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95

2009? I give up

susbieri
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In reply to Elona <<


Date: 7/3/12 7:27 AM

HI,
I am going to try to starch my silk. Your comment was helpful and I hope it works out. Have to make a dress for my daughter's wedding and I have never sewn silk voile , nor silk for that matter.
best wishes,
Susan

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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In reply to susbieri <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 7/3/12 11:10 AM

I can't seem to make a link work right now, but if you search the message board under chiffonthread (all one word) in the messages you should find a great post about using gelatine for stabilizing slippery fabrics. I have used it myself and it works really well.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to susbieri <<


Date: 7/3/12 11:17 AM

Also consider trying Lena Merrin's gelatin suggestion on a fabric sample to see which might be easier, starch or gelatin.

I am sorry that I can't link from my iPad, but if you will go to the Miscellaneous Section of the Message Board you will find a post at the top titled Message Searching, Bumping Threads. There you will find directions for pulling up posts will lots of information on sewing with chiffon.

Even though the focus started with chiffon, it expanded to include sewing with any difficult sheer or slippery or hard to handle fabric. You will find suggestions on how to handle the fabric, how to finish the seams and more.

Congratulations to the family and best wishes.
I hope you will check it out the chiffon (and other difficult to handle fabric) group of posts before you start cutting.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

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