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DIY Fabric Stiffeners

Updated April 17, 2017

Homemade fabric stiffeners, also known as starches, can be quickly made with items sitting in your kitchen cupboard. Many quilt makers prefer applying a homemade fabric stiffener before they begin ironing and piecing together each swatch of cloth. There are also many clothing items with collars or wrists, which need extra structure to look their finest. Starch can be made using water and cornstarch to create a simple and useful standby for those times when you need a little extra structure in your fabrics.

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  1. Bring one cup of tap water to a boil in a saucepan.

  2. Mix together one quarter cup of cold water and a tablespoon of cornstarch in a large bowl, allowing the cornstarch to dissolve completely.

  3. Pour the boiling water into the cold water and cornstarch mixture, stirring the two mixtures together. Allow to cool completely.

  4. Pour the mixture into a large spray bottle and mark with a permanent marker as a fabric starch for future reference.

  5. Tip

    Shake the bottle of starch before each use to ensure consistency in the mixture. Add more cornstarch for stronger, stiffer fabric.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Spray bottle
  • Permanent marker

About the Author

Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.

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