How to Starch your fabric for Embroidery

This post sounds incredibly simple right?  You simply spray the fabric with starch, iron, and you are ready to go?

Fundamentally that is correct, however there are a couple of tricks that you can use to ensure that when you starch your fabric you end up with the best possible result.

The first question I get from a lot of people is why starch?  Starching your fabric acts as another stabiliser – only this time inside the fabric.  Ensuring that the fabric is starched makes it that much more difficult for the fabric to “suck in” whilst stitching.

Notes for perfect starching:-

Less is more – don’t over spray.  I like to iron my fabric, and make sure everything is straight, then lightly spray, iron and let cool, before lightly spraying, iron and let cool.  Repeat this until you get the required stiffness.

Spray until it is stiff – Depending on the fabric, and the composition of the fabric, you may need 3 of 4 different layers of starch.

Align the fabric first – Ensure that your fabric is lying straight before you initially spray.  Once you have starched it will be so much more difficult to straighten out the grain of the fabric.

If you do happen to overspray, wait for the starch to settle into the fabric and dry out a little before you press, as ironing straight away will leave a scorch mark on your fabric.


In my experience, most brands of spray starch that I can find in the supermarkets here in Australia seem to work well for starching my fabric.  I understand that there are plenty of specialty starches especially for crafters on the market, and whilst these are wonderful, I have not found them easy to access here in Australia, and find that the home brand starches work just as well.

Until next time, have a stitchin’ week.  Julie

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