hmm, wonder it it would work with the sprayable starch stuff? I think there's still a can around from when my sister lived with us (army reserve needs that fresh pressed uniform look), not certain I want to mess with the real deal around a 2yo right now. Pre-kids I helped my middle sister do her husbands uniforms once with the liquid starch you buy (she coudln't get them from the cleaners soon enough that round); very interesting, the uniforms stood up all by themselves while drying. Ironing them was even more interesting they really didn't want to flatten down much at first.
Hmm, might be a spooky thing to do at Halloween.
What a great method though.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 8:46 AM
Subject: [SCA-Garb] Re: appliqueing with Linen-tips & tricks help
The way it was done before we had all these modern iron-ons was to
paste the pieces in place with starch paste, work the stitching, then
wash out the starch. The method is pretty simple:
1. Pre-wash the fabric, dip it in heavy laundry starch (corn or wheat
starch mixed to a paste with cold water, then add boiling water and
stir until it is the thickness of whipping cream.), wring out and hang
2. When completely dry, spray or sprinkle with cold water, roll
tightly in a plastic bag for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight
to allow the moisture to penetrate evenly. Press the fabric with a
hot-ish iron. It will be smooth and rather stiff.
3. Mark and cut your pieces. Pay attention to the grain of the
fabric. What you're applying should be on the same grain as the
background, otherwise it will go funny later. The starch will help
keep things from fraying. Put your cutouts on the background fabric.
Either spray with a fine-mist spray bottle until damp or lay a wet
cloth over the linen. Press again with a hot-ish iron. The starch in
the layers will stick them together.
4. Work your stitching over the edges by hand or machine. This type
of thing was done with buttonhole stitch by the Victorians and seems
to have held up pretty well. If you lay a thickish thread (like fine
crochet cotton or about three strands of embroidery floss) that
matches the stitching over the cut edge and work your stitches over
it, it helps hold down any little fuzzy bits that might try to come up
between the stitches, and gives a rather elegant finish to your work.
You can also do internal lines of quilting to keep larger areas flat,
and emphasize the pattern.
E. When all the stitching is finished and the garment put together,
washing will remove the starch and you are back to soft linen again.
Just make sure that ALL your edges and seams are as well finished as
your applique so they won't ravel either. The fabric will be more
"relaxed" than when it was starched which gives the impression of
having shrunk, but it will go back to the original size if it is
dampened and pressed. If a lot of pressing isn't in your future
plans, you will have to allow extra when cutting your garment to
You might want to do a sample on a measured square first, to see how
much take-up you get when the starch is washed out of the fabric and
to judge the consistancy of the starch mixture and experiment with
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