Mini Tutorial: Starch substitute for 37.5c!

I have a mini tutorial for you today on how to make your own starch substitute – like Best Press or Flatter for a few cents. The credit for this idea shouldn’t go to me though, I was told about this by Jackie who I used to work with, and she in turn was told about it by someone in her quilting guild in Okotoks, so this is passed on wisdom that I am now passing onto you.

My experience with the products you can buy is mixed. Best Press was great when I started using it, but then I tried the scented stuff and my lungs do not cope with it well at all. There are no ingredients on the bottle either so I’ve no idea what it is that is irritating my lungs, a little bit scary. I find the unscented one a bit hard to find because most people seem to prefer that one too! Then Soak’s Flatter – I love the Fig fragrance, but I find it’s pretty expensive stuff so that’s usually off the cards for me. So, onto my tutorial!

I took an existing empty bottle from Best Press, and Sulky Wash and Gone soluble stabiliser. Any soluble stabiliser will do, it has to be the stuff for embroidery that completely washes out.

For this size bottle I only need 5cm across the width of fabric, which is where I get the 37.5c price from as it’s $7.50 a metre where I bought it. If you’re filling a bigger bottle, you will need proportionally more.

Cut into tiny bits and put into the bottle.

Add water, the lid and shake. That’s it!

This was the crinkliest scrap of fabric I could find that I had, so I gave it a squirt and press and it worked awesomely! I checked back the next day and there’s no residue, it works really well.

Let me know if you try it!


P.S. Email still being crappy, I will reply to everyone that posted on my last post once my computer starts letting me send email again!


  1. Brenda
    Posted February 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Kerry, If you were charging for a subscription to your blog, I think this tip would be totally worth the price. I’ve often wondered what the contents of something like Best Press could be. I know that it is sold in gallon size refills, but so far that’s been pretty hard to find. Also expensive.

  2. Sara
    Posted February 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea. A small amount of fabric conditioner added to the bottle could give a scented version.

  3. Susan
    Posted February 27, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    OMG I have soooo much of that stabilizer I’ve saved and saved it I will have to try it when I get home – thanks for the tip

  4. Posted February 27, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this info! I don’t usually use starch, but have had a need for it occasionally – this makes it far more accessible for me (and cheaper too!).

  5. Posted March 1, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    What a great solution. I have a friend who also uses a Vodka / Water mix with great success, but I don’t drink and so have never tried that recipe myself. Thank you for sharing and linking up!

  6. Posted March 5, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Great tip! I still have a bit left in my large Best Press refill, but when that is gone I will try this. Thanks!

  7. Posted March 7, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    hello! I thought you’d stopped blogging. Turns out Feedly has removed you all by itself! Good job Quilting Jet Girl linked to you!!

  8. Candy Winfrey
    Posted March 7, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Did you use like a Sulky water soluble stabilizer?

  9. karen s
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Whoop! Whoop! That’s just genius 🙂 Thanks so much!

  10. Trudie
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    This is an awesome tip! I make my own now using 1/3 cup cheap vodka and distilled water in my spray bottle but I’ve wondered if it might attract bugs if never washed. It’s definitely cheap enough. One bottle of cheap, unflavored vodka lasts me about 9 months. This, tho, would solve that possible bug problem. Thanks!

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