This post is kinda hard for me to write! I do believe in supporting the local quilt shops and the quilting niche industry but . . sometimes commonsense gets the better of me.
Recently when I posted about spray starch, a reader told me about the Niagara non-aerosol spray starch. I’m the kind of shopper who goes to the store with a list and if it isn’t on my list, it’s not going into my cart so I hadn’t even seen the Niagaro starch. A couple of times since then I’ve gone to Wal-Mart but didn’t have it on my list and forgot to look for it. The other night Vince needed a few things from Wal-Mart, the starch was on my list and I remembered to get it. As I was pressing items yesterday, I noticed the starch sitting around on my ironing board.
On the left is the new Niagara, next is Vicki’s homemade recipe, Mary Ellen’s Best Press, Magic Sizing and regular starch.
For some reason, I thought Mary Ellen’s Best Press was something besides “starch”. I worry about bugs with starch and, for the most part, I only use it when piecing and then my quilts usually get washed but . . I’m sure it’s no surprise that I start quilts, sometimes get quite a ways into them and then they get put aside for months or even years . . with starch in the fabric! Living in central Texas, we seem to have way more than our share of bugs and I don’t want to do anything to encourage them to find a way into my sewing room, where not only fabric is stored but lots of quilts and lots of wool yarn.
The more I read about Best Press, the more I’m convinced that it is starch and may attract bugs just the same as most any other starch.
Before I begin my review of the starch products I use, I did a little cost comparison. The Best Press in the squirt bottle is 16 ounces. I usually buy it by the gallon and re-fill my bottles. The Niagara Non-Aerosol is 22 ounces so I did a cost per ounce breakdown.
Best Press in 16 oz. bottle – 48¢ per ounce
Best Press in gallon bottle – 33¢ per ounce
Niagara Non-Aerosol – 9¢ per ounce
These prices were based on the suggested retail from the Mary Ellen’s Best Price website, and what I paid at Wal-Mart. That is a huge price difference! Let me also say this: I paid $1.96 per bottle for the starch at Wal-Mart. I’m kinda having a hard time believing that is the correct price. You kinda never know with Wal-Mart’s pricing. I’ll watch and see if I see the price change next time I’m there or when I’m somewhere else that carries it.
Here’s my review of the products:
Best Press – I’ve used and loved this for years. There’s unscented but the smell good varieties are fantastic. I love things that smell good!
Niagara Non-Aerosol – I’ve only been using it less than 24 hours. The scent I bought is the Fresh Linen. The bottle says “Original” on it but that’s the only kind they had at Wal-Mart. Some of the containers I’ve seen online look a bit different. So far, I love this stuff. It smells good, it dries quickly with no residue.
Homemade – I do find this flakes but I only use it when I’m ironing fabrics that I know will be washed. I love that I can make it light or heavy, depending on how much cornstarch I add to the mixture. If I’m doing a lot of bias edges, I make it strong and soak the fabric and it makes a huge difference in my piecing.
Magic Sizing – I mostly use this for ironing clothes, though I used to use it all the time for quilting.
Regular Starch – Again, this is used exclusively for Vince’s shirts. It gets on the iron and I don’t like that at all but I like the way his shirts look when I use this.
Have you tried the Niagara? What do you think about it?
Thanks to the reader who told me about the Niagara Non-Aerosol spray. What else do I need to know about? :)