A lot of talk surrounds starching of dress shirts. The question that rides on a man’s mind being, “To Starch or Not Starch.”
It is a bit of a quandary……so let’s jump straight to understanding why!
|To Starch||To Not Starch|
|Gives a crisp, no-nonsense yet suave look||Shortens the lifespan of your shirt|
|Minimizes wrinkling||Can be a little itchy and uncomfortable to the skin when not done right or done in heavy dosage|
|Makes ironing less of a task|
|Makes removing stains a lot easier, since dirt and grime stick to the starch|
|Starch also protects the clothes from stains as it seals the fibres|
The Con being only one…
Before, we delve deeper into the business of starch, let’s unravel its history.
You will be surprised to learn, that Starching shirting fabric, is not a new phenomenon. It actually has a lineage of its own.
Starch is basically a liquid that is the outcome of blending vegetable starch with water. It was a widely accepted norm of the 16th and 17th century Europe, where men of standing were seen with starched collars of fine linen dress shirts. Moving down to the 19th and early 20th century, it became a personification of style, to wear stiff collars and sleeves. During the 19th century and early 20th century, it was stylish for men to stiffen the collars and sleeves of their shirts while the women had the ruffles of their petticoats starched.
Moving down to the 21st century, ‘starching’ is not so common a phenomenon as it has been in the past, but it still has its backers.
And while it has its perks, it does come with its “do it at your own risk” caution!
Therefore, it is advisable you keep a few things in mind when deciding to starch.
- The Right Fabric: It is but true, that starch does tend to reduce the lifespan of the However, like everything else, this too comes with a loophole. The right fabric goes a long way in prolonging the inevitable. Therefore, we recommend, using natural & thicker fabrics like oxford cotton/cotton, or ‘tight weave’ fabrics like some linen shirts, as they starch well, and are durable. Avoid knit fabrics, silk and those made from either pure synthetic fibres or a blend of natural & synthetic fibres.
- The Quality: Cheap fabrics tend to lose its lustre soon and come back often frayed, with every launder. So always use only the finest quality fabric to starch.
- The Occasion: Starch looks best when it’s an impression you’re aiming to create. A black-tie event or a formal do/business meeting. This keeps the longevity of the fabric. It also helps to starch during hot and humid weather, when shirts are most wrinkled, creased and frayed.
Now that we have covered that, let’s move on to a Do-it-yourself-at-home-solution by http://www.vitruvien.com to starch those custom shirts:
Step1: Ensure you have a sparkly clean and dry cotton shirt ready.
Step2: Ready the starch. You can either purchase a liquid starch in a ready spray can, or mix powdered starch in water (following the instructions) and put it into a spray bottle.
Step 3: Place the shirt on the ironing board, with the back on the board and the arms hanging on either side.
Step 4: Start spraying evenly a light coat on the entre expanse of the back of the shirt. Wait for a few seconds for it to seep in and then iron the shirt at a recommended heat level for the fabric. Follow the same process with the front of the shirt, splitting into two halves, right and left sections. If your collar is already stiff, we recommend not to apply startch on it.
Finally, hang the shirt on a hangar and let it air dry for some time, before placing it back into the closet.
With these 5 simple steps, you’re now a Starch Pro. Just remember, the lifetime of a shirt depends on how liberal you get with the starch. The less you use it, the longer the shirt lives!