December 16, 2008

Starching Mens Dress Shirts

All There is to Know on Using Starch on Dress Shirts

Have your heard the term “working stiffs” and wondered where it came from? Using starch on your dress shirts has advantages and some disadvantages. This brief tutorial will discuss each one, as well as give you helpful tips on using starch at home when irioning your dress shirts.

What is Starch
Starch is a complex carbohydrate found in plants. Starch has been used for a few centuries to stiffen fabrics. Not much has changed in the manufacturing process of the starch we use today compared to the one used over a hundred years ago. Over 80% all of all commercial starch used today is derived from corn. Dried corn is ground into a fine powder, which is then mixed with water into a pulp. After removing impurities, this solution is filled into aerosol and spray cans together with a few minor additives (such as fragrances).

Advantages of Using Starch
Starch will give your dress shirts a nice, crisp look. Besides this, starch makes ironing a little easier since it will reduce the so called “iron drag”. Another advantage of using starch, that most people don’t know, is that starch protects fabrics from stains. The starch seals the individual fibers making it more difficult for stains to penetrate through the fabric.

Disadvantages of Using Starch
The main disadvantage of using starch is fraying. Heavy starch will reduce the lifetime of your dress shirts. Over time residue of starch will remain in the collar and cuffs. The starch eventually dries out the fabric, causing individual threads to break or fray.

Tips For Using Starch at Home
Since starch will reduce the life of a dress shirt, use starch lightly and sparingly. If you prefer a heavier starched look then use more durable dress shirts made from a thicker fabric. Perfectly suited are white dress shirts made from a thicker oxford cotton fabric. If you want to have a stiffer looking shirt, it is recommended to apply two or even three layers of starch instead of one heavy layer.

If you want to conserve the environment and safe money at the same time, then mixing our own starch is a perfect option. To do this use one table spoon of regular cornstarch with one pint of water. Mix them both together and fill the solution into a spray bottle.

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