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BarbaraSmith
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« on: January 14, 2007, 01:45:00 PM »

Sorry, can't find where someone asked me again for Midori's Starch recipe. I don't have it (lost it with the stolen computer), but I do know she based it on using potato starch. You can buy potato starch at organic food stores. It's a boxed thing.

I just found this link - Faultless powered starch:
http://www.agelong.com/clothescare.aspx?categoryID=300

Anyone used this? I've always used liquid starch. I may look into this.

Cheers,
B.
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BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2007, 03:51:26 PM »

Midori says she got it from Katrina Woolsey, creator of the Sutter's Fort Work Dress pattern. She says it's on the pattern:

Starch recipe:

Dissolve 1 cup potato starch flour in 2 cups cold water.

While stirring, slowly add 2 to 4 quarts boiling water (the exact amount depends on the
stiffness desired). 

Let cool enough to handle, then immerse the DRY clothes into the starch solution. 

Squeeze the excess starch out of the fabric, then hang to dry. 

While drying it helps to periodically pull the layers of fabric apart.  This not only allows for better and faster drying,
but also prevents the starch from "gluing" the fabric to itself. 

When fully dry, spray or sprinkle with water and iron at "cotton" setting. 

Petticoats are usually more heavily starched than collars and cuffs, so try making the starch with the lesser amount of water, starching the petticoats and then adding more water to thin the starch somewhat for the other smallclothes.
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Elisabeth M
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2007, 05:17:50 PM »

Just a moment, let me pull up my recipe that I saved off of the old board...and then gave to Ginger, had a computer crash, and retrieved it from the comments on my LJ.  Cheesy

Heavy Starch: In large saucepot, mix 1/2 c. starch (laundry or corn) and 1 cup cold water. Gradually stir in 2 quarts water. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute. (Note: 1 minute of boiling, no more or less produces the best starch solution.) Use warm.

Medium Starch: Dilute Heavy starch solution with 2 quarts water.

Light starch: Dilute Heavy starch solution with 4 quarts water.

For best results:
Fabric should be clean, wet, and unfolded before dipping into starch solution.

Use starch solution while warm.

Iron fabric while damp.


I do about that. Heavy on petticoats, medium to light on linen, lighter on other articles - chemises, etc. One thing I found out the hard way - Linen absorbs way more starch than cotton. I put my linen in the same batch as my petticoats, as I wanted a good stiff apron that wouldn't wrinkle when I sat down in the car, etc. I dipped it and my 18th century cap in a heavy/medium mixture, and hung them on the shower curtain bar. The apron could about stand up by itself - it looked extremely odd! I rinsed it lightly in a sink twice before I got the desired amount of starch out. Now I use a much lighter mixture on my linen articles - save my cap, which I like stiff. Stays on my head better!

When I'm in a time crunch, though, I use StayFlo. It's thinner than the heavy starch above, but works quite well when you can't sit at a stove forever.
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BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007, 07:11:02 PM »

Okiay, here's my real-time starch experience. I just bought a couple of bottles of Stay-Flo. I mixed 1 Qt Stay-Flo and 1 Qt water - the 1-1 mix that the bottle calls "Heavy".

I dipped three cotton petticoats. The tucked first, the corded second, the thinnest "over" petticoat last. Took every bit. I used a plastic dish pan, and hand wrung out each between dips.

I then put them in to spin in the washer. It's 6:11 pm, and I plan to hang them up on a hanging bar on the living room closet door that is very near my baseboard heater. I predict they will be mostly dry by 9 am tomorrow. I'll check in tomorrow and let you know.

Hanging bars come in all varieties - from a single extending hook that you can hang just one petticoat on (something like this)
http://www.nextag.com/Spectrum-Over-The-Door-530708185/prices-html

to a bar designed to hang multiple hangers on (something like this)
http://cgi.ebay.com/OVER-DOOR-CLOSET_W0QQitemZ120047855271QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

For this, I'll use the multiple hanger job.

If you have a heater in the bathroom, try hanging up the items, turning the heater up, and if you don't need the heat, closing the door. Since it's freezing, and all the heaters are on, I thought I'd take advantage of that to do some starching.

Once dry, I'll dampen and iron.

Check back with you tomorrow to let you know how the drying went.

Cheers,
B.

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Elisabeth M
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007, 07:42:16 PM »

Another thing that helps (I just hang mine on skirt hangers from the shower rod) is a dehumidifier. If you have one, use it! We have one to help get kayak gear in the basement dry, and in the winter, my dad dries his gear in the upstairs bathroom. So up goes the dehumidifier and the box fan. I use both, if I think about it - the dehumidifier creates heat and takes lots of moisture out of the air, and the fan helps evaporate the water.

That bathroom almost always smells of two things - wet neoprene or wool.  Cheesy

I almost always overdry my petticoats if I stick them in the dryer. *sigh* But it is a very useful thing. Being a firm believer in starch, I do it a lot. I starch the things that need it the most first, and then after squeezing them out, fill up the bowl (I use a bowl in the bathtub) again and do the lighter items. Works quite well!

1-1 will be quite starched, Auntie B. They take a bit to compact into my under the bed boxes - two or three of mine, plus a corded, would probably fill the box.
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Nona Nelson
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2007, 09:08:51 PM »

I use stay-flo when starching too. For starching my corded petticoat, I usally use the "heavy" (the half water half starch solution). And for my other petticoats, I use the "medium" solution. I put my petticoats in the kichen sink and then I dump the starch and the water on them. I hang them up to dry on the shower rod in the bathroom with a fan on.
to freshen up my clothes, I use the spray stach from an can.
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Anna G.
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2007, 10:44:05 PM »

I've only starched my corded petticoat (actually, I didn't starch it my mom did: don't hit me, I was in a jiffy, and had other things to do, and my mother graciously starched it for me) although I probably should starch my other petticoats.
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Nona Nelson
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2007, 11:11:24 PM »

Anna,
You should starch your other petticoats along with your dress, aprons and other underthings for a "crisp" new look and feel to the fabric. Also, starch acts as a sheild, kind of like scochgard, and protects your clothes of grim and dirt.
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Anna G.
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2007, 11:21:17 PM »

I know, Nona, I need to utilize the starch. Everytime I go to the Fort, I say to myself: "I need crisp clothing and skirts, I'll starch my petticoats" and then I get home, and I forget. BUT, one of these days I will have a starching day, and starch everything in sight (including my little sister  Wink )
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bevinmacrae
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2007, 07:32:52 AM »

We use the stay-flo for starching. My mom had a neat idea to buy a large plastic garbage bin (brand new and clean of course) she puts the starch mixture in there and puts the skirts in. Then when finished, she sets the garbage bin upside down and sets corded petticoats over the top. The cordeds don't stick together and they dry in a circular form since the circumference of the bin is the same as the corded.
I've also noticed that starch gives this nice smooth finish to fabrics and that seems to prevent dirt getting on them. Anyone tried starching a sheer dress? Mine has a habit of wilting at humid events and I'm wondering if starching it (not heavily) would help with this.
~bevin
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Bevin MacRae

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Veronica Carey
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2007, 09:53:24 AM »

What a great idea -- using the clean plastic garbage can!  I'm going right out to Target today to get one!  I must admit, I have never starched my corded petticoat (I use Elizabeth's strategy of just hanging it out to dry instead of putting it in the dryer, 'cause it stays stiffer that way).  I have a flounced petti that goes over the corded, so that gives a nice full look, but starching the corded is really called for, I must admit.   (Do you also dampen and iron after it is dry?  Or is that not needed if you hang it over the garbage can?)
Veronica
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bevinmacrae
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2007, 03:56:23 PM »

We havn't ever ironed them after they have dried with the starch, but you can always try it. We've just never needed to, they come out so stiff!
~bevin
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Bevin MacRae

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BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2007, 07:32:00 PM »

To get the glass-like finish that lasts for 6 weeks or more, you want to dampen and iron after starching. Yes, this goes for the corded pettis, too. If you don't care, and I sometimes don't, you can just starch, dry, and wear. However, if you'd like your pettis to last for a season, do the ironing. It will repel dirt and save you from restarching for weeks.

Report back - Woke up this AM at 9, and everything was crisp and dry. Not to iron!  Grin

Ladies, take advantage of the ice storm and starch your petties while you've got the heaters running.  Grin

LOL,
B.
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2007, 07:06:53 AM »

I'm going to take advantage of it by starting this kilt I've been putting off for weeks! My poor customer! I probably wouldn't be so apt to procrastinate if he wasn't 62" around, but that's just a little intimidating to me! Now that mom's not home to distract me (she was here yesterday and I sewed together three quiltsquares all wrong while she was trying to talk to me!) it seems like a good time to start setting up the fabric! deep breath!
~bevin
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Bevin MacRae

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Veronica Carey
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2007, 11:39:11 PM »

We didn't have an ice storm down here in Atlanta, but I did starch my corded petticoat with Barb's formula of 1 to 1 water to liquid starch.  It is amazing!  The thing literally stands up by itself!  I used the new garbage can technique recommended in this thread, and boy did it work!  I also starched the lowest flounce of my flounced petti, and it, too, is really, really full.  I did not iron the corded petticoat.  The flounced petti I just hung over a dryer rack (both of these I did on my screened-in back porch), then spritzed with water and ironed the bottom flounce.  Got that nice glass-like finish to it.
After I dipped both those in the 1 to 1 starch (in my kitchen sink) I added more water to what was left and starched two cotton caps and my undersleeves.  These came out well, too (after ironing, of course.)
So, thanks to everyone for all the great starching advice.  Had my volunteer day today and I was bell shaped and enjoyed a very satisfying rustle rustle rustle sound as I walked through the rooms of the William Root House.  I have been happy with  my pettis up til now, but the starch really takes you to a new level.  I highly recommend it!
Veronica Carey
P.S.  Getting into my Subaru was a bit more challenging than usual, but still doable!
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bevinmacrae
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2007, 08:20:46 AM »

Mom does have some brilliant ideas about cleaning, even if she knows practically nothing about the actual war!

I have a Subaru too. Love the thing, but there isn't much room behind the wheel is there?
I simply must have a starching day, too. But what day?
~bevin
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Bevin MacRae

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BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2007, 11:09:11 AM »

SUBARUS RULE!  Grin I drive a 2004 Outback station wagon. I have to have either a station wagon or a truck to haul all the weird stuff. And sleep in the back when I need to.  Grin

Push your seat farther back, and tilt the steering wheel up. Still tight, but it's easier if you don't have a passenger, because you can "flow" some over into the passenger seat.  Grin

I haven't bothered to do the garbage can, because it just didn't seem necessary. Plus, when I hang the corded petti up in the closet, it gets smashed flat, anyway, and ditto if I have to fold it up and put it into the carpet bag. And then you're going to sit on it... So, if it makes you happy, do it, but do try just hanging it from a skirt hanger and see if you notice a difference.  Grin

Cheers,
B.
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bevinmacrae
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2007, 07:41:10 AM »

Anyone have any ideas on how to starch just the brim of my sunbonnet? I'm thinking something like spreading the starch on like I'm frosting a cake!
~bevin
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Veronica Carey
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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2007, 07:54:27 AM »

How about a clean pastry brush?  Or just a small size paint brush, about 1 inch wide?  It will probably work best if you dampen the brim first.
Veronica
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Ginger Lane
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2007, 09:02:42 AM »

I just use a bowl for the starch and am careful to get only the brim in it.  Make sure you squeeze it out once it's completely wet; the extra liquid doesn't add stiffness, but it will run down into the curtain when it's hung to dry.

Come to think of it, something flat like a platter or a large plate would make it even easier to get just the brim starched.

I've never starched the crown of my bonnet, but it wouldn't hurt.  As long as you can iron it.  It would be even easier to keep the starch out of just the curtain and not both curtain and crown.
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