Starching your shirts makes it crisp and stiff, so the term working stiffs came about. This method actually means using starch on your dress shirts, and though it has its advantages, it also has some disadvantages. Here is a brief tutorial as well as some helpful tips on using starch at home when you iron your dress shirt.
What is Starch
Starch came from plants and has long been used to stiffen fabrics. There haven not been a lot of changes in the way starch is manufactured when you compare how its done today and centuries before. More than 80% of todays starch cames from corn. Dried corn are ground into fine power then mixed with water into a pulp. After impurities are removed, this is filled into aerosol and spray cans with a few additives such as fragrances.
Advantages of Using Starch
Starch gives your dress shirt that nice and crisp look. Aside from this, starch also makes it easier for ironing since it reduces the iron drag. Another advantage provided by using starch is that it protects fabrics from stains. Many people do not know it but starch seals the individual fibers and makes it more difficult for stains to penetrate the fabric through.
Disadvantages of Using Starch
The major drawback of using starch is fraying. Heavy starch reduces the lifetime of your dress shirts. Starch residue will remain in the collar and cuffs over time. And eventually starch will dry out the fabric and cause the individual threads to break or fray.
Tips For Using Starch at Home
Because starches can reduce the lifespan of your dress shirt, it is advised to use starches lightly and sparingly. If you want a heavier starched look, then use dress shirts made from thicker fabric as they are more durable. Dress shirts from a thicker oxford cotton fabric are the best choice for this. A stiffer look will require application of two or three layers of starch instead of a single heavy layer.