Why "starch" your shirts?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jb60606, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I feel stupid asking this, but what does starching do? Does it "stiffen" the thread or something so that the clothing maintains "shape"?

    Are there any negative affects on the clothing or skin? If they offered you "low, medium or high" starch (as I was offered, and I later declined - not knowing what its exact purpose was) what would you normally choose?

    The lady behind the counter could barely speak a word of english, so I couldn't really ask her.

    Thanks
     
  2. JNB
    macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #2
    It does add stiffness to the fabric, mainly to maintain a crisp, pressed appearance longer into the day. Mainly for men's dress shirts, and also mainly when the fabric is cotton or wool. Man-made fibers shouldn't generally be starched.

    My dry cleaners starches all my polyester tropical short-sleeves, and doesn't for my dress shirts. I'm going to have to kill them now.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Mousse

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #3
    Nothing like starched shirt to give me that nice itchy feeling.:rolleyes: I hate having my shirt starched.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #4
    According to Wikipedia:

     
  5. macrumors 603

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #5
    It "stiffens" the fabric as you described, yes. It also helps to keep the fabric from wrinkling so easily, so a starched shirt will stay looking fresh and pressed well into the day as you're wearing it.

    I've never heard of any negative effects. Perhaps if you're allergic to starch, but I've never heard of that.

    I assume your clothes are cotton or broadcloth, starch won't hurt those; permanent press, nylon, etc. are generally wrinkle-free on their own and don't need starch, plus I don't know if the starch will even permeate them correctly.

    I usually only have my dress shirts and cotton slacks/khakis starched, I go for heavy on the shirts and medium on the khakis.

    Seems to be the norm for dry cleaners - I don't really know why.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #6
    I find that light starch for dress shirts gives them a little bit of crispness and keeps the shirt looking fresh.

    Give it a try and see if you like the results....that's your best bet
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneNYC

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #7
    I say no to starch: don't like the feel or the look.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #8
    I've never used starch on any of my clothing.
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #9
    We used to have to starch our BDU uniforms, but they have since done away with that for the ACUs. It caused them to fade faster and trap heat inside - leaving you to sweat more.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    Thanks for the info, folks. I'm going to give light starch a trial run to see how my normally sensitive skin reacts. I always hate how my shirts look at the end of the day.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #11
    I'm a little OCD about wrinkles on clothing... I just can't stand the appearance, looks very messy. Using starch really helps eliminate them and keeps the shirt looking crisp all day long.

    /OCD rant.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #12
    BDU uniforms... You're one of those guys who says PIN number and ATM machine, aren't you? ;)
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #13
    Actually, no. I was being repetitive for clarity - since the vast majority will not know what BDUs are.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    #14
    What do you call them? ;)
     
  15. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #15
    I like my shirts with medium starch
    Seems to work out well for me

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  16. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #16
    LL Bean makes wrinkle resistant shirts that are so good you never even have to press them (they even have permanent creases on the sleeves and cuffs). I stopped taking shirts to the dry cleaners years ago.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #17
    Is this a trick question? :confused: I do see the smiley.

    PIN= Personal Identification Number

    PIN number = Personal Identification Number number :confused:

    I call it a PIN or an ATM.

    As for the starch question, my grandma starches her clothes. I don't even want to iron mine.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
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    #18
    Relax, man. I'm just giving you a hard time. ;)
     
  19. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    #19
    Read this post… it was in answer to:
    So I just wanted to know what Signal-11 calls them. ;)
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #20
    Yeah, all my work shirts are the no-iron shirts from brooks brothers, they have a permanent crease and as long as you hang them up out of the dryer, they are wrinkle free. oh yeah-- you can launder them with your regular clothes too, so no need to dry clean, which is nice.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #21
    Except that it didn't explain what the B or D stood for :p

    / No, seriously, what does B D Uniform mean?
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #22
    Battle Dress Uniform.

    They used to come in heavier weight 50/50 Nyco or lighter weight cotton ripstop. Either way, like RJS mentioned, starching them would tended to kill all breathibility and turn the blouse into a heat trap.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #23
    I'm betting this is some kind of British language thing where you're a soldier but call your outfit a blouse and dress... Like how pants are underwear.
     
  24. JNB
    macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #24
    Nope. Just specific terminology for the type of attire, though we did inherit it predominately from the Brits. Blouse, not to be confused with shirt or coat, but is worn in lieu of either. Also not to be confused with blousing, which is what is done to pants instead of leaving the cuffs to hang open outside footwear.

    Dress, not an article of clothing, but denoting a manner or occasion of wear, as in battle dress, dinner dress (aka dress mess), dress whites/undress whites, etc.

    Retired 11 years and I still check my gig line… :rolleyes:
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #25
    It's worse when they double-crease the whites. Or, worse, double-crease the poly-wool khakis that already have permanent creases. That's a ticket to a new shirt. I've taken to just telling them to clean the shirts without pressing. I do a better job anyway.

    Oh, and the gig line thing...yeah...
     

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