Saturday, September 12, 2009

How to starch a ruff

There are several good directions on how to starch a ruff using the "soaking in starch" method. Here's a version using spray starch & basic laundry & hair care equipment.

You can use this method for any kind of starched ruffle.
Anybody can do this... really.

Picture 1: Unstarched
Picture 2: Starched (to be added, it was very blurry)

Gather your tools:
Heavy spray starch
Iron - no steam
3/4" - 1 1/2" Curling iron with a smooth end (without that metal guard)
Hair dryer
Tailor's Ham or some kind of form to pin your ruff on (no plastic, you have to be able to iron on it)
Towel for work surface.

Begin with a dry ruff.***
Lay it over a ham outside up (the way you would wear it) and spray starch the first section of the neckband.
Use a hot iron on the band only.
Move around the neckband until it's a little stiff & then pin it to the ham or form.
Finish starching the neckband.

To starch the ruffles, spray the inside of the ruffles, (2 or 3 at a time).
Using the curling iron on high, set the starch by "curling" the ruffles for 4-5 seconds then move to the next section.
Work back & forth over the ruffles until they are relatively dry & standing up-ish.
You'll get a feel for this pretty quickly.
They will still be damp.

To make it really stiff, use the hair dryer on hot air / low pressure to "fluff" up the ruffles. (Safety tip: tie up any long hair)
- Spray the outside of the band & the base of the ruffles again.
- Blow directly into the center of the ruffle** & hold the hair dryer there until the starch is dry. ** You may have to gently pull each ruffle straight out as you do this so they don't crinkle up.
- Dry everything completely with the hair dryer.
(sorry there's no picture of the hair dryer, it was too hard to manage that much stuff on my own).

Unpin & put on a storage form, or ready to wear.
Wipe the starch off of the cold iron & curling iron with a damp cloth.
Wash your work surface towel.

To wash the starch out, soak in warm water, rinse; use mild soap, rinse, then wash normally. Line dry. Re-starch.

*** The ruff I'm starting with has wire ribbon in the "hem" to help keep it stiff. This method will work well even if you don't have that. It may take longer to get your ruffles to stand up, but stand up they will!

1 comment:

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

Here are other methods for how to starch a ruff:

wet starch:

oven starch:

similar method to mine:
about 3/4 of the way down the page.