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Old School Shirt Collars

DWFII

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Do you fuse both sides? The TM Lewin ones don't fuse both sides so you don't get that smooth look.
I may be wrong...not a shirt maker...if so, @Shirtmaven can correct me, but if you want that smooth look you almost have to go with the boiled starch collars. And, IINM, they're 'polished'.
 

Steepleman

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I wonder if fusing both sides would result in a similar effect to starched collars. By the way, collars usually are cold starched, not starched with boiled starch. The 'boiling' refers to the cleaning process of removing the starch. Here in Australia there is only one laundry that still starches properly so barristers and clergy (in my experience) tend to starch themselves, if they don't use washables or non-starched collars.
 

DWFII

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Well, I am by no means an expert on this subject only having experimented with making my own from the most amateur perspective.

That said, I have this link bookmarked: It is quite interesting and even details several ways to starch and polish your collars.

The salient information I came away with is that starch itself must be boiled:

According to Dr. William Cook's Physiomedical Dispensary (1869), this is because starch "consists of a mass of small granules, each with a membranous covering. It is not soluble in cold water, alcohol, ether, or the oils. Boiling water breaks down the membranous envelope, and then it is so effectually suspended in water as to appear as if it were dissolved."
At least one remark at that same link suggest that collars benefit from being dipped in the hot (just after boiling) starch...which makes sense to this amateur if you're looking for good penetration and a really stiff collar.

shrug2.gif


FWIW...
 

Steepleman

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The principle behind cold starching is that when cold, the starch granules get inside the fabric and when you apply the iron, they burst and set 'in place', giving a stiffer effect. There are quite a few sources on-line about cold starching collars—boiled starch is apparently used for articles like tablecloths or shirt bodies where a less stiff effect is desired.

For what it's worth, Barker Laundry doesn't use boiled starch either. Cold starching is also much cleaner and easier I daresay. But the average person has no need to starch his collars stiffly I suppose, even if they are detachable.
 

DWFII

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There are quite a few sources on-line about cold starching collars—boiled starch is apparently used for articles like tablecloths or shirt bodies where a less stiff effect is desired.
I'd like to read about cold starching collars (did a search for "cold starching vs. boiled starching" and didn't get any thing relevant) can you provide a link?
 

Steepleman

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I'd like to read about cold starching collars (did a search for "cold starching vs. boiled starching" and didn't get any thing relevant) can you provide a link?
Cold starching is just an uncooked, milky colloid of starch and water, often with added borax or wax (dissolved in hot water). Most of the 'period' guides use cold starch for collars and cuffs. Here are some Australian sources I found :
You will notice that in the last one, it specifies that for a soft collar, cooked starch is to be used, but for a polished stiff collar, raw starch (i.e. cold starch) is used.

This suggests that you can use boiled starch and then raw starch to get a stiff and shiny collar, but normally cold starch with gum arabic is used by laundries it seems.

Non-Australian sources : https://books.google.com.au/books?id=D7SdYRtRj10C&pg=PA298&lpg=PA298&dq=cold+starching+collars&source=bl&ots=U-l2RqCwBK&sig=ACfU3U1RK5OX-1uLI6MhmmQP2jZOwz99MQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiYtsDPrcnoAhVM4jgGHa8iDX44ChDoATABegQIChAx#v=onepage&q=cold starching collars&f=false
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=P1YxrHuvVIMC&pg=PA266&lpg=PA266&dq=raw+starch+collars&source=bl&ots=Lee1ilOmmZ&sig=ACfU3U1gh3xfqpFCGV-1er6hVI_PJHml8g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjQw8-ksMnoAhUczDgGHaUFAxoQ6AEwDnoECA4QKQ#v=onepage&q=raw starch collars&f=false
N.B. thick cooked starch for 'soft' collars; raw starch for collars where extra stiffness is desired.

Starching collars stiff requires that you get the starch into the collar (or cuff) and use the starch to stick the layers together. That's why the layers cannot be fused or of certain materials as the starch won't stick. Also if you use too little starch the layers won't stick together, and if you don't boil the collar first, the old starch will stop the new starch sticking, somehow.

Anyway, I suppose this might be useful to someone, but unless you are a barrister or clergyman, you probably only need to starch softly.
 
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DWFII

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Cold starching is just an uncooked, milky colloid of starch and water, often with added borax or wax (dissolved in hot water). Most of the 'period' guides use cold starch for collars and cuffs. Here are some Australian sources I found :
You will notice that in the last one, it specifies that for a soft collar, cooked starch is to be used, but for a polished stiff collar, raw starch (i.e. cold starch) is used.

This suggests that you can use boiled starch and then raw starch to get a stiff and shiny collar, but normally cold starch with gum arabic is used by laundries it seems.

Non-Australian sources : https://books.google.com.au/books?id=D7SdYRtRj10C&pg=PA298&lpg=PA298&dq=cold+starching+collars&source=bl&ots=U-l2RqCwBK&sig=ACfU3U1RK5OX-1uLI6MhmmQP2jZOwz99MQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiYtsDPrcnoAhVM4jgGHa8iDX44ChDoATABegQIChAx#v=onepage&q=cold starching collars&f=false
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=P1YxrHuvVIMC&pg=PA266&lpg=PA266&dq=raw+starch+collars&source=bl&ots=Lee1ilOmmZ&sig=ACfU3U1gh3xfqpFCGV-1er6hVI_PJHml8g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjQw8-ksMnoAhUczDgGHaUFAxoQ6AEwDnoECA4QKQ#v=onepage&q=raw starch collars&f=false
N.B. thick cooked starch for 'soft' collars; raw starch for collars where extra stiffness is desired.

Starching collars stiff requires that you get the starch into the collar (or cuff) and use the starch to stick the layers together. That's why the layers cannot be fused or of certain materials as the starch won't stick. Also if you use too little starch the layers won't stick together, and if you don't boil the collar first, the old starch will stop the new starch sticking, somehow.

Anyway, I suppose this might be useful to someone, but unless you are a barrister or clergyman, you probably only need to starch softly.
Thanks for taking the time. :cheers: 👣
 

acapaca

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What about just a 'taller' or 'higher' collar than you can normally find, and one that is super stiff? Any particular makers to look out for?
 

Steepleman

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What about just a 'taller' or 'higher' collar than you can normally find, and one that is super stiff? Any particular makers to look out for?
When you say “super stiff” how stiff do you mean? You're not going to find anything as stiff as starched collars. Higher collars are available, but they're not as high as the extremes in the Edwardian period (like what Karl Lagerfeld wore).
 

acapaca

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When you say “super stiff” how stiff do you mean? You're not going to find anything as stiff as starched collars. Higher collars are available, but they're not as high as the extremes in the Edwardian period (like what Karl Lagerfeld wore).
I guess that higher collar is more or less what I have in mind, something not so extreme as the ones Lagerfeld wore. Just something markedly different than the run of the mill type. And I guess the stiffness could take care of itself.
 

comrade

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As said above, my one adventure with detached collars was with soft
detached collars. If I remember correctly the white collar that came with the
shirt was the same consistency as the striped one. As a practical matter, the
launderies I have dealt with over the years, do not have experience with detached
collar shirts.
 

comrade

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"I guess that higher collar is more or less what I have in mind, something not so extreme as the ones Lagerfeld wore."

I have it on good authority that it contributed to his demise.
 

DWFII

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Somehow, those collars don't look quite right when combined with the more contemporary jackets.
 

Nobilis Animus

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You know, most of the dilemma around stiff collars seems to be because they are seen as uncomfortable.

I think some of this might be due to not knowing how a shirt collar should fit. I was always taught that a collar ought to fit snugly enough that one index finger could fit between collar and neck (without pushing into the skin), but no more than that or it was too loose.

It seems to me that many are not now used to this snugness, even with attached collars.
 

Steepleman

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"I guess that higher collar is more or less what I have in mind, something not so extreme as the ones Lagerfeld wore."

I have it on good authority that it contributed to his demise.
I assume this is a joke. Very droll, if so. Maybe he should've tried some starched bands as well, like Vergilius Ferm here.
3329539952_2ec88213cc_b.jpg
 

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