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Opinions on starching collars

bjornb17

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What are your opinions on starching collars?

I never starch the rest of the shirt, but love a collar that stays perfect all day. What do you think?
 

Despos

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With the quality of innerlings and fusing today there is no need to starch a collar for it to look crisp. Starch is not good for the longevity of the cloth. I want a collar to be soft as it is against my neck and is the closest fitting area of the shirt. Same for cuffs.
 

Gus

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Originally Posted by Despos
With the quality of innerlings and fusing today there is no need to starch a collar for it to look crisp. Starch is not good for the longevity of the cloth. I want a collar to be soft as it is against my neck and is the closest fitting area of the shirt. Same for cuffs.

+1, well said.
 

Parker

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No starch for me.
 

Ataturk

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A fused collar obviously doesn't need starch, but it's hard to get one without fusing to look the same way without it. Of course you don't have to put starch on the neckband, just a little on the points -- the cans are handy for that.
 

gdl203

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I get my unfused collars and cuffs lightly starched. Not needed for the fused collars.
 

bjornb17

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I should add the caveat that I only starch the collar (just the the ends), when wearing the shirt open-collar without a tie, especially handy for keeping the points from curling or the stays riding up.
 

Gus

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Originally Posted by bjornb17
I should add the caveat that I only starch the collar (just the the ends), when wearing the shirt open-collar without a tie, especially handy for keeping the points from curling or the stays riding up.

I used to have the same problem but then discovered cutaway or wide spread collars. They stay neatly tucked away and curless.
 

Despos

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I am the antistarch
 

bjornb17

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Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy
I used to have the same problem but then discovered cutaway or wide spread collars. They stay neatly tucked away and curless.

I got a cutaway collar shirt coming in the mail next week, I like to see how that works out! Does it look good without a tie?
 

voxsartoria

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Before the early 90s, I would not only get my BB OCBDs starched, but extra starched. You could take them off the hanger and stand them up on the floor. It looked fantastic.

My standards have slipped since then.


- B
 

dmac

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I avoid starch. I find it irritates my skin.
 

ljrcustom

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No starch for me.

-LR
 

stubloom

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As the owner of a high-end dry cleaner and shirt laundry, I probably field more questions on the subject of starch than all other questions combined. My response is directed particularly to those forum members that use "professional shirt laundries". Your decision to starch or not to starch is complicated by 5 factors than can vary quite dramatically from shirt laundry to shirt laundry: 1. Economic volumes. Many higher volume shirt laundries separate their shirts into "starch" and "no starch". If you requested none or light, it goes into "no starch"; if you requested medium or heavy it goes into "starch". 2. Type of starch used. Many shirt laundries favor synthetic starch over natural starch (wheat or corn). Shirt laundries like synthetic starch because it is cheap, easy to use, and bonds very easily to all fibers including polyester. The problem with synthetic starch is that it does nor instantly dissolve when it comes into contact with water. If you went from "medium" to "none" you'd see no real difference in the feel until possibly the 6th or 10th wash. Think of synthetic starch as nothing more than a PVC glue that builds up on the shirt with every additional coating. On the other hand, wheat starch is very fine and coats a shirt very evenly. Corn starch is more granular and doesn't achieve the same even coat as wheat starch. The advantage of wheat or corn starch is that it dissolves relatively quickly when it comes into contact with water. So if you go from "medium" to "none" you'd see a dramatic difference in the texture of the shirt. Furthermore, your shirts will tend to abrade less over the long term: synthetic starched shirts retain their stiffness in the washer wheel, especially if they've been starched multiple times; natural starched shirts "collapse" relatively quickly in the washer wheel and "tumble with the flow". 3. Quantity of starch used. Whatever the type of starch used, the quantity of starch used in a load can vary quite dramatically from one day to the next, depending on (a) who the washer operator is that day, and (b) whether they're carefully measuring out the quantity of starch to be used relative to the number of shirts in a load and the starch level prescribed. 4. Machine pressed or hand ironed. Most shirt laundries press your shirts when they are damp using shirt pressing machines that "produce" 40 to 50 shirts per hour or more (typically a shirt pressing unit consists of one machine for the collar/cuffs, one for the sleeves, and one for the body). These shirt pressing machines have metal surfaces that are heated to a high temperature. The shirt is positioned on each machine by the operator, the metal surfaces close in a pincer-like movement and the pressing is achieved by "curing" the shirt from damp to dry. A shirt that is washed with no starch and then pressed damp on these type of shirt pressing machines will feel stiffer than a shirt that is washed with no starch, hung dry, and then hand ironed. 5. The heaviness/thickness vs lightness/thinness of your shirtings. Heavier/thicker shirt fabrics will tend to feel more heavily starched than lighter/thinner shirt fabrics. You might want to consider varying your starch levels based on this criterion. Now that you have the "facts", you'll be better equipped to discuss your starch vs no starch decision with your shirt laundry. For further information on the issue of synthetic vs natural starches, please read this short blog post: Why your light starched shirts feel stiff: http://ravefabricare.com/true-qualit...eel-stiff.aspx Website: www.ravefabricare.com Daily blog: www.truequalitycleaning.com
 

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