How to Starch Your Clothes to Keep Them Looking and Feeling Crisp

In General by Emi Ladrillono

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How to Starch Your Clothes to Keep Them Looking and Feeling Crisp

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Disclaimer: The process of starching will keep your clothes looking immaculate, but the price of looking spick and span can be costly.
If you feel comfortable experimenting with starch, go ahead and give it a try!
(If not, it doesn’t hurt to pay a visit to your dry cleaners –who use starch on a daily basis.)

It is both delusional and stupid to think that clothes don’t really matter and we should all wear whatever we want.
Most people don’t take clothing seriously enough, but whether we should or not, clothes do talk to us and we make decisions based on people’s appearances.”G. Bruce Boyer

Dress To Impress

Those few lines from G. Bruce Boyer totally hit home harder than the cup of dark roast we had in the office this morning.

Appearances aren’t everything, but they do give you an edge.
There was a time in society when our clothing dictated status, separating nobility from the working class. Fortunately for us, the idea behind clothing has evolved to become visual representations of our personas. Of course, looking nice and crisp never hurt anyone (especially your pockets if you do it yourself)!

Have you ever wondered how the higher ups keep those buttoned-down shirts looking crisper than a fresh pack of Ruffles with ridges?
You can chuck it up to expensive dry cleaning, but at the end of the day, that’s money out the window. We’ll bet you our bottom dollar they’ve Googled the longtime laundry practice turned art, that we know today as starching.

Scientifically speaking, starch is a compound found in common carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, breakfast cereals, and oats (to name a few examples). After consumption, our bodies reduce the compound to glucose (the main energy source we run on from day to day).

Apart from sustaining our energy needs and serving as a food additive, starch has been found to be quite useful when it comes to keeping our clothes Crisp (with a capital C).

More than just a food thickener, the laundry industry has revered starch for its chemical properties. Starch in regard to laundry is the end result of vegetable by-products mixed with water, resulting in a viscous liquid that helps to keep the form of a garment for longer periods of time.

Starching is the process of giving body to fabrics.

In doing so, starching essentially maintains the structure of a fabric,
and adds a crispness to the clothing that makes it stand out.

This process has been observed to

  • decrease the occurrence of wrinkles and soiling in garments.
  • ease the process of ironing.


  • Starch gives you a clean, crisp, wrinkle-free edge over the rest of the suits in the crowd.
  • Starch makes ironing much easier.
  • Starch makes stain removal and getting rid of dirt much easier.
  • Starch offers your clothing stain protection by individually coating the fibers of your clothes.
  • Starch cuts down on your dry clean visits by keeping your clothes crips and clean enough to be reworn 2-3 times before needing another treatment.


  • Starch has been found to be an irritant to people with sensitive skin.
  • Starch can reduce the lifespan of your clothing. Residue from the starching process can work its way into the fibers of your clothing, causing them to wear down and break in the long run.

Weddings, business meetings, galas

﹣in short: black tie events.

It is not unusual to starch your work clothes.

But bear in mind that their fabric composition plays a huge part in starching!

  • Natural fibers

    Since starch comes from corn, rice, or wheat, it’s stabilizing magic is most effective on natural fibers like linen, cotton, or bamboo

  • Synthetic fibers

    If you had materials such as cotton/polyester in mind, laundry experts have gone ahead and said that you can starch these fabrics. However, the desired crisp effect on your garment may be less pronounced since synthetic fibers have a hard time absorbing starch.

  • Delicate fibers

    Silk and anything silk related, cashmere, wool, and anything wool-related. In the words of Simon Cowell, “It’s a No,”.

We’re all dying to have that debonair look and feel that resonates from the sight of wrinkle free cuffs and collars,
but before anything else: make sure you have starch!

  • Make sure your garment has been washed and dried thoroughly.

    Removing dirt on your clothes through proper washing and drying will ensure the stabilizing and stiffening effects of starch take to your clothes.

  • Gather your Materials.

    • You’ll will need an iron, an ironing board, and starch.
    • You can make your own starch by:

      Mixing 2 cups of cold water + 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a bottle. Shaking the bottle thoroughly until the cornstarch has dissolved.

  • Adjust the heat settings on your iron.

    Always refer to your shirt for precise clothing care instructions, but here’s a small guide

    • High heat: Cotton, Linen
    • Medium heat: Wool, Cashmere, Flannel, Silk
    • Low-Medium: Polyester
    • Low: Nylon, Acetate, Acrylic

  • Position your garment on the ironing board.

    The square end is more useful than the right!

  • Spray the starch evenly across your garment.

    Wait a couple of minutes for the garment to soak up the starch.

  • Iron the garment the way you normally would.

    Collar → Yoke → Sleeves → Cuffs → Body

  • Hang the finished product with pride.

    At this stage, your shirt should be Rice Krispy level: Snap! Crackle! Pop!

This article was brought to you by

FREY is men’s fashion brand made up of environmentally conscious idealists who specialize in making clothing care products aimed at:

Preserving your clothing.

Preserving the environment

Feel free to check out the entire clothing care line here.
Save your clothing, save the Earth, and smell good while doing it.

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