Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Starch - or not?

It's certainly not fashionable. I don't think that my daughters ever do it. My hubby certainly never does it. But I actually like ironing. There's something about taking a piece of fabric which is unkempt, creased and rather sad, then rendering it beautifully straight, smooth and crisp. So it is without regret that I plug in my iron and set about the pile of very very damp (because that's the only way to do them) tablecloths and napkins.

I do remember having very vivid almost-asleep dreams when I was a child and teenager. They were of a vast open space of nothingness, a veritable infinity of deep-coloured dark space without limit. Into this space would come a stream of ribbon moving horizontally - quite flat and smooth. But then there would be a kink in the ribbon and I would have to will the entire length to crumple up and go to bottom right hand corner of the space so that the another stream of completely unkinked and smooth ribbon could take its place. But there was always a kink in the ribbon. I always had to crumple it up and move it to what I now recognize as a "recycle bin"! Could it be that from this dream I get my love of tablecloth ironing I wonder?

The big question is: to starch or not to starch? Starch makes for messy ironing as the iron has a habit of sticking. I gave up washing the tablecloths and napkins when the children were small and turned instead to a commercial laundry. But though it appeared the items had been starched, they'd all been badly folded before ironing. I ended up having to dampen everything down and re-iron it all, which was a bit much when I'd paid a very large bill for the service.

Since then I've occasionally used spray-on starch but mainly I've relied on what has been left in the fabric. Now everything's getting quite floppy again. I guess I can leave it for now, but next time I think I'm going to have to do the job properly. The last time I tried to find starch I don't think I could but thank goodness for the internet; there's even a web site for it Starch Supplies.


  1. You may be interested to read that, although I cannot vouch for what happens in her own home, your eldest daughter is an avid ironer in my home. She also makes a beline for the washing up and vacume cleaning. I do try desperately to stop her - but she just 'won't be told'! Love her. Jx

  2. When I read the headline 'Starch - or not?' I thought it would be a posting about whether or not to eat potatoes. That'll teach me.