My husband likes his dress shirts to be stiff – so stiff that they can stand in the corner on their own. In a pinch, I’ll have to iron one at home. He’s not crazy when that happens because I can’t seem to get them remotely close to what he likes. But recently, after dropping off some shirts at A Cleaner World, he commented that they weren’t stiff enough. I inquired and learned something new.
Matt has taken to buying a 70% cotton and 30% polyester blend for his dress shirts. I asked him why he’s settled on this shirt as of late. He’s sure there is a reason, but he can’t remember. After talking to Mike Smith, our Vice President of Operations, I learned that the fabric blend was the reason the shirt wasn’t getting stiff enough for Matt’s taste. I like having things boiled down to the bottom line, so here’s the takeaway from my lesson:
• The starch we use is based on a vegetable byproduct that is dried then mixed with water.
• The thickness and weight of fabric determines how much starch the shirt will hold.
• Heavyweight 100% cotton shirts are the only shirts that can be heavily starched.
• Oxford weaves will allow for heavier starching than finer pinpoints.
• Polyester, a man-made synthetic fiber, will not absorb or hold starch the way 100% cotton will. Starch cannot bind with polyester fibers so you will never get a stiff shirt.
• Even if the shirt is a blend, it won’t hold the starch like a 100% cotton dress shirt will.
We will finish your shirts however you’d like but keep in mind that what the shirt is made of determines the final outcome. If you have questions or concerns about your laundered dress shirts, just connect with us below or stop by one of our locations. We are here to help.