They say “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and many of us who can boast of excellent dressing sense could not agree with it more. Women who are often complimented on their dressing sense (and sometimes even men) will always have a cotton sari or two gracing their closets with its simplicity – be it Calcutta Cotton, Coimbatore cotton or Orissa cotton or any other variety that people love. However, such saris are high on maintenance. They have to be ironed and starched, though the effect of all that starch remains only for a few hours and does not even last the whole day. Also, some shirts that men wear also look good when they are starched. However, getting clothes starched and crisp from local dry cleaning stores is time consuming and costly too, which is why it is advisable to prepare starch at home. Here are two recipes for preparing starch at home.
Homemade Starch Recipe
Here are two recipes for homemade starch, one with cornstarch and another with potato:
Starch Using Cornstarch
- Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the cold water. Stir well until the cornstarch is all dissolved.
- Pour it into a plastic spray bottle. One that sprays with a fine mist works best for this.
- Shake well before each use. Spray onto clothes and iron. If you need a crisper effect, you could use more cornstarchs – though not more than three tablespoons – in the water.
- You could also divide the water into two batches and – put three tablespoons of cornstarch in one batch and about one and a half tablespoon in the other – and store them in separate bottles. This way you will be prepared for any kind of ironing that you may need.
- Pour the mixture into the spray bottle that has fine holes in it. Remember to always shake the bottle well, before you use it.
- If you prefer an even stiffer finish, try adding one additional teaspoon (about five milliliters or so) of cornstarch at a time until you get the result you want.
Starch With Potato
If you prefer a softer finish, you can make starch using potatoes. Here’s the recipe for making starch using potato:
- Line a colander (a draining vessel with holes in it) with two layers of cheesecloth or soft muslin, and place the colander over a bowl.
- Grate the potato with the smallest set of holes that your grater has to offer into the cheesecloth. You could also blend the potato coarsely in the mixer or blender.
- Fold the ends of the cheesecloth up and over the potatoes to cover. Press down on the cheesecloth until the starchy liquid from the potatoes drains into the bowl.
- Open the cheesecloth and pour half a cup of water over the potatoes. Reclose the cheesecloth and squeeze the potatoes.
- Repeat the above mentioned step with the remaining half cup of water.
- Place two cans of canned food or any other cans, which are heavy and can be used as weight, on top of the cheesecloth and leave them on top of the cheesecloth to squeeze more starch from the potatoes for 1 to 2 hours.
- Remove the colander and discard the cheesecloth with the potatoes.
- Carefully pour the liquid into the measuring cup from the bowl without disturbing the starch that settled to the bottom.
- Discard the liquid in the cup and use the remaining potato starch in the bowl. This starch is perishable, thus, it is advisable to use it within two or three days.