Sometimes the old ways are the best ways, even if they haven't changed for a century. Your grandma loved hand-crocheting fancy doilies and took great pride in displaying them. Long before the days of canned aerosol spray starch, homemakers stiffened their precious doilies with homemade liquid starch. This is quick and easy to do with items found in your kitchen, and best of all, the simple but effective starch that you make yourself isn't destructive to our planet.
Combine 200 g (1 cup) of granulated sugar with 118 ml (1/2) cup of water in a pan large enough to accommodate your doily. Put the pan on the hob and stir constantly over medium heat to dissolve the sugar until the mixture is completely clear. Don't let it come to a boil.
Remove the pan from the stove. Let the pan of starch sit until the liquid is cool enough for you to handle.
Submerge your doily in the liquid starch.
Remove the doily from the pan. Squeeze the excess liquid carefully out of it. Never twist or wring such a fine item.
Roll the doily gently in a clean, soft towel until it's nearly dry. Smooth the doily out on a flat surface to shape it as you usually do.