How to Starch Crinolines

Written by katie kenig Google
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How to Starch Crinolines
The full sweep of a 50s style skirt is created by starched crinolines worn underneath the skirt. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Crinolines, sometimes referred to as petticoats, are netted underskirts used to create a fluffy bell-shape under a skirt. While these were originally a construction of linen and horsehair starched with sugar water, modern crinolines have evolved to net construction and liquid starch maintenance. If you're attending a Civil War re-enactment or 1950s-style party, you'll need a crinoline under your skirt an authentic look. Knowing how to properly starch a crinoline allows you to wash and prepare your crinolines at home, saving the costs of a dry cleaner or professional costumier.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bathtub, laundry sink or large wash tub
  • Wooden spoon
  • Liquid starch
  • Crinoline
  • Clothesline or wire hanger
  • Clothespins

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  1. 1

    Mix equal parts of water and liquid starch in the bathtub, laundry sink or washtub. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely blended.

  2. 2

    Immerse the crinoline completely in the liquid. Squeeze the starch through the fabric with your hands until all parts of the garment have been saturated.

  3. 3

    Remove the crinoline from the liquid and use clothespins to attach the garment to a wire hanger or clothesline. Allow to drip-dry over the tub or over newspapers. Lightly shape with your hands and allow to completely air dry.

Tips and warnings

  • To iron your starched crinoline, lightly spray the dried garment with warm water and enclose in a plastic bag until the dampness has evenly penetrated all parts of the crinoline. Remove and iron with a warm iron.
  • Crinolines will need to be re-starched after each washing.
  • Wash starched crinolines separately from other garments, or hand-wash.

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