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How to Starch Crinolines

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.

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  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. 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. 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.

  4. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

I have taught classes in writing and ASL, but teaching crafting techniques has been my passion for many years. I have had one-on-one tutoring classes and have taught groups as large as 60 in various seminars. I consider myself an expert in a wide range of crafts, from soap-making and jewelry design to crochet and needlework, and my teaching experience gives me an edge when it comes to sharing knowledge in a friendly and understandable way.

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