Every housewife strives to create coziness and comfort in the house. Openwork things, especially handmade ones, perfectly complement the interior and add elegance to the design of the room. But since knitted and fabric products do not hold their shape well and therefore look unattractive, many women, in order to decorate napkins at home, act the old-fashioned way, using a starch solution. Let’s analyze the methods of starching napkins. You can use starch, sugar, glue, gelatin and other means. 

Description of the process

Usually, napkins are made from threads made from pure cotton or with the addition of artificial fibers – viscose or lurex. But regardless of the quality of the material, the product crumples and does not keep its shape during the manufacturing process. In the case of starching, things are covered with a thin transparent film, which causes:

  • increasing the density of the material;
  • weak whitening;
  • resistance to dust and high humidity.

It is not recommended to starch napkins, tablecloths and curtains with rice or corn starch, as they thicken worse and give the products a yellow color. Only potato should be used. In addition, it is quite economical and inexpensive. It is also necessary to take into account that colored woolen, silk and synthetic things with starch are “not friendly”, so it is not worth subjecting them to this procedure.

Ways of starching napkins

Preparation of starch solution

This method is considered the simplest option for adding rigidity. Therefore, to properly decorate a knitted napkin at home, prepare a special paste consisting of starch and water.

The hardness of the openwork depends on the concentration of the solution. There are 3 methods of preparing a paste of different concentrations:

  • Soft. 1 liter of water + 1 tsp. starch Gives flexibility to napkins with long rays, curtains and tablecloths.
  • Average. 1 liter of water + 1 tbsp. l. starch The current method is mainly for lace collars, cuffs and crocheted napkins.
  • Hard. 1 liter of water + 2 tbsp. l. starch Gives things a clear solid shape. The method is suitable for small napkins, as well as for details of baskets, plates, vases, flowers, etc.

The algorithm for preparing the paste is the same for all three methods. Step-by-step instructions:

  1. The starch is diluted with a small amount of cool water and mixed well, breaking up the lumps (the consistency should resemble thin sour cream). In any case, the solution should be filtered.
  2. Boil the remaining water and pour the prepared starch concentrate into it in a thin trickle, continuously stirring the paste until it boils.
  3. Turn off the stove and leave the solution to cool to 30-35 degrees, but this is not essential. You should not wait until it cools down completely, as hardened starch does not permeate fabrics and threads.

how to starch a knitted napkin

If there are foreign impurities in the starch, it is necessary to stir it in lukewarm water and leave it for 10-15 minutes, then drain the dirty water. Repeat the manipulations until the starch is completely cleaned. Before decorating the napkin with starch, it must be pre-washed (just not in the washing machine). This also applies to tablecloths and curtains.

Fringe or brushes should be tied with a cord before washing so that they do not get tangled. Then completely immerse the product in the prepared paste. For uniform impregnation, it is recommended to straighten the item. After 10 minutes, take out the product, squeeze it and carefully spread it on the table for drying.

Drying and ironing

Preparing starched products for drying is important, so this painstaking process requires patience. If cloth napkins can be simply straightened and hung on a rope (without the use of clothespins), then you need to tinker with knitted ones.

The surface chosen for drying should be non-wetting, soft and flat, so that the dried thing does not turn out bumpy. It can be foam plastic, ceiling plateau, isolon or polyurethane foam. Also suitable is thick corrugated cardboard, stacked in several layers and taped to make a neat square.

In addition to a flat surface, you will need tailor’s (with a loop) or corsage (with a ball) pins and a ruler. The sequence is as follows:

  • The napkin is straightened and well fixed with pins on four sides to avoid distortions.
  • One end of the product is pulled out, measured with a ruler to the center and fixed with a pin.
  • Do the same with the opposite end. And so all the ends of the rays are fixed one by one.
  • Dry the napkin.

If it is planned to make a vase, then any suitable vessel is used:

  • glass;
  • a saucepan;
  • bank;
  • a bowl;
  • a vase

The container is turned over, wrapped with a bag or cling film and the product is laid out on it. After the water drains from the cloth items, they are dried with an iron set to the minimum mode, through a soft cloth or gauze. If you plan to make figurines out of them later, leave the napkins slightly damp, then roll them up and leave them to dry. Knitted products are dried naturally until completely dry away from batteries and heaters. It is not recommended to dry them with an iron – the shape of the thing will be lost.

knitted napkin

Alternative methods

If there is little or no starch in the house, you can use one of the alternative methods.

Sugar syrup

Starching with sugar gives things additional elasticity and shine. For this:

  • Dissolve 6 tbsp in 1 liter of water. l. granulated sugar The container is placed on the stove and sugar syrup is boiled.
  • 1 tsp. potato starch is mixed with a small amount of water and, stirring continuously, is poured into the syrup in a thin stream. The mixture is brought to a boil (bubbles should appear) and removed from the heat.
  • Dip a napkin in the slightly cooled syrup for 3-5 minutes.
  • They pull out, squeeze, straighten, dry.

The method is perfect for travel napkins used as interior decorations in the living room.

Composition with PVA glue

The method differs in that there is no need to use starch. To do this, mix 0.5 tbsp. PVA glue with 1 tbsp. water Place a napkin in the resulting mixture and leave it for 10 minutes. Then they are wrung out and ironed with a warm iron. Products treated with such a solution are characterized by increased rigidity and elasticity.

Dry method

This is a method of dry starching of things with talc, corn or potato starch. For this you need:

  1. Place the products on a horizontal surface (table or cabinet), laying a clean cloth on top.
  2. Sprinkle a napkin or tablecloth with talc or starch (in dry form) and sprinkle with water from a spray bottle.
  3. Cover the product with a second layer of fabric and iron with a hot iron through gauze.

This method is not suitable for adding a strong stiffness to the napkin, but only creates the effect of light starching.

A recipe using gelatin

1 Art. l. gelatin pour 0.5 tbsp. water, waiting for its maximum swelling. Pour another 0.5 tbsp. of water and heated until the gelatin is completely dissolved. The solution is constantly stirred to avoid the appearance of lumps. The napkin is dipped into the solution and allowed to soak well. Then they are wrung out and dried, having spread them well on a horizontal surface, for example, a table.

Household chemicals

It is very convenient to starch things with an aerosol. It gives them sufficient rigidity, as it contains particles of starch and talc. The drug can be purchased at any specialized hardware store. It is easy to use, just spray it on the inside and outside of a napkin or tablecloth, and after 5-10 minutes, iron the product with an iron on both sides, having previously covered it with gauze or another soft fabric.

Gloss-starch for adding shine

To increase rigidity and add gloss, you can prepare gloss-starch. To do this, mix 5 tbsp. l. rice starch, add 3 tbsp. l. talc and 1 tbsp. l. borax, then add a little cold water to make a creamy mass. A wide brush is moistened in the solution, the product is smeared and immediately ironed through gauze with a non-hot iron.

The process of starching is simple, but it significantly improves the appearance of any product, so housewives should not ignore it.

Methods of starching fabric and knitted napkins