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To Starch, Fold and Iron Shirts

To three tablespoonfuls of dry, fine starch allow a quart of water. First wet the starch smooth in a little cold water in a tin pan, put into it a little pinch of salt and a piece of enamel, or shirt polish the size of a bean, or a piece of clean tallow, or a piece of butter the size of a cranberry; pour over this a quart of boiling water, stirring rapidly, placing it over the fire. Cook until clear, then remove it from the fire and set the pan in another of warm water to keep the starch warm.

Turn the shirt wrong side out and dip the bosom in the hot starch as warm as the hands can bear the heat; rub the starch evenly through the linen, saturating it thoroughly; wring hard to make dry as possible. Starch the collar and wristbands the same way, then hang them out to dry. Three hours before ironing them, wet the bosom and cuffs in cold water, wring out, shake and fold, roll up tightly, wrap in a towel and let remain two or three hours.

The back of the shirt should be ironed first by doubling it lengthwise through the centre, the wristbands may be ironed next, and both sides of the sleeves, then the collar band; now place a bosom board under the bosom and with a fresh clean napkin dampened a little, rub the bosom from the top toward the bottom, arranging and smoothing each plait neatly; then with a smooth, moderately-hot flat-iron, begin ironing from the top downward, pressing hard until the bosom becomes smooth, dry and glossy. Remove the bosom board and iron the front, fold both sides of the shirt towards the centre of the back, fold together below the bosom and hang on the bars to air.

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Source

The White House Cookbook (1887).


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