How to Heavy Starch Welding Shirts
Apart from wearing a helmet and protective glasses, welding needs special clothes. Granted, being an outdoor job, it exposes the welder to all types of dirt. This might end up staining all of your shirts. However, you can still afford to smile because that can be taken care of. Heavy starching your welding shirts can save you the stress of stain removal. The starch will shield the fabric hence dirt will accumulate on it. Washing it off is way easier compared to when it’s on the fabric.
Welding Shirts Materials
There is a wide variety of materials to choose from. You can choose to have your shirt made of cotton or denim. You can as well have it made from wool or leather. Not only are they going to save you from sparks, they are also easy to starch. Using synthetic materials is a bad idea since you can end up with burns. Starching will depend on the material your shirt. There are materials that are quite difficult to starch.
Heavy Starch on Denim
Apart from preventing stains, your shirt will also be left with no trace of wrinkling. It never hurts to be a sharply dressed welder. All you need are your normal washing equipment. Your washing machine, detergent and an iron box. On top of that, you need the starch in a spraying bottle. Once you have assembled them, clean your denim welding shirts as usual, preferably in warm water. While rinsing, replace a fabric freshener with your starch then hang them to dry. Once they are dry, place them on an ironing board. Dampen them by spraying the starch. Do not add water to the starch. In this dump state, iron them to your satisfaction. It is best not to use a steam iron.
Heavy Starching Cotton
Cotton is a fabric common to many. It is also easy to starch. Just like denim, you need to wash it then dip it in starch. However, in case of cotton, you can add some water to the starch. Afterwards, dry it and iron after spraying the starch. To know the amount of heat to apply, read the manufacturer’s recommendation. Once again, do not steam. If your shirt has a collar, it is important to iron both sides of the collar for best results.
Starching does not work on all materials. That said, if you have a woolen welding shirt, heavy starching won’t work. The only solution would be ditching wool and going for other fabrics.
Understanding Starch Spray
As the name suggests, it is basically made from starch. Cornstarch is the most commonly used. However, in order to increase its shelf life and to enhance its properties, some other chemicals have to be added. Ammonium hydroxide is one of them. The spray could also contain some fragrance to give you freshness.
Homemade Starch Spray
You don’t have to buy a starch spray. With a few ingredients in your home, you can make your own. The results will be equally perfect if you do everything right. If you are allergic to strong scents, then this homemade formula will work perfectly for you. It also goes a long way in conserving the environment since no additional chemicals are used. You only need cornstarch and some water. The amount you need depends on how many shirts you are working on as well as the intensity of starching you desire.
You can recycle an old spray bottle. Just make sure it is thoroughly cleaned. If you don’t mind some fragrance, you can add some. In two simple steps, your spray will be ready. You just need to mix your cornstarch and water in a bowl. Continue stirring until the all the cornstarch completely disappears. The resultant solution will appear to be whitish in color. At this stage, you can choose whether or not to add some fragrance. Then pour your contents in the clean spray bottle. It is now ready for use. You can store it for future use.
However, after some time, it might start degrading. To curb this, just prepare some for a few washes then renew your stock from time to time. You can as well store your remainder in the fridge. Alternatively, you can boil your water before adding the cornstarch. However, remember to cool it off before transferring to a spray bottle.
Since it is a solution, after storage, the starch may settle at the bottom leaving only water above. Shaking before use will make sure the starch is evenly distributed.
Getting Rid of Starch
From time to time, you may find out that you used excess starch on your shirts. This may make them crunchy thus compromising your comfort. It can scratch your skin, especially if you use a homemade spray, there might be some residue. However, this can be undone. All you need to do is soak your welding shirt in some water. The material of your shirt will dictate whether to dip in cold, slightly warm or hot water. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer for a usual wash. One wash will be enough unless the spray was synthetic. Synthetic sprays will require you to wash for a couple more times. If all this doesn’t work, try some vinegar. Just add a cupful of it in your water.
Although starching will go a long way in preventing your shirts from staining, there is an opportunity cost. The durability of your shirts is at stake especially when some residue builds up. The only way to get away with it is purchasing very strong fabrics.
Heavy starching is a procedure that everybody should embrace. It saves you time since ironing is made easier for you. You will also stay wrinkle free the entire day. Economically, who would mind saving a penny or two? Starching will give you excellent results even when you haven’t set foot in a laundry shop. You also skip laundry products like fabric freshener and other harsh products. In a way, this will protect your shirts.