Thursday, October 15, 2009

Restoring the finish on polished cotton

I bought some beautiful stretch cotton poplin shirting fabrics from Denver Fabrics. I only want to make wash and wear clothes right now. I haven't found a decent dry cleaner near me so I avoid it at all costs. So I prewashed my fabrics...beautiful shiny, smooth finish is now gone from the fabrics. I knew this would happen but I didn't count on how casual the fabrics now look. I really wanted these to portray a professional business look.

I did a Google search for "cleaning polished cotton" and "restoring finish on polished cotton."

Link to Milwaukee Sentinel article: Dear Heloise

All respondents agree that you should iron the wrong side of the fabric when it is still slightly damp. (My first mistake, I let the dryer go too long.)

Here were some of the suggestions by the respondents to Heloise's column:
  • Add a little borax to the wash water.
  • Add one cup of liquid starch (the ready-to-use kind that is blued) to the rinse water.
  • Dissolve one package of plain gelatin in the rinse water.
  • Add about a walnut-sized amount of wax to clear, hot, cooked starch. Use paraffin or white candle wax and stir into the starch until dissolved. Dip fabric into the thin (very light) clear, hot, cooked starch & wax mixture.
  • Chinese method: Save water that rice has been cooked in. Add a small amount of glycerine to the rice water and use this for the final rinse. For white fabrics, substitute a small amount of blueing for the glycerine.
The first 3 options sound easy enough. I'll let you know what worked best for me.

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