Saturday, July 23, 2011

Preparing Petticoats for Travel

We left off a few days ago when I was cleaning and starching petticoats. After the petticoats are washed, I hang them up (see picture from previous post) out in the sun spread out as much as possible. While hanging I spray the petticoats with full-strength liquid starch. I sprayed the petticoats until they were drenched with the liquid starched, evenly distributed.
After the petticoats are dried, I checked to see how "stiff" they were. Let me explain, I am preparing the petticoats for a 12-hour car ride and they have to stay fresh for a weekend long festival. So, for our purpose they were not stiff enough so I repeated the starching process. Czech costume expert, Maggie Grmela, recommends buying powdered starch and boiling it mixed with water but I could not find the powder. She says the boiling method works much better.
When I was happy with the stiffness, I ironed the petticoats (I did not use any more starch). As I ironed the petticoats, I used clothespins to keep the pleats in place. (See photo.) This serves two purposes 1) keeping the pleats during travel and 2)compacts the petticoats without destroying the shape. A few years ago, when traveling the 12-hour car ride to Nebraska, my daughter Sarah and her cousin Lindsay had to sit in the back seat the entire way with stiff petticoats in their laps. We would not recommend this way of travel. Boy, was that a long ride for them. Oh well, live and learn.

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