Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emergency Bonnet Starching Tips

Readers: Ever go to an historical reenactment and get flustered as heck while making multiple trips back to a museum where your stuff is stockpiled because your sodden bonnet, previously nicely starched, goes all floppy and falls over your face, exacerbating your already exhausted state and reducing your vision to a pinpoint?

Here's a handy tip for the 99% of people who do not have starch at home (cue the incredulous folks with 15 boxes of starch at all times in their pantry). Make up a mixture of half-and-half white glue and water in a pan to about the depth of 1/2 inch. Soak and wring out the front area to be starched. Put a dish towel over a bike helmet positioned on a 6-inch high section of log that is for some reason on your dining room table along with a victrola, a week's worth of mail, several cool goose feathers salvaged from Riverside Park, and a candle snuffer. Drape the bonnet over the towel-covered bike helmet and smooth into place. Position floor fan to blow towards the front of the bonnet.

The airstream should be strong enough to lift up the front frill of the bonnet, where it, as well as the starched "head-shield" section, will dry in a pretty shape. And there you go--you're set for another day of historical reenactment! Presuming it doesn't rain again and leach glue into your hair to mingle and dry, so that you have to wear said bonnet to your job Monday morning. If this happens--well, haters gonna hate. Ignore them.


jml said...

Wow, ye olde MacGyver!

Dusty D said...

Yessir, I found that on a page that seemed to be fairly faithfully historical, so I went with it.

I figured white glue is fairly inert, and one can always soak and then gently wash the item to remove the glue if need be.

It worked so well! My bonnet was nicely crisply starched and held its shape beautifully all day to day at the festival!