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Subject: Spray starch

Spray starch

From: Jerry Shiner <keepsafe>
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 1999
Cathy Atwood <catwood [at] mail__sos__state__mo__us> writes:

>A local historical society was given a number of white cotton
>garments from early this century.  The donor had the items dry
>cleaned, and then applied spray starch.  Should the historical
>society wash the garments to remove the starch, or can they go into

I would expect that a textile conservation professional would
discuss the following with you: Insects may not be interested in
cotton, but some will eat starch. The "starch" may be hygrophilic,
so it may be absorbing and releasing moisture as the humidity
changes (pollutants may build up in the starch). I would be
concerned about the detergents/conditioners left behind by the
laundering. Not that "Dry cleaners" also water-wash garments (eg.
shirts, sheets, etc.) If the items were dry cleaned I would be
especially concerned about residual chemicals.

I would be concerned about changes in the applied starch/chemical(s)
over time. If the garments have withstood commercial laundering,
they should be strong enough for careful rinsing.

Jerry Shiner
Keepsafe Systems & Forever Yours Bridal Gown Preservation
Toronto, Ontario

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:76
                  Distributed: Friday, March 26, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-76-007
Received on Wednesday, 24 March, 1999

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