How to Starch a Ruff, part II
I then tied the ruff around the two-liter bottle, which is roughly neck-sized.
It is important to starch the ruff on a form that is nearly the same size as
the neck on which it will be worn, as this will govern the proportions of the
For the next step I bought a round-ended curling iron, by which I mean one that
has a domed metal end rather than a flat plastic one. These are not common,
but they can be found at specialty shops like Sally Beauty Supply and also online.
The one I have is a 1-inch barrel "Gold n Hot" which has the very
useful feature of adjustable heat settings. Disclaimer: no affiliation, YMMV,
don't burn yourself please--these get very hot! I removed the spring-clamp (that
bit that holds your hair to the iron) by removing the screws holding it in place.
This is not absolutely necessary, but it makes it easier to get smooth curves
in your figure-eights.
I set the top halves of the figure-eights first, going all the way around the
ruff. I used the curling iron as a goffering iron, setting the top half of each
figure-eight by inserting the heated iron all the way to the gathers, wrapping
the fabric smoothly around the iron, and waiting for the starch to dry. I found
that the process is faster when you apply heat from the outside with a hair
dryer while holding the iron on the inside. If the iron is too hot, it will
stick to the edges of the ruff before you can get it all the way to the gathers.
If you have an iron that gets this hot, it will have a temperature gauge that
you can turn down.
Try to get the iron as close to the gathers as possible, spreading and smoothing
the fullness over the iron.
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