Care of Doilies and Centerpieces
The doily should be washed in cold soapy water, pressing it slightly for a few seconds laying it completely flat, then rinsed. Never rub. If there is a stubborn stain, use a soft toothbrush with mild soap. To dry, roll in a towel to absorb excess water. Gently stretch to shape. Pin down center to keep it flat and let air dry.
Starch Recipe for doilies
1/2 cup starch
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup cold water
Dissolve starch in cold water. Boil the 1 1/4 cups water, stirring constantly. Remove from flame, then slowly stir the starch mixture into boiling water, stirring constantly. Place back on flame until it thickens. As soon as the starch is cool enough to handle, dip doily and squeeze through it thoroughly. Wring out the extra starch. The doily should be wet with starch, but there should be no starch in the spaces or openwork. Pin center of doily in true shape and allow to dry thoroughly. After it is dry, press with a steam iron. If a regular iron is used, dampen the doily slightly before pressing. Pin folds of ruffle in position and leave until thoroughly dry.
Sugar Starch Recipe for doilies
This is the old-fashioned starch used for lacy doilies.
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Mix water and sugar in a small pan. Stir the mixture over low heat (do not boil) until clear and not sugary. Remove pan from heat, and let mixture cool.
Wet the collar and cuffs of a blouse or lace doily. Roll in a towel to remove excess moisture and dip it into the mixture. Squeeze out excess starch, then shape the collar and cuffs or doily. Allow to dry and iron on warm setting.
Doilies do not need to be ironed when you use this starch. Just smooth out and shape while wet on a clean flat surface.