These boots aren't very good for walking :(
March 23, 2012 1:30 PM   Subscribe

Can I starch my slouchy suede boots? If so, how?

So I have a pair of black knee-high suede boots which I looove. When I got them, they had just a little bit of wrinkling to give them some texture. Over time, though, one boot has started to slouch significantly more than the other. If I wear thick pants like jeans they stay up alright, but if I wear tights or leggings they fall down constantly. It looks very lopsided and awkward.

Can I spray, like, laundry starch onto the boot to try and get it back into shape? If so, what sort of procedure should I use so as not to ruin the suede?

(The only other option I can see is to start to wear down the other boot so that they slouch equally, but since the whole reason I got them was because they are knee-high boots I would rather not do this.)
posted by CTORourke to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I dunno about starch (I think it would cause discoloration and texture problems), but maybe you could add interfacing?

There are two kinds of interfacing: iron-on and sew-in. If there's a lining in your boots, you might consider sewing it in, but be careful to not stitch through the suede. A curved needle would probably be helpful.

If you try iron-on interfacing, add it to the inside of your boot by following these directions for ironing suede. Obviously you'd want to take care to not iron out all the texture!
posted by runningwithscissors at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2012

Response by poster: Interesting... The boots don't seem to have a lining (wearing them now) so I'd probably have to go the ironing route. Problem is they are knee-high and don't zip-down all the way, so it would be tricky to turn them inside out to get the ironing done....
posted by CTORourke at 1:50 PM on March 23, 2012

I would also try to store them in the shape you want to keep them in. I don't know how effective it is, but my girlfriend keeps rolled up magazines inside her boots, laced or zipped up, to keep them upright and in shape when not being worn.
posted by smitt at 1:55 PM on March 23, 2012

Response by poster: I do usually store my boots laid out flat, rather than upright and falling all over the place, but the magazines is a great suggestion that would complement that.
posted by CTORourke at 1:57 PM on March 23, 2012

You could get some of the sew-in type of interfacing, or really any fabric of appropriate weight, and glue it onto the inside of the boots. Fabric stores sell good quality white glue that works well with fabric, and I believe it's is OK for suede also. You might need to use some sort of sizing to coat the suede first, so the glue has no chance of soaking through. If you take the boots to a fabric store (or a shoemaker? are there still shoemakers?) you might find someone who can give you more advice about the specifics.
posted by Corvid at 2:08 PM on March 23, 2012

have you called your local shoe repair place? they've prob run into this before...
posted by sexyrobot at 2:18 PM on March 23, 2012

I'm going to suggest boning. Any fabric-stiffening interfacing methods are going to break down with the wear and bending in the places that boots get, and the stress of pulling them on. You can even find an old bustier at a thrift store, and scavenge the boning from that.
posted by peagood at 3:24 PM on March 23, 2012

Starch will destroy the nap of the suede. Store them hanging upside down to help with the slouch.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:29 PM on March 23, 2012

Do the boots have a folded top? I had a similar problem and use headbands to hold up my boots. I slip the headband under the fold.
posted by jennstra at 7:39 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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