My Mother would go through a similar process with her ironing. She had a big Ironrite brand pressing machine that she could use to press tableclothes and sheets and pillowcases, and even jeans and shirts. It was a wonder to watch her iron, and she must have spent hours ironing each week when I was small. Permanent Press clothing was a wonderful development for my Mother, and the ironing required of her was greatly reduced as the years went by. She was still wonderful enough to iron many of my clothes even when I was in high school, as I enjoyed a nicely pressed crease in my slacks. I owe a lot to my mother for all of the ironing she has done for me over the years!
When I first met my DH, his preferred wardrobe was mostly jeans and polo shirts or t-shirts or permanent press sport shirts. His first job when we were married had a fairly laid back dress code, and I don't remember doing a whole lot of ironing as a newly-wed. However, that changed when we moved back east. One of the companies that he worked for had a more professional standard of dress, and we invested in business suits and 100% cotton dress shirts. And I learned the "joys" of ironing 100% cotton dress shirts. Needless to say, I also learned the joys of spray starch. My favorite is Faultless Premium brand professional spray starch as it leaves a nice, fairly heavy starch finish with a minimum of the flaking often found with other heavy starch sprays. I also learned of the ocassional joys of a professional laundry service for about $1.17 per shirt!
When I took a quilting class several years ago, the instructor shared a recipe for homemade spray starch similar to what my mother and grandmothers must have used. As she is constantly quilting, she uses a lot of spray starch and the recipe saves her quite a bit of money, but the homemade spray starch does tend to go bad if you try to store it for any length of time. So, I still buy my spray starch.
Over the years I have ironed countless shirts, not only for my DH, but also for DS1 and DS2. I have taken some pride to see that they each had a clean white freshly ironed dress shirt to wear to church eash Sunday monring. Today the company where DH is employed has a more casual dress code, and he is back to wearing slacks and short sleeved sports shirts to work, but he still prefers a 100% cotton, freshly ironed, heavily starched shirt. And I enjoy the convenience of spray starch, and the wonderful smell of freshly ironed shirts!