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fabric stiffener question


Afghaniac
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Not sure where to post this question, but I thought maybe some of you threadies have cause to use fabric stiffener and could answer my question.

 

In continuing to recycle a discarded lace top (used part of it for painting chargers), I got some Stiffy at Michael's and saturated some of the lace motifs in it to make earrings. Well, the lovely vintage aged color of the lace turned to a milky white. Does anybody know of an alternative method for stiffening without affecting color? P.S. I do need some summer white earrings, but these weren't intended to be those! My only -- faint -- hope is that when dry, the color will return, but I'm not confident this will happen.

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I'm going to take a guess, and say it will dry clear, only going from the past experience we had making Halloween masks with it. We saturated fabric in the Stiffy and stuck it those cheapy mask forms, it dried nice and clear

 

Give it a shot with your blow dryer to speed things up, it should only take a few minutes.

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I use Elmer's Glue thinned with water, and it never has discolored on me.  Just thin it down to a consistency that you can apply with an artist's brush.

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Thanks for the idea. Which kind of Elmer's Glue do you use? There's such  a variety of glues these days.

I use Elmer's Glue thinned with water, and it never has discolored on me.  Just thin it down to a consistency that you can apply with an artist's brush.

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I keep a container of good old fashioned Elmers 1/2 and 1/2 with water under the kitchen sink.  The stuff lasts forever and it's always handy for dipping little things in it.  I either lay them out on saran wrap or waxed paper.

 

That's so cool that it dried clear.

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Wow! time flies! I first responded to this thread over a year ago.

 

I soak the items to be stiffened in the 1:1 solution of Epsom Salt and water. Lay them out (or pin to block depending on the shape needed).

 

This works very well for me. It produces a VERY stiff fabric.

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33 minutes ago, NCcountrygal said:

Bump for Tina on her starch question.

Thanks for this, your ability to search out information is impressive.  I would never have thought to search back to an original 2013 post.  Much appreciated.

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I'll add simple sugar, which makes something REALLY stiff, I've used it on bookmarks and snowflakes but I'd consider it too stiff for on a doily for example.  Equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar dissolves like you would do if making lemonade from scratch, let it cool.  Some have said that this attracts insects, but I have holiday items ~50 years old stiffened this way, packed in cardboard boxes (not insect-proof) that have never done so.  I could see it being possible if the sugar wasn't completely dissolved.

This is an interesting thread, I've never tried cornstarch before, hmm.

Edited by Granny Square
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29 minutes ago, Granny Square said:

I'll add simple sugar, which makes something REALLY stiff, I've used it on bookmarks and snowflakes but I'd consider it too stiff for on a doily for example.  Equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar dissolves like you would do if making lemonade from scratch, let it cool.  Some have said that this attracts insects, but I have holiday items ~50 years old stiffened this way, packed in cardboard boxes (not insect-proof) that have never done so.  I could see it being possible if the sugar wasn't completely dissolved.

This is an interesting thread, I've never tried cornstarch before, hmm.

Like yourself and NCcountrygal I have also used sugar water or elmer glue to starch xmas angels, snowflakes and ornaments but I find it too scratchy for doilies or tablecloths.  Spray starch works great but it is the cost factor.  I think I will try one of the recipes in this thread on one of my smaller doilies.  I will let you all know how it turns out.

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About the cost factor of spray starch - I mostly make doilies - they are fun to make, pretty, and thread is cheap.  And I have a ridiculous mountain of them in the linen closet that get rotated around, but also added to (sigh).  

I don't use a lot more spray starch per doily than you would on (say) a man's shirt collar while ironing.  I wet the  doily, wring it out, put it in the bottom of my big kitchen sink, spritz with spray starch, and wring it out again (hopefully this spreads the starch out evenly, and I don't want it sopping wet to pin out).

A can of spray starch lasts me several years (guessing 3-4), and even if I went thru 1 a year, one 20 oz. can of the stuff I use is about $2 at Walmart (I'm seeing some weird pricing on their site that is a lot higher, but I know $2-ish is what I've paid per can).  I'm not looking at starching a doily to the same degree as a snowflake ornament, which needs to be rigid;  I'm looking for it to keep the shape it was pinned to while it's laying on an end table, but you could still fold it easily to store if you wanted to.  

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2 minutes ago, Granny Square said:

About the cost factor of spray starch - I mostly make doilies - they are fun to make, pretty, and thread is cheap.  And I have a ridiculous mountain of them in the linen closet that get rotated around, but also added to (sigh).  

I don't use a lot more spray starch per doily than you would on (say) a man's shirt collar while ironing.  I wet the  doily, wring it out, put it in the bottom of my big kitchen sink, spritz with spray starch, and wring it out again (hopefully this spreads the starch out evenly, and I don't want it sopping wet to pin out).

A can of spray starch lasts me several years (guessing 3-4), and even if I went thru 1 a year, one 20 oz. can of the stuff I use is about $2 at Walmart (I'm seeing some weird pricing on their site that is a lot higher, but I know $2-ish is what I've paid per can).  I'm not looking at starching a doily to the same degree as a snowflake ornament, which needs to be rigid;  I'm looking for it to keep the shape it was pinned to while it's laying on an end table, but you could still fold it easily to store if you wanted to.  

Hi Granny Square, about that spray starch.  One thing about being in the US is the prices are reasonable.  Unfortunately here in Canada, especially in Nova Scotia prices are inflated to a ridiculous level.  My last can of Faultless 1 lb heavy finish starch spray cost me $10.95 plus 15% provincial tax=$ 12.59 Canadian.  I make big pieces as you have seen, it is nothing to take out 3/4 of a can at a time.  Wash and repeat every three years for all of them, it adds up. I pretty much do all lace work so my projects add up.  I just blocked a 30 inch table centerpiece which I will post in the show and tell when it is done.  It took half a can. I also wet them, block them then spray starch them.  I might be going overboard on the starch but better safe then sorry.

Thanks for the input,

 

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13 hours ago, Lacycrochet said:

My last can of Faultless 1 lb heavy finish starch spray cost me $10.95 plus 15% provincial tax=$ 12.59 Canadian.  I make big pieces as you have seen, it is nothing to take out 3/4 of a can at a time. 

Wow, that's expensive.  😲

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