There are many easy ways to stiffen crochet. The method I use depends on what I am going to do with my crochet.
I've provided a list of products to stiffen crochet from commercial brands to home solutions. The first doilies I every stiffened was with my Grandma's recipe. She always used the sugar method. I have used this method for many years and have had no trouble with my projects.
The following methods work very well.
Hairspray – Lightly spray your item with hair spray and shape on your prepared work surface. Pin in place but make sure you use rust proof pins, and let dry. This results in a non-permanent semi hard finish that works great for Christmas snowflakes.
Spray starch – is very easy to use. All you need to do is wash your doily and towel dry. Lay out your item on your prepared surface. Use a cardboard box, or anything with a flat surface that you can pin on. Styrofoam works great for most of these methods. Pin your crochet down with rust proof pins and then spray with the spray starch.You can drape your doily over a glass bowl or pie pan for a curved look. I like to use little candleholders or small glasses to form the doily.
Glue & water. – Mix equal portions of glue and water together. Dip your crochet piece in the solution and gently squeeze out excess being careful not to twist or wring the item. Shape however you want the piece to be. This method works great for Christmas ornaments. It leaves a permanent finish.
Liquid starch – is another easy way to stiffen crochet. You can either dilute the starch with water or use it straight. The more water you used, the softer your doily will be. Dip the crochet piece in starch and gently squeeze out excess being careful not to twist or wring the crochet.Now shape in one or two ways.
- 1. Roll the doily in a towel until almost discharged. Cover with a handkerchief or very thin towel and press on the wrong side using a cool iron setting until completely dry. 2. Stretch out on your prepared work surface and pin in place using your rust proof pins. For doilies with ruffles, place forms at even intervals around the doily, gently stretching the ruffle up and around the form. Let dry. You can use anything for forms such as film cartridge containers, spice bottles or anything that is round. It just depends on how much your want the ruffles to curve. This method makes a non-permanent finish. Very stiff or soft depending on the amount of water used to dilute the starch. Perfect for ruffled doilies.
Sugar and Water – Bring equal portions of sugar and water to a rapid boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Dip your crochet piece in the solution then gently squeeze out the excess. Be careful not to wring or twist the crochet. Now shape your piece to desired design. This method produces a non-permanent hard finish, which allows the natural feel of the crochet to come through.
Which ever way you choose to stiffen crochet, I know you will have no problems. Just experiment a little bit and you will find which way you like like best