bottom-most layer of tulle is on top
spray lacquer or fabric stiffener
top frills of tulle

How to Make a Tutu Stiff

By Kathryn Hatter

Things Needed

  • Spray lacquer or fabric stiffener
  • Clothes hanger
  • Clothespins

A ballerina tutu usually consists of a snug bodice and several layers of tulle fabric gathered tightly in a frilly dance skirt. The stiffness of the tulle layers of a tutu depends upon the tulle. Get an idea of how stiff the tulle is by looking at the “denier.” A higher denier number indicates stiffer tulle, while a lower denier number means softer tulle. You can make a tutu stiff by treating the tulle carefully with a spray stiffener.

Turn the tutu upside down so that the bottom-most layer of tulle is on top. Attach clothespins to the lower Basque (the fabric portion under the tulle) and attach the clothespins to the clothes hanger.

Spray the underside of the bottom frill of tulle with spray lacquer or fabric stiffener. Hold the spray can or bottle about 8 to 12 inches away from the tulle fabric.

Allow the spray to dry until the tulle feels dry to the touch.

Spray the center frills of tulle with the spray lacquer or fabric stiffener and let it dry completely.

Spray the top frills of tulle with the stiffening product. Allow the tulle to dry completely while hanging upside down.

Store the tutu by hanging it upside down.

Tip

Dry clean or hand wash a tutu with warm or cold water after wearing it three or four times. After hand washing, air dry the tutu upside down. Use a hand steamer to remove wrinkles before stiffening tulle, if necessary.

Warning

Avoid ironing tulle because the heat from an iron can easily melt tulle fabric. Spray the tulle carefully to avoid contacting the lower Basque and bodice fabric with the stiffening product.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.