How to Stiffen and Starch Crochet Articles

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Things You'll Need

  • Styrofoam or cardboard
  • Rustproof pins
  • Spray starch
  • Liquid starch
  • Powdered starch
  • White glue
  • Large mixing bowl

Tips

  • Use starch-based stiffeners for items you wish to launder. They are not permanent stiffeners, and the items need to be retreated each time they are washed. Shape items such as ornaments and baskets with glue solutions, which are permanent stiffeners that do not wash out.

Warnings

  • Light-colored crochet tends to darken with exposure to the oils in the hands as you crochet. Wash your crochet before starching or stiffening for clean works of art.

Doilies, snowflakes and other small, openwork crochet pieces need to be shaped to display their beauty. These pieces depend on a darker background to bring out the pattern that is crocheted, and if the crochet is wrinkled or shrunken, the pattern will not show to its best advantage. Simple stretching into shape doesn't last for long. To give lasting shape to these pieces, use a stiffener or starch.

Spray Starch

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Launder the crocheted piece and air-dry it.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Stretch the piece into the intended shape. Pull snowflake points out fully, and shape pineapple ovals and ruffles.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Attach the crocheted item to a piece of Styrofoam, cardboard or other type of smooth surface that accepts pins. Form the pattern exactly the way you want it to dry, pinning it in place with rustproof pins.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Spray the piece completely with spray starch and allow it to dry completely.

Liquid or Reconstituted Powdered Starch

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Prepare the starch according to the directions on the package. Make sure you have enough product to immerse your item completely into the mixture.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Immerse the crocheted piece into the starch, then squeeze it to get rid of all extra liquid.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Pin the stretched-out crochet to a drying board using rustproof pins.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Let the item dry completely before taking it down.

Glue Stiffeners

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Mix ordinary white household glue with an equal portion of water.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Dip the crocheted item into this liquid mixture, then squeeze out excess liquid.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Pin the piece onto a drying board with rustproof pins and let it thoroughly dry.

References

Resources

About the Author

In 2007 Nannie Kate discovered that the words she had been writing all her life had an actual cash value. She's been writing professionally through brokers ever since. With an English major background she creates articles and ebooks on a wide variety of subjects.

Photo Credits

  • Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media