September 08, 2013

Testing Out Crochet Stiffening Techniques

I've been making crocheted earrings lately and thought they'd be a good addition to my shop. I can make regular beaded jewellery as well, but am loving that I can use my crochet instead. I made a few test earrings and used a different starching technique on each one to see how they held up.

Here are the results!


Fray Check

This was easy to use. I added this to my list after reading a blog post about it here - Niche Fashion Portfolio. All you do is squeeze it on and saturate the earring. Place between a towel and press to get out any excess liquid, and then block and dry.

I found they were stiff with moderate flexibility, but the colours were dulled somewhat and I also felt it would be an expensive option since I can only find it on eBay for £5. It's a pretty good option though and one I'm sure I'll use again if I happen to have some Fray Check hanging around.
White Glue
To use this option all you do is put equal parts glue and water in a container and mix together thoroughly. Make sure your container will comfortably fit the earrings of course.

The results for this were pretty much equal to the Fray Check results, but with the inclusion of a lovely glue odour. Moving on...


Spray Starch

I figured I might as well use my spray starch to see how that would measure up. Quick and easy and smells good too!

Unfortunately the earrings were really very floppy and there wasn't much of a difference after starching them. Oh well, there goes the easy way out!
Starch and Water Solution #1
For this solution I mixed 1 tbsp. of cornstarch with 1/2 a cup of boiled water. I mixed and mixed in-between several seconds in the microwave just to get it all combined and smooth. Make sure you saturate the earrings fully and then roll between a towel to get rid of excess liquid.
OMG these were ROCK HARD! You could actually cut yourself with these. Lol I couldn't even bend it much, kinda thought it would snap! Other than that, the colours were still vibrant and there was no weird odour.
Starch and Water Solution #2
I decided that the starch solution was the best option and I diluted it and tested it again. This time I used 1 tbsp. cornstarch with 3/4 cup of water.

Much better! Firm but still a little flexible, no odour, good colour and definitely the winner. I just store the solution in the fridge and heat up a little before using so its easier to work with.

Now I can move on from my testing and make earrings to sell! The red ones are mine though. hehe


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