Stiffening crochet pieces is aimed at giving them proper shape and rigidity so as not to collapse.
This method is applied to the making of crochet Christmas tree decorations, such as stars, snowflakes and ‘hollow’ Christmas balls, openwork baskets made of thin yarn (which do not maintain their proper shape unaided), along with all sorts of thin napkins and other pieces of work which should maintain a particular shape, especially lacy ones.
Various methods of stiffening exist. The most popular are as follows:
- Stiffening with the aid of glue (PVA)
- Stiffening with the aid of starch
- Stiffening with the aid of a mixture of glue and starch
- Stiffening with the aid of sugar water
- Stiffening with the aid of a special stiffening preparation (spray starch)
Although you may also find other methods of stiffening, not all of them are as effective:
- Hairspray: stiffening is temporary and very short-lived
- Gelatin: durable, but dyes white crochet thread a cream or ecru color
An inseparable part of stiffening is blocking.