Techniques & Materials Fabric flower stiffening & shaping

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Original Post

Hello all! I m hoping you can help me zero in on the best technique and/or product to stiffen and shape my fabric flowers.

I am looking for a spray product that will be used on flowers AFTER construction to help stiffen the petals but retain flexibility so petals can be slightly shaped.

The fabric I am using is 100% cotton voile. The petals are currently just a little bit too floppy for my taste, but don't require much to get them just right.

Looking forward to your recommendations!

Many thanks,

Hilary Nagler
Flea Market Rx

Posted at 4:18pm Jun 9, 2011 EDT


hi do you use any type of wire to construct your flowers? I make my own flowers too. Have you tried spray starch. I know that it stiffens fabric but i dont know how long it holds or if it will be flexible. but it is a thought! Good luck!

Posted at 3:40pm Jun 10, 2011 EDT

I took a class once where we created large bows out of cotton strips and used a product called "Stiffener something." I see it when I go to Michaels to get Mod Podge.

We spread the cotton strips on foil to protect the table and the stiffener was brushed on, allowed to dry just a wee bit, and then it was shaped around paper towel rolls to give it form. It was quite malleable until it dried.

Posted at 11:32pm Jul 20, 2011 EDT

I have used Stiffy by Plaid on my applique earrings. It says right on the front of the bottle "Fabric Stiffener". I read quite a bit before purchasing to find something that would work for me and I'm very happy with the results. Just a note; it is not a spray, you have to paint it on or soak your piece in it and then lay out to dry.

Posted at 4:58am Jul 21, 2011 EDT

I recently watched a few videos on YouTube on flower construction. One person used spray starch to stiffen the paper slightly and she then shaped the petals with a foam pad and ball tool or whatever its called. So I am going to try that with mulberry paper.

Posted at 7:57pm Jul 25, 2011 EDT

If you're looking for something that sprays, would heavy spray starch work? It's lighter than fabric stiffener, and I like it a lot for crochet stuff. (I haven't tried it on fabric flowers, though....)

Posted at 8:07am Jul 26, 2011 EDT