Starching Lace for Non-Traditional Reasons


I’ve been overly fascinated by crochet lately and have started to use it more and more in my paintings.  I’ve working on this particular piece and while I want the crochet to be flat across the painting I do not want a lot of tension on the sides of the painting (it’s on museum board and would warp badly over time). Starching seems to be the obvious answer. Well how will I do that when it’s crocheted directly to the painting? I don’t want to destroy/alter/contort the painting. And I also want to preserve the sense of the crochet organically growing out from the forms in the painting. Luckily there are many ways to starch a crocheted item and not all of them involve dipping and squeezing and pinning flat – although if possible that is the best way to go.


I came across this artist quite some time ago and still get a kick out of it whenever I see her work in a search for “starched crochet”. She actually has a blog you can check out here. And today while searching for “how to starch crochet” she came up.

Anyway, back to starching. From what I read the best way to go is to either mix glue and water or starch and water together.

Glue and water you use equal parts, dip your piece into, squeeze out the excess and pin into the proper shape while drying.

Cornstarch and water is a 1:3 ratio (1/2c. starch mixed with 1 1/2c water) simmered over a stove, dipped, blocked out with pins until dry.

I read that you can speed it up with a hair drier so you don’t have to use rust proof pins, but that if you are just letting it dry you need to use rust proof pins.

I think that for me and what I’m working on the best way to go is to mix glue and water and then use a sponge brush to tamp it on (lightly tap on).

There are several ways to starch a crocheted or knit or even fabric object and I’m not going to list them here because there is already a great list compiled on Crocheted Memories that you can see here.

There is also a nice write up here and here about starching crochet. And if you are interested a free crochet bookmark pattern here. Which I think would be really cute if starched up.

I’m off to post on Thrift Kitchen, yum yum beans and rice with tuna and then with asperagus and onions on the side. Discount box cake for dessert too! Yum!

Then it’s on to updating the etsy shop and finishing my paining for the thursday painting challenge I’m participating in.

See you all soon!
Happy Crafting!

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