How to Soften Stiff Lace Trims

Lace trim is used in many clothing and accessory applications. Sizing is often added to keep the lace stiff while the lace is being attached during assembly. Sizing is simply an additive that keeps fabric stiff for a clean drape. If you don't like the look of the lace when it is stiff, you can soften it yourself.

Determine what your lace trim is made from. One hundred percent cotton trim will shrink drastically, while cotton trim that has man-made material mixed in will not shrink as much.

Place your lace-trimmed item in a bucket of cool water. Warm or hot water will shrink 100 percent cotton lace trim.

Add a cap of fabric softener to the water, if you want the lace to be extra soft.

Pull the lace-trimmed item out, and lay out it flat to dry on 2 layers of paper towels or on a beach towel.

Let the lace air dry. The lace will be softer, since the sizing has been rinsed out.

Repeat the rinsing step again, if the lace needs more softening. You can use a warmer water, if the lace contains polyester. Polyester will help keep the cotton lace from shrinking.