Doing any type of craft, sewing or crocheting project occasionally leaves you with a beautiful shape that does not quite fit because it is not stiff enough. For example, you made a crocheted doily that is meant to stay in place under a set of candlesticks, but the edges of the doily seem to always curl no matter how many times you iron them. If you do not want to use chemicals to stiffen fabric, you can use sugar for a simple homemade solution.
Finish the cloth project you are making and determine if it can be safely placed in water without damaging the fibers of the fabric.
Use a clean pot that is made from glass or has an enamel coating on the inside. Make sure that there is nothing adhering to the pot or it might transfer oil or other substances on to your finished piece.
Add 2 cups of cold tap water to the pot. Measure 2 cups of sugar and add to the water. Stir well and bring the liquid to a boil. Remove the pot from the stove.
Let the water cool until you can touch it without getting burned. Immerse the finished piece into the sugar-water mixture and allow the liquid to soak through the fabric for about 15 minutes.
Place the fabric on a mold that is the same shape as the desired shape of your objective. For example, if you want the object to dry flat, put it on a flat surface, making sure there are no wrinkles in the material. Let dry at least 24 hours.
Based in New Hope, Pa., Stephanie Abir has been writing business- and health-related articles since 1980. Her work has appeared in “Business Week” magazine and “American Health” magazine. Abir holds a doctorate in American literature from the University of South Carolina.