Stiffening fabric for sculpture

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Old 10-07-13, 08:15 PM
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Stiffening fabric for sculpture

Yes, very generous of you, indeed, to share your advice and experience, despite the ages old OP!

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/up...shapeable.html

I'm trying to stiffen polyester and poly blend used clothing into a sculpture. I spent some time trying your method of saturating the fabric with clear acrylic spraypaint. It gave me a headache - literally. It took half a can of paint to saturate just a few square inches of fabric. The fumes from so much paint made me dizzy, and I was doing this outside in breezy, windy weather!

Also, the fabric was taking forever to dry (exposing me to more wonderful fumes). I had so much more fabric to cover, the spraypaint method just doesn't seem economical or efficient. Especially since I have only a week to get several pairs of pants stiffened!

Does anyone have any advice on getting poly and poly blend pants to stiffen up without killing me, my budget or my grade?

I'm going to try fiberglass resin tomorrow morning - I know it might knock me out, but I hope it's at least economical and efficient.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 10-07-13 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 10-08-13, 07:00 AM
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Epoxy resin would probably be the best as it will not attack the fibers like polyester resin and it smells less and has fewer fumes. Still, I'm concerned how it will look because I'm pretty sure the resin will soak into & through the fabric.

When working with fiberglass resin make sure to not skimp on the mixing and wear disposable gloves. If you don't wash the resin off before it cures it will never come off.
 
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Old 10-08-13, 07:05 AM
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Hello and welcome to the forum!
If none of the suggestions in that thread help, I don't think there's anything new.

I found this stiff, fusible interfacing that's 22" wide and might work for your project:
Shop Fusible Sculpt Heavy Weight Interfacing-22''W x 10yds & Interfacing & Stabilizers at Joann.com

It'll be on the reverse side of the fabric, so won't be visible.
 
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Old 10-08-13, 08:17 AM
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Yeah, I'm not sure how that's going to work out either, but I have to give it a shot! It would be good if it soaks through the fabric, and even better if it dries fairly quickly, so I can give it shape in a reasonable amount of time. I'll take your advice on the epoxy vs polyester resin! Thank you!
 
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Old 10-08-13, 08:51 AM
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I wonder if you could glue aluminum window screen to the back side of the fabric. You might be able to use spray adhesive which would not soak into the fabric too much and the aluminum screen would hold shape when bent.
 
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