Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy Now!

Recently a fellow machine embroiderer told me about Paverpol, a liquid you can use to harden natural fabrics, including wood and paper. She uses it for her gorgeous bowls.
I have made a couple of tree trunk cylinders that would not stand up by themselves. I had tried using textile medium (on samples, not the final products), PVA and leaving in the soluble fabric as stiffener. Nothing had worked.
Then I heard about Paverpol. I looked it up on the internet, as the container didn't have much information and said to find out more at the website. (I'm not sure how people who don't use the internet much get on theses days.) The notes suggested that it might not work on my sewing as it is recommended for use with natural fabrics and I had used rayon and polyester. I decided to give it a go anyway.

As the Paverpol is not supposed to stick to plastic, I used a sheet of acetate to make a cylinder to support the sewing. Then I painted it all over. The notes say it is non-toxic and you don't need a mask but I would recommend using one anyway, the smell is quite strong. My sinuses are unhappy today and I am unsure if it is a result of the product, the weather or both.
I didn't dilute it at all, even though you can, because the initial structure is quite fragile and I decided it needed all the strength I could give it.

Because the sewing was now wet, it started to slide down the cylinder so I pegged it up, hoping that the non-attachment to plastic was true.

I put it out in the sun to dry.
See!!  It can stand without the supporting plastic cylinder. 

I was HAPPY that now it stands alone!  I am not sure how much more it will harden, some of the notes say it can take a couple of weeks to fully harden. There being so little 'fabric' for it to be working on, I really don't know how it will go.  But it stands alone already, so that's pleasing.
Now to work on the other couple of trees I have made. One is much more loosely sewn and I am still a bit doubtful about how it will go. I will try that this afternoon. I made it in 2011 and have not been happy with having to have the acetate supporting it in the middle. That's why I was so excited to hear about this product.
Old photo of piece with plastic cylinder supporting it. Lots more loose sewing in this one.

Apparently, you can put sculptures you have made using Paverpol in the garden although it is recommended that you seal it with varnish. I saw somewhere that you can get varnishes with UV protection too. I won't be putting my lightweight pieces out in the garden though, they would just blow away.
Ta da!  Free-standing. 


theregatha said...

So exciting, these are absolutely gorgeous. They actually take on a structural quality that adds light and life to the piece overall. I love them and definitely need to have a 'craft' day with you to see and learn more.

Mary said...

Thanks theregatha, it would be great if we could have some 'craft' days.
I had a thought this week, I have plenty of small pieces of tapestry that didn't work out that well. I thought I could soak one of them in the solution and then see if I could hang it outside - not because it would make it a better piece, just to see if it withstands the weather. And how it would feel. Perhaps I could be producing an edgy, new, outdoors type of tapestry! I usually use wool and cotton, so the natural fibres will be there. Just a thought at this stage.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this wonderful tip Mary. Might just be the answer to something I've been struggling with as well. Pat.