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How to Harden Ribbon

Updated February 21, 2017

Ribbon is used to embellish clothing and home accessories. It is also used in creating hair bows. However, some ribbon has trouble keeping the desired shape. Instead of standing up, it droops and looks floppy. Ribbon hardened with a liquid starch keeps the shape when made into bows and it will lay flatter when used in projects like scrapbooking or card making. Spray starch is easily available in laundry supply aisles of the local grocery.

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  1. Lay the towel flat on the work surface. The towel protects the work surface from being sprayed with starch.

  2. Cut the ribbon to the length needed for its desired use and lay if flat on the towel.

  3. Spray the starch evenly over the ribbon until damp. Turn the ribbon over and spray the other side.

  4. Transfer the ribbon onto the ironing board and smooth it out until the ribbon is flat.

  5. Iron the ribbon with a low to medium setting until dry. This will only take a minute. Be careful to not scorch the ribbon by over ironing.

  6. Check the hardness of the ribbon. Apply a second application of starch, followed by ironing, if a harder ribbon is desired.

  7. Tip

    Test the spray starch on a sample swatch of ribbon before hardening the entire piece. This will help you see how the ribbon responds to the starch and heat. Harden ribbon bows by spraying them with starch or hairspray and then dry them with a hair dryer on the lowest setting.

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Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Liquid spray starch
  • Ironing board
  • Iron

About the Author

Katharine Godbey began freelance writing for blogs and websites in 2007 with a background in curriculum writing and teaching. She studied business at Colorado Technical University. Godbey enjoys writing about many topics including small business, crafts and florals, decorating and health.

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