Tutorial : How to stiffen lace

This simple tutorial will show you how to stiffen lace, without using chemicals or expensive products. The recipe uses just sugar and water, so you won’t need to buy lots of supplies. I love that the method uses natural ingredients and if you don’t like the effect you can simply wash the sugar out and start again!

How to stiffen laceI became interested in stiffening lace when I rediscovered some beautiful lace that I thought I might use in my hair for our wedding. I think its a kind of guipure lace so it has a nice weight to it, but wasn’t stiff enough to use as it was. The photo below shows you before and after.

How to stiffen laceI started researching the best way to stiffen lace and after a bit of trial and error I have come up with this tutorial. You will need a piece of lace, water, granulated sugar, a saucepan, a small bowl or cup and a piece of card with greaseproof paper or cling film stuck to one side.

Tutorial : How to stiffen laceThe recipe is simply 1 part water to 1 part sugar. I made a solution using half a cup of each and that was more than enough. After you have measured your ingredients, place them in your saucepan and heat gently. Stir continuously and as soon as the sugar has melted, remove from the heat.

How to stiffen laceWet your piece of lace in warm water, before popping it into your slightly cooled solution. Leave to soak for a few minutes. Take your lace out and allow the excess liquid to drip off. Lie the lace down onto the greaseproof paper and allow to dry. My lace took 2 days to dry completely, try not to move it when it is drying so that it sets nicely.

How to stiffen lace



  1. Hello! If you are applying the lace that has been stiffened with sugar water to a black fabric, will any residue be seen on the fabric from the lace? I ordered a lot of lace trim from overseas and it was a whole lot flimsier than I had hoped! Looking for a way to stiffen just enough to add to tulle skirting on a ball gown (lace is 10″ in height dips down to 5″, very narrow at the highest point).

    • Hi Tiffany,

      That sounds like quite the project! I don’t think it would leave a residue if you stiffened the lace first and then let it dry out before attaching it. However your lace is much larger than any pieces I’ve ever tried, so I’m not sure how effective it will be. Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.


      • Well thanks so much for your help, I think I will give it a go lol!

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