Paper mesh is a great product to work with. It is made of paper however and it has a loosely woven texture. This leads to raveling. It will ravel on the cut edge and the selvage edge also. Still, it's a great product to work with because of it's texture and density. The colors are rich and it makes up nicely in wreaths using the petal and ruffle or curl technique.
We are asked frequently if there is anything that can be done about the raveling. Typically our response as been to make as few cuts in the paper as possible, handle as little as possible and be prepared to cut strings. Clip strings rather that pull.
We decided to test some products that might be of help. Some of our customers have reported using products that they felt reduced the raveling so we purchased five products from WalMart to do a test.
We took 10" x 10" pieces of paper mesh, all from the same roll and sprayed or coated each edge (front and back) with each product. These pieces were left to dry for 2 hours and then checked.
Mega Firm Hold
$2.74 at WalMart
Easy to apply
Adds light crispness
Elmer's Clear Glue
Inexpensive (but could take more than one bottle to do a wreath ?)
More time consuming to apply
Some residual (but was clear, and could have been applied to heavily)
Longer drying time
Effective in reducing raveling
Added stiffness to paper
Clear Acrylic Sealer
Easy to apply
Added some stiffness to paper
Reduced raveling somewhat
Strong paint smell (but didn't last)
Dried quicker than glue and spray adhesives
Easy to apply
Longest drying time
Added stiffness to paper
Still fairly tacky after 24 hrs
Still slightly tacky after 48 hrs
Still lightly tacky after 72 hrs
Giving up on this product - still tacky after 4-5 days. Could have saturated the paper too much, but still, appears it's never going to dry((
Our choice of products right now would be the Elmer's Craft Bond. Even though it was still slightly tacky after 24 hours, we have sprayed it on completed wreaths and they did dry completely. We didn't notice how long it took, we had sprayed a wreath before we started the test, and it doesn't feel tacky now. Also, we sprayed the front and back of paper pieces and this may have been overkill. Spraying one side would probably result in quicker drying time. (Note: was completely dry after 48 hours.)
The Loctite Spray Adhesive we thought would be our next choice, but it was still fairly tacky after 24 hours. So we'll just have to wait and see if it dries completely and re-evaluate. Again, we sprayed both sides of the paper. (Still slightly tacky after 48 hours.)
The Elmer's Clear Glue really did a good job in reducing the raveling, but painting the glue on with a brush would be very time consuming. It might be possible to brush on the edges after a wreath is completed and we will try that and update the post when completed. Also, the residual was likely the application process. Again, we painted both side and this may not have been necessary. We might test the glue by thinning it some on the next application too. We really like the reduction in raveling though.
The Mod Podge Spray Sealer was not as effective as we thought it would be on reducing raveling, but it could have other attributes that would be beneficial to it's use since it is a sealer. It might reduce fading and possibly reduce the effect that the weather could have on a wreath. We will continue to experiment with this product also.
The Equate Hairspray would likely be better than using nothing at all since it did add a little crispness to the paper. We will continue to test it by spraying over a completed wreath and see how it works. A plus is, it would be readily available.
We will continue to test these products and update the post as we get new data. We cannot say if there is any effect on wreaths once they are hung outside or inside. We would suggest that you test the products for yourself and see how they work for you.
When pieces of paper were cut and then sprayed, the only pieces that could have been worked with in a reasonable amount of time were the ones with hair spray or Mod Podge which both dried very quickly. The others, you would have to paint or spray and work on your project the next day. It would take even longer with the Loctite spray.
We sprayed a couple of wreaths after they were completed. This worked best by hanging the wreath up and gently lifting out ruffles and spraying each one individually. Take care to gently separate also once they are sprayed so the pieces don't stick together. We avoided spraying the ribbons or other embellishments.
Some customers have reported that they spray their wreaths when they are completed with the Mod Podge and spray ribbons also to help keep them crisp. Other customers have reported that they use the Elmer's Craft Bond spray adhesive on their wreaths after they are completed. These are the only two products that have been reported to us, so we would love hearing from you!
If you have tried something and it works for you, please leave a comment. Also please tell us about your trials that didn't work so we can all learn from each other))
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