The process of softening a stiff net fabric is time-consuming and labor-intensive. It has to be done in the right way or else it will cause damage to the fabric.
For example, if you try to iron it with an iron that is too hot, you risk damaging the material because it will melt the holes of the net. You can use either steam or boiling water – not both at once – but even then, you need patience as these methods take time. To soften stiff mesh fabrics like this one, do not use any chemicals like detergents since they will also damage the fabric’s material and design pattern.
A lot of experts use a fabric softener to soften the fabrics. Fabric softener contains chemicals that are added to the laundry detergent. The chemicals are soap-like molecules that mix with water and dissolve in the fabric which makes it softer.
Fabric Softeners come in these three types:
1. Liquid or powdered fabric softeners that you put into your washing machine.
2. Liquid or powdered fabric softeners that you sprinkle over clothes before ironing.
3. Powdered fabric softeners for hand-washing clothes and rinsing in cold water.
For centuries people have been dealing with these individual fabrics in a wide number of individual ways: by soaking them in water or some chemical solution (e.g., lye, urine); by beating them with clubs or in some kind of machine; by bending them repeatedly back and forth; by burying them in the earth; etc.
And some of these ways work, more or less.
I would suggest that instead of seeking some universal solvent, you focus on whatever fabric most interests you and look up its history (start on Wikipedia, if you must). Chances are that if you find it hard or stiff, so have others, and some of them will have tried to do something about it.
Step By Step Guide To Soften A Stiff Net Fabric
A step by step guide to soften a stiff net fabric
Step 1: Lay the fabric out on a flat surface and sprinkle water over the fabric. Use your finger to soak up some of the water and gently brush it into the fabric. Continue to do this until you see that the fabric has softened and you can easily pluck at it with your fingers.
Step 2: Continue sprinkling water over the fabric and brushing it in as before, but this time, work from top to bottom so that all areas of your fabric are softened. You should start feeling more give as you brush than before.
Step 3: Hang up your fabric so that it can dry overnight or for 12 hours at least. The next day, remove any excess water from around the edges using a towel or sponge.
Washing and drying your net fabric is all you need to do for it to soften up.
Air dry: Washing and drying your net fabric will soften the fabric, but air-drying it on the line or on a clothes horse over a few days will also help.
Steam: Machine-dry your net fabric at a reduced temperature with the steam on.