We use millinery thinner to dilute millinery stiffener we apply to stiffen hats. It is vital that you use the correct thinner for your stiffener type. This thinner is for the ‘chemical’ stiffener we sell.
Diluting millinery stiffener with ‘chemical’ thinner
Our ‘chemical’ millinery stiffener is quite concentrated. In the past, a rule of thumb was to use it straight on straw hats, including sinamay and parisisal etc. and diluted 50/50 for felt. I recommend using it diluted more than that and rarely use it over 50/50 strength. However, this is personal taste, and some milliners use it straight still.
If you are not sure how much millinery thinner to use, I recommend:
Straw – Straight to 50/50 or 1 part stiffener to one part thinner
Sinamay – 50/50 or 1 part stiffener to one part thinner.
Felt – 1 part stiffener to 3 parts thinner.
Other uses for millinery thinner
You can use ‘chemical’ thinner to help soften (dissolve) stiffener that has already dried. For example, if you stiffen a hat and there is residue visible (snail trails), some thinner on a cotton cloth can help remove this. Patience and a couple of attempts may be necessary. It is best to act before the stiffener is dry where you can use thinner right away to remove or let marks soak into the hat carried on the thinner.
Safety precautions for millinery thinner
‘Chemical’ thinner contains volatile ingredients that are known carcinogens. You must use these stiffeners and thinners with caution. I recommend using them outdoors and wearing an appropriate respirator. For chemical stiffener and thinner, this is a type A1 or A2 or ‘brown’ filter on a half-face mask. They are readily available and could save your life. Dust masks or even N95 masks will not help.
For more information, feel free to download our MSDS.