Specially developed starch based adhesive - the key to creating successful Kanzashi folded flowers
The secret to making beautiful Japanese folded fabric folders is the use of a starch adhesive. In Japan, a rice starch is used, that is both a glue and a stiffener when used at different strengths. A commercial version of this adhesive can be purchased in Japan, but is hard to find in here in the UK (usually it has to be specially ordered direct from Japan).
The fact that the adhesive is difficult to obtain in this country means that other forms of Kanzashi (such as gathered and sewn fabric versions) are the techniques usually used here. Those who want to try the traditional techniques have had to either specially order the glue from Japan, or make up their own by carefuly cooking rice and straining it (a process that can take some hours, and results in a glue with a shelf life of only a few days).
Gina-B Silkworks has worked closely with a glue manufacturer here in the UK to develop a starch based glue with the same properties as the Japanese adhesive. Now, the techniques of Kanzashi flower making can be practised here!
This adhesive, when used with natural fibres such as silk or cotton, does not leave a dark, stiff area - making it perfect for gluing pieces of fabric to porous materials such as card or MDF. When used with a lightweight fabric, the folded petals can be held in place on a gluing table until all petals are ready to be made into a flower. It can be washed out, stitched through (great for pasting appliques prior to sewing) and it can be diluted with water to act as a fabric starch stiffener - saturate the fabric, spread out and leave to dry, then iron for a stiff finish - that will come out at the next wash.