Some projects, such as bags or billed hats sometimes require a stabilizer for optimal shaping and function. I receive a lot of questions about what I use in the bills or visors of my hats.
There are many things that can serve as inserts. You can also use cardboard, but I don’t really recommend that unless you don’t plan to wash your item at all.
Generally, I try my best to recycle and advocate the use of recycled items for your inserts. I often save and use plastic packaging material, such as those clamshell packaging things in which your shoe inserts come in, or other similar materials. If you can’t find any in your home, ask your friends or neighbors, or go to your local thrift store. Here’s a list of items that are great for recycling into stabilizers for your knitting/crochet:
- vinyl school binders
- plastic folders/files
- flexible cutting boards
- clamshell containers
- vinyl or plastic placemats
- acetate stenciling sheets
If your insert is to floppy, you can use 2 or 3 layers. For example, I used a vinyl binder cover (above photo) and clamshell packaging in the bill for Eleanor Roosevelt.