After extensive testing, Powertex textile hardener has been awarded the AP seal of approval. This means that Powertex is non toxic and safe for use by children and adults alike.
What does the AP seal mean?
Well, here’s a quote taken from their website...
“The new AP (Approved Product) Seal, with or without Performance Certification, identifies art materials that are safe and that are certified in a toxicological evaluation by a medical expert to contain no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans, including children, or to cause acute or chronic health problems.”
Powertex is an environmentally friendly water based fabric stiffener. It is a liquid medium, ready to use. It adheres to almost anything but is not adhesive to plastic.
Once applied, Powertex begins to dry and depending on temperature, it will stay flexible for quite a while. The treated fabric can be draped and manipulated in countless ways. When cured your object is very durable, hard and weather resistant.
Powertex Bronze, Terracotta, Ivory, Red, Black, Blue, Ochre, Green and Bluish Grey have a well balanced mixture of high quality pigments and do not require any adding of paint. You can finish your sculptures with Colortricx to give them a bronze or antique look.
Powertex is an extremely versatile art medium that can be used experimentally in your artwork. As a textile hardener Powertex will adhere to anything that is NOT plastic e.g. metal, ceramic, wood, fabrics, etc...and it does its job extremely well!!!
When you're setting up your studio to work with Powertex you need to establish some good work habits. Things to consider:
Cover your floor with a tarp or wipe up drips immediately
Put plastic on your table...for a more permanent solution clamp a tarp to the table
Set up a wet area for wash up: I usually have a bucket filled with warm soapy water (which you can place in the sink if you wish), a towel, sponges, glass jars & an empty bucket (for dirty water). Once my water is dirty or I’ve finished for the day I tip it on the garden. Powertex IS environmentally friendly....however, over time the pigment may collect in your plumbing & cause drainage issues!!!! So it’s good practice to wash up in a bucket!!!
Wear an apron
Ensure you have all the materials for your project close at hand and set yourself up to work. Get yourself a few plastic salad bowls (from the $2 shop) and cover them with plastic shopping bags, tying the knot at the base of the bowl, so that it is covered with plastic. This saves you a lot of cleanup time!!! Plus, you can purchase disposable shower caps from the supermarket, which fit perfectly over the top of the bowl, allowing you to have a break without your Powertex Drying out!!
Use latex gloves, when you are dipping your fabric into the Powertex, to keep you hands clean...I am now in the habit of washing my hands with the gloves on so that I don’t go through too many - as I’m a ‘Greeny’ at heart! Wash up is done with warm soapy water, which makes Powertex extremely easy to use...it’s also non toxic so you don’t have to worry about ventilation or getting it on you skin!!!
When you first open your product ensure you give it a good STIR & then shake. This is particularly important with the coloured Powertex as the pigment is heavier than the liquid and tends to fall to the bottom & adhere to the sides. Stir until it is an even consistency....then use.
After opening your Powertex you may find it difficult to get the lid off. Powertex is poly-thermal which means it reacts to heat & cold...so the best way to loosen the lid is with warm water & a bit of leverage! This property also has implications for when you’re working with it ...you can use a hairdryer as a tool...as heat will help the fabric to stick & cold will set the folds.
I hope these tips will help you establish a manageable environment for using Powertex.