Ballroom Dance > Custom "Appliques" for Dresses

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by latingal, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Hi all....was wondering if anybody knows how they make "appliques" for latin and smooth dresses. I tried on a Designs To Shine dress and noticed that the "appliques" seem to have a rubber type backing on them for comfort and I assume non-slippage.

    Does anybody know what materials are commonly used (both on the front and the back sides) and how they make them?
  2. DancerForLife

    DancerForLife Member

    Good question... I saw some designers use lace (for e.g. necklaces), or put a pattern on net / nude colored / other colored mesh.

    Designs to Shine's method is the best, even though the rubber feels weird on the designs keep their shape and tend to stay put.
  3. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Okay, I seem to be striking out here a bit....hopefully some of the more experienced dress makers will be along to help at some point.

    Thought I'd throw this out and see if anybody has any feedback...could the coating used on the back of the appliques be a liquid rubber or latex of some sort?
  4. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    I have seen that, too, and wanted to try my own. Hope somebody will have an answer....
  5. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Okay...I've been doing some research on the web and have not found anything about a rubbery type backing on appliques.

    However, I have found several references to using a non-slip coating on fabrics for slippers and the like.

    The product referenced the most seems to be Mold Builder, a paint on latex used for building molds. Or a hook rug backing latex.

    Has anybody here on DF used this type of product? If so, what's it like? Do you think this could be my mystery applique backing?
  6. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    I have a jar of liquid latex which is used for, um, "entertainment" purposes (body painting or whatever floats your boat). I actually bought it for use in biological research (honestly!), but I'm not using it. Stinks to high heaven though while it's curing (rancid fish / ammonia). If anyone wants to try it out, PM me.
  7. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Is that what we're calling it these days??:raisebro:
  8. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Have you ever felt rubber backing on appliques before? Does this liquid latex dry into a similar finish? Oh dear...."entertainment" purposes, holy mother of...just what will my husband think I've gotten into?

    I can just see it now....*honest's for my latin dresses*
  9. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    does this give you a few hints?


    (I have the "natural" color (think condoms))

    sorry if this is TMI.

    There are notes on its use on the website ( I haven't played around with it. Really, I swear!
    I think I would pass out from the fumes :shock:
  10. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Oh dear....I think we're about to get censored....*lol* Wouldn't it be hilarious if this is actually what they're using on the Designs to Shine dresses....

    Well I guess we wouldn't have to worry that it's not safe to be exposed to the skin....
  11. gracie

    gracie Active Member

    I think that is exactly what they are using! I got my Mold Builder (liquid latex) from that web site. When I saw the beautiful dresses from Designs To Shine, I thought it was a very clever way to make appliques. Liquid latex can be used alot of ways- the ballgown makers often use it to give more body to silk flowers, paint on the hem of a skirt to give it more snap or weight, or paint a thin line on the underside top of gloves to keep in place. Undergarments often have thin strips of it painted on. You could pour out a sheet of it and cut out your designs and stone or just completely latex a cut out from fabric or section of lace used on your dress. I have Seen people paint themselves for Halloween and especially down in Key West at festivities there. Have fun kids!
  12. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Hi gracie! Thanks for the great input, it's the first hint that we are on the right track!?! Question for you, did you actually get Mold Builder (a brand you can buy at Michael's) or did you use the liquid latex cosmetic product from

    This is waaaay too funny....if I have to buy this stuff from the liquid-latex site, I am going to be really, really embarrassed....:shock: :D

    gracie have you actually tried this stuff on appliques or in any dresses?
  13. fluffy

    fluffy New Member

    That's a brilliant way to stabilise the fabric, and stop it fraying, it's got me designing a new dress in my head with some fabric I've had lying around too long - a chiffon with satin stripes and a floral design. I'd love to cut some of the flowers out and use them in the body of the dress
  14. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Hey fluffy! Let me know if you try it out (and what type of product(s) you use and how you use it). It would be nice to get some detailed feedback about the best ways to use this stuff in dresses/appliques.

    I think I will try to buy one of the latex products and trial a small applique pattern or arm band to see how it works.
  15. gracie

    gracie Active Member

    I'm not sure which website I bought it from but I remember seeing it used for body painting, etc. I just googled mold builder and ordered from best price source. I have used it on some silk flowers to stiffen them up for a dress. Brush it on the under side of petals and leaves and prop up the way you want them to dry. Also on the inside edge of bras and gloves to keep in place. I do love the way Designs To Shine uses it and wish I had the inside scoop on that.
  16. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the tips on using the latex for silk flowers many coatings did you use? Did it take long to dry completely?

    Mold Builder is definitely less embarrassing to order than "liquid latex body cosmetic".... ;)

    I still have hopes that somebody will be along (perhaps Laetitia or Laura?) that do their own dresses and will be able to explain the process.

    If not, I will be doing some experimentation on my own soon....
  17. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I am resurrecting this, as I have an issue with rubber-backed appliques. I bought a resale which had this type of appliques, plus a necklace made with this rubbery backing. The appliques have some stones missing (and falling off whenever I put the dress or its accessories on). I am trying to glue them back on and absolutely nothing seems to hold the stones on the rubbery stuff, once they have fallen off it. The glue attaches itself to the stone but not to the rubbery cement.

    Now, I got the dress through a designer, but they didn't make the dress, its original designer is different (I used my consignment credit to get another resale, a long story). So they said they can't do much regarding the appliques, because they don't know what the other designer used. I've made a mental note to stay away from dresses with these types of appliques in the future, but I do need to figure out a way to make those stones stay put. Any tips?
  18. harp34552

    harp34552 Member

    I assume you've tried the regular stuff (Gem-tac, E6000, maybe even rubber cement). If you really don't mind permanently attaching the stones (and I mean would last through an alien attack or the zombie apocalypse permanently), use epoxy.

    Epoxy will hold anything to anything, but be careful to work in a well-ventilated area and mix it in a different container; only apply what you need with a q-tip or something. And wear gloves.
  19. Natalka

    Natalka Member

    It's been rumored to be Elmer's Stix-All glue or something like it. It dries more flexible and smooth. Not sure about the actual process though... :peace:
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Where do you buy it? Home Depot? Target?

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