Monday, October 12, 2009


A high price sometimes means a better quality product. But not always...

I go through mad bead-embroidery phases and because a single 2.5" to 3" x 7" cuff can take me 30 or 40 hours to complete, I want the bead backing I use to wear like steel for the next millennium. And I want it to be able to dye it, color it with fabric pens and easily put my #13 beading needle through it. I want to be able to place a stitch a hair from the edge and have it stay there - and no fraying allowed, ever.

Enter Lacey's Stiff Stuff. A miracle! Finally!

I always wondered, though, why on earth a single standard 8.5" x 11" sheet of it was so darn dear.

How I happened to find Sova Enterprises and their alternative to Lacey's, I'll never remember but they carry a product which is, for much less of my money, indistinguishable from Lacey's. As of today's date their product comes in packs of 6,  6" x 8" sheets and sells at $4.75 US. They also sell by the yard at an even less expensive price. When I checked the site today, they showed a "sold out" button on the discount yardage, but Kathleen from Sova informs me that it's back in stock now. 

You can find them online at
Click on "supplies and tools" on the left hand side of their home screen, and then click on "bead backing."

Below is a collage of my embroidered cuffs - done on Rita and Dave Sova's bead backing.

Next time: Fabulous glass - the focal bead


  1. hi linda...great new blog! I've never used lacey's stiff stuff...can you tell me how it compares to peltex (or timtex), if you've ever used them?

  2. BB...if they are soft interfacings, I think I know what you mean. Stiff stuff is, well, stiff although it softens a little as you embroider. The thing about it is sheer strength and that wonderful edge that remains crisp. Most of my cuffs don't have any support forms and they stand up perfectly with Stiff stuff. It's unbeatable for pins, too - because you just back with ultrasuede (or your choice)& don't need any kind of insert. Some of my cuffs are years old and have been worn half to death - and are perfect. But the first cuff I made? Not so much. It's getting soft and looking a little loose and wobbly now.
    Does that help?

  3. Great idea for a blog. I'll keep checking for new supply sources.

  4. Thanks for the tip! I'm just getting into bead weaving and the cost of the Lacy's did kinda make my eyes pop...

  5. Hi Dawn and Rose...
    Thanks for checking the blog out. If there's a particular item you're looking for, by all means, contact me and I'll do my best to find it.(Click on "view my complete profile" and you'll see an email contact button on the left).
    PS - Rose...if you don't mind texture in your embroidery, Czech seeds are gorgeous if somewhat less perfectly uniform than Japanese beeds. They come in thousands of colors and are less expensive, too.

  6. Linda, thanks for the invite to follow this blog. I am always surfing around looking for something different, or the best price and service I can find. I am an amateur so this can be an expensive hobby. Thanks for posting about Stiff Stuff. I have been using Peltex, but I may try Rita's.

  7. Welcome, Carol. And I know about prices. Sometimes a splurge is justified...but often we just spend too much because we haven't found a better deal. Hope to help!

  8. Thanks for creating this blog (great idea) and for the tip on the Lacey's alternative.

  9. Whoa, this is so cool!! Thanks for inviting me! How about where do we find precious metal seed beads besides delicas?? Like 15, 13, 12, charlotte or two cuts?? Hex? Hope you have a HUGE hit on your hands with this!!!

  10. Hi N & Marsha! I'm on the precious metal round seed beads & I'll let you know.

  11. Peltex 71 is their "ultra stiff" stabilizer. I can't imagine a stiffer product. It feels like triple thick card stock. Have you compared it to Lacy's stiff stuff? I do a lot of Native American style beadwork (lane stitch or lazy stitch). I'm getting ready to start a large fully beaded vest project and am considering different products for the base. It is also available in pretty large pieces (20" wide X 10 yards long).