Hoop Crafting Tips for Cold Weather

January 31, 2013 Caroleeena HoopingUncategorized

Crafting is alchemy. Having the right tools, the right materials, and the right conditions is key. Even the weather can affect the quality of the hoops we are able to craft. Following is a list of considerations to think about when hoop crafting in cold weather.

Tubing: 

Tubing can take anywhere from several hours to a day to warm up from cold storage, depending on how warm it is in the crafting area. Cold storage can even damage some types of tubing, especially polypro, which occasionally fractures and cracks. The tubing itself can be difficult to shape when it is cold, especially if it has been stored tightly rolled or on its side so that one side is flat. The cold surface of the tubing does not accept the tape bond as readily either. Finally, very cold material that is allowed to warm up quickly may form condensation, which will also inhibit proper bonding. If you cannot store your tubing in a warm, dry place, bring it into such a space anywhere from 12-24 hours before you plan to craft and let it warm up. Cut any ties that bind the tubing and expand it as much as possible. Prior to crafting, use a towel to ensure there is no condensation on the tubing.

Tapes: 

Tapes stored in attics, basements, garages, or other cold environments can prove frustratingly difficult to use. Adhesives, particularly those based on organic rubber compounds, become stiff when they are very cold and this can, in turn, cause the tape to lose its flexibility and become less sticky. Luckily these changes are not usually permanent and can be reversed by simply allowing the tape to warm up slowly. The word “slowly” is important here. This is because the temperature will warm the outside edge of the roll first before slowly warming inward, making the center of the roll less flexible, harder to pull from the roll, and less sticky than the outer edges or strips. This warming process can take several hours so it’s important to plan your tape use several hours in advance so the tapes you need can be warmed to room temperature.

If you live in a very cold climate or have to store your crafting materials in such a climate, there are tapes like Shurtape Professional Grade gaffers tape that have specially formulated acrylic adhesives that are specially formulated for cold temperatures and can be useable at temperatures as low as 10-degrees Fahrenheit.

Good Buy Guys is my absolute favorite place to buy tapes. They have high quality tapes at very reasonable prices and they ship it out fast! If you live in Raleigh, they are based in the Triangle and will actually let you pick up your order, even though they don’t have a storefront. Just call ahead. Here is a link to their page: http://www.goodbuyguys.com/


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