Lacy’s Stiff Stuff…Is it worth the price?
Written by Kevin Henry, all rights reserved.

I’ve heard a lot of people argue about the cost of Lacy’s Stiff Stuff verses Pellon. Some say the cost is worth it. Others say that Pellon is the same thing as Lacy’s Stiff Stuff. I decided to find out for myself. I tested Lacy’s Stiff Stuff against Pellon. I wet them, dyed them, Glued, poked, prodded and a multitude of other things to both my samples. And here’s what I found.

I went to my local discount store and bought ½ a yard of Pellon. My cost was $1.47, Wow! That’s a lot of backing material for very little cost. I then got a 8 ½ by 11 sheet of Lacy’s. I have seen the cost of this item starting at about $4.00 and going up to $9.00 or more, shop around and don’t pay more then you have to. We’ll average the cost and say $6.50 as a cost for the Stiff Stuff. I cut out a 2 by 2 inch square from the Pellon and the Stiff Stuff. I can’t even try to figure out the cost for a 2 by 2 inch piece of Pellon. So I’ll just go with 1 cent. Now the cost of the Lacy's Stiff Stuff for the 2 by 2 inch square. That comes to 32 cents. The price is a lot higher then the Pellon, but I think I can afford the 32 cents for my tests. By the way when I was cutting the two products they were both very easy to cut.

Next thing I did was to grab a corner of my Pellon victim and give a pull. It didn’t fair so well. My piece of Pellon was all out of shape, guess I’ll go cut out another piece and start over. (1 cent). The Stiff Stuff survived this torture quite nicely. (good thing because I didn’t want to waste my 32 cents) What does this mean for us beaders? Besides losing 1 penny I guess I’ll have to be careful when beading on the Pellon. One wrong move and my beadwork could be pulled out of shape and ruined. Maybe I should back the Pellon with card stock, butter tub tops or use a embroidery hoop. (more cost, more time, more hassle)

On to the next painful torture test that I came up with. I drowned both my victims in a bath of Rit Dye. I wanted my beadwork backing to be the same color as my primary color of beads. Don’t want any white showing through and telling everyone where all the flaws in my beadwork are. The Lacy's Stiff Stuff took to the color like a beader takes to a bead store. The Pellon looks like it has the measles. There goes 1 more penny! I guess I’ll leave the Pellon white. The pellon is getting more costly. The Stiff Stuff dyed a very nice medium red color. (saved 32 cents)
The Pellon turned out very light pink with dark red spots all over it. Go cut another piece out.

Okay, so Pellon doesn’t dye so well; maybe we can draw a pattern on it. Taking my Number 2 pencil (why is it always a number 2?) I drew a figure of a flower on the Stiff Stuff. Okay, I can’t draw so I drew a line instead of a flower. It worked well except my line was crooked. On to the Pellon. What happened to my pencil? It seems to of stopped working. No matter how hard I try to draw my crooked line on the Pellon it just doesn’t work. So I switched to a pen. The pen worked on the Pellon, but it was a fuzzy crooked line instead of a sharp crooked line. The Stiff Stuff comes out on top in this test.