After having made a few pairs of socks, I realized that wool socks are slippery as hell. Sure, it wouldn’t matter much if I wore shoes all day and had carpeted floors but being Korean, we do not wear shoes in the house and guess what? We have hardwood floors (We often visit my in-laws who have marble floors. Can we say deathtrap?). So after all that hard work and fighting with teeny tiny dpns poking me left and right, I have the handknit socks shoved in a bin somewhere. That’s not right and I vowed to do something about it. Oh, that and the fact that I made my mother-in-law some felted slippers and needed some slipper bottoms ASAP. Sure, they sell suede bottoms but considering my total yarn cost for the project was less than $5 (Patons Classic Wool on sale), I don’t think shelling out $40-some dollars for slipper bottoms made much sense. Plus, what about my socks? I can’t go sewing on suede bottoms for socks, can I?
So, I dug around Ravelry and Google to find a lot of applied “puffy paint” (aka acrylic paint sold at craft stores for $.79). But after more digging, there seemed to be a consensus that they wore off quickly, the puffy/bumpy factor made socks very uncomfortable, and the non-slip element was minimal. Not good.
Lo and behold Plasti-Dip! Easily found at your local hardware store (Home Depot, Ace Hardware, etc etc), Plasti-Dip’s originally intended to rubberize your tool (hmmm….something about that last phrase sounds sexual….LOL) handles but one can apply it to the bottom of any socks and slippers for that extra grip. Plus it seemed like a way cheaper alternative (Plasti-Dip cost $6.88 at Home Depot) to Rug backing, which can also be used on slipper bottoms.
Some precautions though: this thing smells exactly like high fuming glue and the can reads VAPORS HARMFUL. Too many hours painting socks in non-ventilated areas will eat your brain. For real.
I bought the can version and “painted” on stripes and dots on the bottom of the slipper with Q-tips (didn’t want to throw away paint brushes cuz once this stuff gets on there, it’s garbage.) but on retrospect I should have just gotten the aerosol spray one. Easier application, less mess and it doesn’t dry up as quickly as the paint on one. I’ll remember that next time.
One more thing: Regia just came out with their brilliant Regia ABS Latex which is exactly what I needed all along. Much easier application (they even sell cute stencils so you can paint on pretty little things) However, it’s new and not a lot of stores carry it yet (a wee bit on the expensive side at $12 each for a 100 ml bottle). For now though, Plasti-Dip it is.
Oh, and if you can’t find any of the stuff I mentioned, try latex caulking (which I believe could be found in any old Walmart/K-Mart/Target etc) as your last resort. Read all about it here