I’ve actually done this on fabric. Silk, in fact. To make little flowers and leaves.
Imagine the finest of fine silk stocking material dipped in liquid starch, shaped and left to dry. For centuries.
Did the ancients also have the recipe for latex? Which is in FACT a natural by-product of many plants and can be moulded (using synthetics) to make SFX faces and bodies in films nowadays.
Just saying :o)