Home Tutorials Water Soluble Fabric

Water Soluble Fabric, I love this stuff! Also known as

Water soluble Stabilizer, Cold water soluble fabric & Water soluble fiber

Available to purchase online here

If you have never used this product before, you stitch on it, and then wash away the fabric so you are left with the thread only. This is a warning to be careful your stitches must overlap in some way otherwise when  dissolved you will be left with a long string of thread! Satin stitch will do the same, unless you add a row of straight stitch over the top.

Its 'traditional use is in commercial machine embroidery, it keeps your stitches from sinking into high pile fabrics like towels, fleece and velvet

You hoop it either in front or behind the fabric to provide support while embroidering. Or you can hoop the backing only, and embroider directly on to it to create your own lace or unique 3D embroidery.

Many brands are available, most do the same thing, however, I have found over many years of experimenting with different brands and products that I prefer the woven type rather than the plastic type.

My reasons are; woven can be put through the printers to transfer designs I have scanned or designed on the computer. Design transfer in general is easier. I found with the plastic fabric that marker pen works best to transfer designs but the ink runs into the embroidery when you wash it. With the woven fabric a standard pencil can be used as well as air and water dissolve pens. Its MUCH stronger than plastic and it also does not tear like the plastic and is easier to dissolve. This is my opinion. Please experiment and find your own favourite.

When using the dissolving fabric I found with both plastic and woven types that the process whether hot or cold dissolvable is to always WASH IT TWICE minimum. I always boil a kettle, while its boiling I rinse my embroidery under the faucet to remove as much of the fabric/glue as I can. I put a small amount of fabric conditioner in a bowl before adding the boiled water and embroidery to the bowl. I leave it to soak long enough for the water to go cold (at least 1 hour) the rinse again and leave the embroidery to dry. Then I repeat the above process. RARELY does all the glue from the soluble fabric come out on the first wash and after you have done it twice you will notice the difference. Your finished piece should feel like thread, not thread stiffened with starch or glue.

If your embroidery is large, then place it in a delicate lingerie wash bag and run it through the washing machine ordinary cycle.

 

If you want to make 3D pieces just using thread, you may want to use some of the glue in the fabric to help the embroidery keep its shape, in this case just lightly rinse under a tap of cold water before laying it over your mold, like a bowl for example. I am not sure how the glue will effect the thread over time. I prefer to make 3D items with tension techniques as I know these will last and are technically better made!