If you love embroidering fabric but struggle with stabilizing delicate material properly, water soluble stabilizer is here to save the day. This handy product dissolves completely in water, providing temporary backing that washes away after your project is complete.
Water soluble stabilizer allows you to embroider knits, silks, and other delicate or stretchy fabrics that would otherwise be too unstable on their own. Here’s everything you need to know about how to use water soluble stabilizer for flawless embroidery and sewing.
What Is Water Soluble Stabilizer?
Water soluble stabilizer is a temporary foundation material that is commonly used in sewing and embroidery projects. It is designed to provide support and stability to fabrics during stitching, and then completely dissolves when submerged in water, leaving no trace behind.
This makes it a versatile and convenient option for a variety of projects.
A temporary foundation material that washes away
One of the key features of water soluble stabilizer is its ability to dissolve completely in water. This means that after you have finished stitching or embroidering your design, you can simply rinse the fabric under running water or soak it in a bowl of water to remove the stabilizer.
This is especially useful for delicate fabrics or projects that require a clean finish without any residue left behind.
Water soluble stabilizer is also commonly used for projects that involve lace or intricate designs. Since it dissolves completely, it allows the stitches to stand out without any visible backing. This creates a professional and seamless look for your finished project.
Available in different weights for different projects
Water soluble stabilizer comes in different weights or thicknesses, allowing you to choose the most suitable option for your specific project. Thicker stabilizers are ideal for heavier fabrics or projects that require more support, while thinner stabilizers work well with delicate fabrics or projects that require a lighter touch.
It’s important to consider the weight of the stabilizer when selecting it for your project, as using the wrong weight could result in inadequate support or potential damage to the fabric. Be sure to read the packaging or consult a sewing expert to determine the appropriate weight for your specific project.
Works well with knits, silks, and stretchy fabrics
Water soluble stabilizer is particularly well-suited for working with knits, silks, and stretchy fabrics. These types of fabrics can be more challenging to stabilize using traditional methods, as they tend to stretch or distort during stitching.
Water soluble stabilizer provides the necessary support without altering the drape or stretch of the fabric.
When working with knits or stretchy fabrics, it’s important to choose a water soluble stabilizer that is specifically designed for these types of materials. This will ensure that the stabilizer effectively supports the fabric during stitching and dissolves easily afterwards, leaving your project looking great.
Benefits of Using Water Soluble Stabilizer
Water soluble stabilizer is a fantastic tool that can greatly enhance your sewing and embroidery projects. Here are some of the key benefits of using water soluble stabilizer:
Prevents puckering and distortion
One of the main advantages of using water soluble stabilizer is that it helps prevent puckering and distortion of the fabric. When you’re working on delicate or stretchy materials, such as knits or lightweight fabrics, these issues can often arise.
However, by placing a layer of water soluble stabilizer on top of the fabric, you create a stable surface for stitching, ensuring that the fabric remains smooth and doesn’t pucker or distort.
According to Sew Much Easier, water soluble stabilizer acts as a temporary support, holding the fabric in place during the embroidery process. Once the stitching is complete, you can simply dissolve the stabilizer by rinsing it with water, leaving behind a beautifully embroidered fabric without any puckering or distortion.
Stabilizes fabric without changing hand/drape
Unlike other types of stabilizers, water soluble stabilizer does not alter the hand or drape of the fabric. This means that you can maintain the original feel and texture of the fabric, even after it has been embroidered or sewn.
This is particularly important when working with delicate fabrics or garments, as you want to preserve the natural flow and movement of the material.
As mentioned on Sew Much Moore, water soluble stabilizer is designed to dissolve completely, leaving no residue behind. This ensures that your fabric retains its original characteristics and doesn’t feel stiff or bulky after the stabilizer is removed.
No need to tear away backing afterward
Another advantage of using water soluble stabilizer is that there’s no need to tear away any backing after completing your embroidery or sewing project. Traditional stabilizers often require you to tear away or cut off excess backing material, which can be time-consuming and sometimes leave behind small pieces that need to be carefully removed.
With water soluble stabilizer, you can simply dissolve it with water, eliminating the need for any additional steps. This saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus on the creative aspects of your project rather than tedious cleanup.
How to Use Water Soluble Stabilizer for Sewing
Water soluble stabilizer is a versatile tool that can make your sewing projects easier and more professional-looking. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use water soluble stabilizer for sewing:
Cut stabilizer slightly larger than project piece
Before you begin, make sure you have the correct size of water soluble stabilizer for your project. You will want to cut the stabilizer slightly larger than your project piece to ensure complete coverage. This will help prevent shifting and puckering during the sewing process.
Fuse with dry iron or sew/baste it in place
There are two main ways to attach water soluble stabilizer to your fabric: fusing with a dry iron or sewing/basting it in place. If you choose to fuse the stabilizer, simply place it on top of your fabric and press it with a dry iron at the recommended temperature.
If you prefer to sew or baste the stabilizer in place, use a straight stitch or a basting stitch around the edges of your project piece.
Stitch as normal, then dissolve backing
Once the water soluble stabilizer is attached to your fabric, you can stitch as normal. The stabilizer will provide support and prevent puckering while you sew. Once you have completed your stitching, it’s time to dissolve the backing.
Fill a basin or sink with warm water and gently place your project in it. Allow the stabilizer to dissolve completely, which usually takes a few minutes. Once the backing is dissolved, remove your project from the water and let it dry naturally or with a towel.
Using water soluble stabilizer for sewing can greatly improve the quality of your projects. It provides temporary support and ensures smooth stitching, especially when working with delicate fabrics or intricate designs.
How to Use Water Soluble Stabilizer for Embroidery
Water soluble stabilizer is a versatile tool that can greatly enhance the quality and durability of your embroidery projects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced embroiderer, using water soluble stabilizer can make your designs stand out.
Here are some steps to help you effectively use water soluble stabilizer for your embroidery projects.
Hoop stabilizer with fabric, sticky side up
The first step in using water soluble stabilizer is to hoop it with your fabric. Place the stabilizer in the embroidery hoop, ensuring that the sticky side faces up. This will allow you to easily attach your fabric to the stabilizer, preventing it from shifting during the embroidery process.
Make sure the stabilizer is taut and securely held in place within the hoop.
Ensure contact between fabrics
Once you have hooped the stabilizer, it’s important to ensure proper contact between the fabric and the stabilizer. Gently press the fabric onto the sticky surface of the stabilizer, making sure it adheres evenly.
This will help prevent any gaps or wrinkles that may affect the quality of your embroidery. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles by gently pressing the fabric onto the stabilizer.
Complete embroidery, then wash away
After you have properly hooped the stabilizer and secured the fabric, you can proceed with your embroidery. Stitch your design onto the fabric as desired, using your embroidery machine or sewing by hand. Once the embroidery is complete, it’s time to remove the water soluble stabilizer.
Simply soak your embroidered fabric in water, and watch as the stabilizer dissolves away. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soaking time and water temperature to ensure proper removal.
Using water soluble stabilizer for embroidery not only helps keep your fabric taut and prevents shifting, but it also adds stability and support to your designs. This allows for more intricate and detailed embroidery work.
So, the next time you embark on an embroidery project, don’t forget to incorporate water soluble stabilizer for professional-looking results!
Caring for Projects with Water Soluble Stabilizer
Water soluble stabilizer is a fantastic tool for sewing and embroidery projects, as it provides temporary support and stability to delicate fabrics. However, once your project is complete, it’s important to properly care for it to ensure the stabilizer dissolves and the fabric maintains its integrity.
Here are some tips on how to care for projects with water soluble stabilizer:
Wash in warm water to dissolve
One of the key steps in caring for projects with water soluble stabilizer is to wash them in warm water. The warm temperature helps to dissolve the stabilizer, leaving your fabric clean and free from any residue.
Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the stabilizer to melt and potentially damage your project.
Pro tip: If you’re unsure about the appropriate water temperature for your specific fabric, always refer to the care instructions provided by the fabric manufacturer.
Use mild detergent and gentle cycle
When washing projects with water soluble stabilizer, it’s important to use a mild detergent that won’t leave any harsh residues on your fabric. Look for detergents that are specifically designed for delicate fabrics or handwashing.
Additionally, opt for a gentle cycle on your washing machine to avoid any unnecessary agitation that could potentially damage your project.
Pro tip: If you prefer to hand wash your projects, make sure to use lukewarm water and a gentle touch to dissolve the stabilizer.
Lay flat or air dry, do not wring
After washing, it’s important to properly dry your projects with water soluble stabilizer. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can cause it to lose its shape or stretch. Instead, gently squeeze out any excess water and lay the fabric flat to dry.
Alternatively, you can hang it up to air dry, but be cautious of any potential stretching that may occur if the fabric is not properly supported.
Pro tip: To speed up the drying process, you can place a towel underneath the fabric to absorb excess moisture.
By following these care instructions, you can ensure that your projects with water soluble stabilizer remain in great condition. Remember to always read and follow the specific care instructions provided by the stabilizer manufacturer for the best results.
Tips for Using Water Soluble Stabilizer
Test first on a fabric scrap
Before using water soluble stabilizer on your actual sewing or embroidery project, it’s always a good idea to test it first on a fabric scrap. This will allow you to see how the stabilizer reacts with your fabric and how it dissolves.
It’s important to ensure that the stabilizer doesn’t leave any residue or discoloration on your fabric once it dissolves. By testing it on a scrap, you can make any necessary adjustments before applying it to your actual project.
Use heavier weight for dense designs
If you’re working on a dense embroidery design or a design with a lot of stitches, it’s recommended to use a heavier weight water soluble stabilizer. A heavier weight stabilizer will provide more support and stability to your fabric, preventing any distortion or puckering that may occur due to the weight of the stitches.
This is especially important when working with delicate fabrics or fabrics that don’t have a lot of natural structure.
Store in cool, dry place to prevent premature dissolving
Water soluble stabilizer is designed to dissolve in water, so it’s important to store it in a cool, dry place to prevent premature dissolving. Excessive moisture or high humidity can cause the stabilizer to dissolve or weaken over time, rendering it less effective.
By storing it in a cool, dry place, you can ensure that your stabilizer remains intact and ready to use whenever you need it.
With the right water soluble stabilizer, you can embroider knits, soft silks, organza, and other delicates with ease. Just remember to pre-wash fabrics, hoop carefully, and dissolve slowly for best results.
Water soluble stabilizer opens up many new embroidery and sewing possibilities without permanently changing the hand of your fabric. Give it a try for your next delicate project!