By Michelle of Abigail Michelle Embroidery
When embroidering on fleece, corduroy or terry cloth (towel material), the stitches tend to "sink" into the pile and disappear or leave gaps in your design.
To help prevent this, add one or two layers of soluble stabilizer on top of your fabric before you embroider it. Solvy, as it is usually known, is a clear stabilizer that resembles a thick layer of plastic. In reality, it is usually made from starch and will "melt away" when you remove it.
Solvy comes in two general types: water soluble and heat soluble. Water soluble dissolves with water and heat soluble dissolves with heat (usually an iron).
You can either hoop the soluble stabilizer with the fabric or simply "float" the Solvy on top of the hoop after you've hooped your fabric.
If your machine has an automatic basting stitch (that puts a basting stitch "box" around the design area), this will be the perfect time to use it.
You can find free basting stitches in our free
section of SWAKembroidery.com. There you will find free basting stitche
s available in your preferred format!
If you don’t have an automatic basting stitch, simply hold it in place as your design begins to stitch. Once your design begins to sew, it will tend to hold it in place. Just keep an eye on it in case you need to move the edges as the design embroiders.If using your fingers to hold the Solvy in place as it embroiders, always be careful of the moving needle. It’s best to embroider your fabric, not your finger!
Once your design is finished, gently peel away any left-over soluble stabilizer from around the edges of the design. If you used a water soluble stabilizer, you can throw it in the washing machine, run it under a faucet, or give it a few sprays from a water bottle to remove the rest.
If you used a heat soluble stabilizer, you can also gently peel away any extra first. To remove the rest, use an iron to gently "heat away" any leftover stabilizer. Always follow manufacturer’s instruction. They will tell you how hot or cool to set your iron.
Solvy is an often overlooked tool of machine embroidery, but one that makes a tremendous difference in the quality of your design. It is found wherever machine embroidery accessories are found, and often on the notions wall of your local sewing store.