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Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy – Embroidery Pattern Transfer and Stabilizer

How to Transfer and Stabilize an Embroidery Pattern - with my very favorite product, Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy

I was browsing through the Sulky website recently and I saw Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy – a stabilizer that I’ve never seen in a store or even heard of. It sounded amazing, but it was kind of expensive and I thought it might be too good to be true so I ordered just one package to test it out.


I can’t get over how tremendously, perfectly useful this stuff is! Especially for those of us who buy digital patterns! It’s so amazing that I did a video just for this one product. It replaces everything I normally use. Everything!

See this video on how to transfer embroidery patterns? And this one about embroidering on stretchy fabrics? And this post about removing stabilizer? I now use Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy instead of all the products I showed you in those old videos. It works on light fabrics, dark fabrics, napped fabrics, and stretchy fabrics. It’s MAGIC!

I say it all in the video – but it’s worth saying here again. Here’s what’s so great about it. . .

  1. It’s 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets that can go through your inkjet printer or a photocopy machine. (Update – it now goes through a laser printer as well!) No more tracing patterns. Ever! Tracing patterns is my least favorite part of an embroidery project and I Will Never Do It Again!
  2. Peel off the paper back and stick your pattern to your fabric. It sticks REALLY well, but doesn’t leave even a trace of adhesive on your thread or needle. (Update – I’ve since learned that if you leave your embroidery sitting in a hot car in the summer, it will affect the adhesive and make it leave a slight gummy residue on your needle as you work. Yuck! But if you use a little Thread Magic conditioner on your needle and thread it eliminates that residue completely. Yay!)
  3. Stitch right through the pattern and fabric. The pattern sheet actually stabilizes your fabric, making your stitching even neater. And it works on stretchy fabrics too!
  4. Dunk your finished embroidery in water and swish it around for a minute or two and every trace of the stabilizer dissolves away.

Watch how it works. . .

(You can find that You Are My Sunshine embroidery pattern here.)

I love this stuff! One package contains 12 sheets and costs $14.99. That works out to a little bit more than $1 per sheet. At first I thought that was a little on the pricey side and I’d just use it on more complicated patterns, but now that I’ve used it on a few projects I’m totally hooked. Pay a buck and I don’t have to trace the pattern, my fabric is beautifully stabilized, it doesn’t matter if I go off the lines a bit, and it rinses away in minutes? Yes please!

I am all about tools and techniques that make my crafting easier and more enjoyable. This is supposed to be fun – right? πŸ™‚

You can buy the stabilizer here. You guys are going to love this stuff!

Here are all my posts about working with patterns.

Pattern Sources

How to Resize a Pattern

Return to the Learn to Embroider main Table of Contents.

Move on to the posts about knots. Yes – a whole section about knots. πŸ™‚


  1. OH MY! absolute magic! thanks Wendi for sharing this awesome find…must buy right away! and to think, i spent a good hour of my life transferring a complicated design just this weekend!

  2. Oh My Help! Thank you for sharing your discovery!!!

  3. Just wait until you try it! You’re going to LOVE it!

  4. Redlucy SAYS...

    Put mine on order, looks like the answer to many of my problems. BTW, working/finishing a project of flowered dish towels, used your split stitch..I’m in love!! You also taught me how to make beautiful French knots..I used to hate trying them and now I LOVE them! I am truly indebted to you, thanks!!

  5. Can you leave it on if you want? I use a lot of overdyes that you can’t alway guarantee are color fast – so a quick swish may mean a ruined piece!

  6. I learned about this stuff from Bird Brain Designs
    I have a sampler printed on it and half done in my hoop. I love it, too. I found it at Fabric Depot (largest fabric store west of the Mississippi) in Portland, OR. My weekly 40% off coupon made it very affordable. I’m glad you are able to let more people know about it. It works for bigger pieces, too. You just stitch the first page, and then line up the second and stitch some more.

  7. This IS magic!! I haven’t commented before but I have been following you for a few months now. Your tutorials have been so helpful as I learn to sew and embroider. This product is so exciting! You are my hero! πŸ™‚

    • I hope you like it! I’m using it on a big piece right now (first time I’ve used it on something more than one page) and it’s working great. πŸ™‚

  8. I have used this product several times, but there is one problem. When you use this on a white fabric. The dye used to color the floss often bleeds on the the piece. I have tried washing the floss before hand and soaking it in vinegar,but nothing has worked. I have ruined 2 projects this way. Any ideas?

  9. I had a problem with it, my stitching looked soooo loose after I rinsed it out. I was using a single strand and didn’t want to over tighten my stitch,

    any tips???

    • Hmmm. . . I haven’t run into that before with the stabilizer. Usually that happens when you over-stretch the fabric in the hoop. It’ll spring back when you let it out and suddenly all your stitches will be very loose. But usually the stabilizer helps prevent that. Do you think you’re pulling the fabric too tight in the hoop?

  10. Anonymous SAYS...

    How does this work on felt? Can you really rinse the felt to dissolve this stabilizer? If so, any tips on how to do this?

    • You really can! Just don’t use hot water. πŸ™‚ I use tepid-to-ever-so-slightly-warm water, let it soak for a good while (5 minutes?), then rinse it under the sprayer (also tepid water) in my kitchen sink (that helps get the little bits free from the felt). It works like a charm! Visit this guest post I did on Sew, Mama, Sew to see the pieces for a felt bird before and after soaking – and the finished bird. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this stuff!

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  12. Pat SAYS...

    Hi Wendy,

    I’m using the product on cotton. My needle seems to get gummy after stitching for a while. What needle would you recommend? I’m using a Clover 24. The copy and transfer are great…just the gummy stitching. Thanks for your great videos.

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I use DMC brand size 5 embroidery needles. The only time I’ve ever had problems with gumminess was when I left my project in a HOT car for a few hours. Other than that I’ve gone through several packs and TONS of projects without any problems – so my guess is yours got hot at some point.

      • Pat SAYS...

        Am I right in thinking that this product is for hand embroidery?

        • Rachael SAYS...

          I’ve used this this machine embroidery on shirts and making ornaments, and it works perfectly!

  13. Jane B SAYS...

    Oh my gosh!! I have to make a label on a dark quilt. I usually embroider my labels, this is PERFECT!!!!!!!!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I’m so glad it was helpful! πŸ™‚

  14. Rebecca Harlton SAYS...

    Saw your video and was interested but doubtful that this product would work. I bought a package because I hate all other transfer methods all of which have negative and positive qualities. I printed off the picture I liked no problem at all. Sticking the product down went well also. I was worried about having a sticky needle but did not have a problem at all. I finnished my project and rised it and it went perfectly. I embroidered on white fabric, did not have any bleeding of ink or floss and all of the black printed lines from the pattern disapeared.
    I will definately be using this product again and will not use the previous products i had been using such as the iron on transfer pen which sometimes leaves a messy transfered line.

  15. Betty SAYS...

    My needle sticks too. Could it have gotten too hot in the copy machine? I have tried wiping the needle with a bounce sheet, but still tough to get through. Thanks for your help.

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  17. Rhonda Vigness SAYS...

    where in the club would I start if I joined now? (dress up club) Is there a new club starting in the future like this one? I do not want to miss so much. Thank you.

    • The Dress Up Bunch Club is designed so you can jump in at any time. If you start now you’ll need to choose a doll pattern and buy that separately. Then you’ll be all ready for the next outfit pattern that comes on 9/13. There’s a new outfit pattern every month from February through December. In January there will be a new doll pattern – a new best friend for any dolls in the group you already have. They all have the same bodies so they can share all the outfits.

  18. Olivia SAYS...

    Hi quick question

    How would this go on tulle? And with beading? Im looking at how to trace detailed appliques I’ve desigbed onto a tulle without it stretching out of shape. Any help would be fantastic.


    • I’ve never tried it on tulle, but it seems like it would work great. Tulle doesn’t lose it’s crispness when it gets wet, does it? That would be my only concern – but a quick test on a scrap would let you make sure before you do a big piece.


    Is the hoop necessary? I haven’t used one for about 40 years – got too bored with moving my arm going up and down for every stitch!

    • I find it necessary for embroidering on regular fabric, but I don’t use one when I’m stitching on felt. Felt has enough body to stand up on its own, but for me regular fabric is too floppy and if I try to stitch without a hoop my stitches are sloppy-looking – either too tight or too loose.

  20. Rachel SAYS...

    What great news! Would this work on say a knitted baby blanket? I have some lettering that needs to be added to a knitted blanket…


    Hi Wendi, would this work OK on Aida for cross stictch pattern?

    • I’m not sure. It seems like it would be awfully hard to get the pattern lined up so that the corners of the squares are exactly over the holes in the fabric. It might actually make it harder to stitch. πŸ™

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