So – just how magical is The Magical Embroidery Stuff (aka Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy)? Does it work on wool felt?
I’ve gotten this question a lot lately and the answer is. . .
Seriously – every time I try this stuff on something new I’m even more impressed with it.
Here’s the scoop on using it with wool felt. . .
Print your pattern onto the stabilizer. Stick it to the felt. Rough cut around each piece.
Stitch right through the felt and stabilizer. (Don’t zone out and stitch the outside lines – those are your cutting lines. Not that I’ve ever done that. ahem.) You don’t need a hoop for this – the felt is sturdy enough to stitch through without it. After you’re done stitching, cut the pieces out on the cutting lines.
Soak off the stabilizer.
The soaking. I know this is the part that you’re worried about. Normally I soak it off in a bowl of warm water, then rinse it under running water. I do the same thing for felt, only the water is cold. I don’t want to pebble the surface of the felt by getting too warm with it. I fill a bowl with cold water, then drop the embroidered felt in face down and let it sit for a long time – sometimes as much an an hour or more, depending on what else I get busy with. When I come back the stabilizer is all swollen and mushy and, depending on how much stitching there is, kind of clinging to the felt. Time to rinse.
I rinse it under running water – again cold. The stuff does cling a bit more to fuzzy felt than it does to smooth cotton, but the running water takes it off pretty well. It comes off really fast if I switch my kitchen faucet to the sprayer, but just regular running water will work in time.
After all the gunk comes off, just lay it on a dry towel. For the best results I don’t wring it, twist it, or even press it. Just set it sopping wet on the towel and leave it alone. It will dry – I promise. And look how pretty the results are!
I left the picture nice and big – click on it to really zoom in and look at the texture of the felt. No pebbling! No stray marks!
So – no more frustration transferring your pattern to lovely-to-stitch-on but impossible-to-trace-through and difficult-to-write-on fuzzy felt. Use The Magical Embroidery Stuff and feel only peace, joy and felty happiness. 🙂
Want to stitch your own Flora the felt bird? Find the free pattern here.
I’m using this project with the Child 2 Child ministry young girls at our church. I love the Fabri-Solvey – sure helps them to work the stitches easily. My question is: Did you have trouble with the needles becoming sticky from the Fabri-Solvey?
I had that problem once – but it was on a project that I had left in a hot car for a few hours so I figured that was the cause. None of the other sheets in the pack were sticky. And even the one that got sticky wasn’t bad. I just wiped the needle off between my fingers when it needed it – and it still rinsed off just fine. But I’m careful now not to leave a project in the sun. 🙂
Awesome! Good to know! I bought this from you and I love this product :-D. It is magic! Lol!
Does this stuff work on an item that has been felted? for example, a purse etc?
Yes it does! My sister knits and felts bags and purses and she’s used in on hand-felted items with no problems.
I strongly recommend one buys the Magic Stuff in sheets rather in a roll. It is really a pain to get through the printer when cut from a roll as the edges tend to curl up. I wondered about squishing it out of the wool felt also. The time to dry out the project could be Looonnnggg. How did yours go?
I always buy the sheets – and that’s the only thing I sell in my shop. I love using it with felt and don’t mind the long dry time. I just rinse the stabilizer out (in cool water) and then let it dry flat on a towel overnight. I don’t wring it. twist it, or even smoosh it with a towel – just dry it flat and it’s always ready in the morning. 🙂
I have been using the sticky fabric solvy on my felt…just as you described above…but I have the problem the pieces seem to shrink a bit during the process. I am wrapping mdf letters in felt, with a pattern embroidered to the front. So I trace the letter, cut it out, embroider on it and then use the water to get off the magical embroidery stuff, exactly as described…at least I think so. But when I want to put the pieces together (so front, sides and back), my front is a little bit too small. Do you know what could have caused this? Wrong felt, too much water, too hot (although I even tried it using cold water with the same effect)…?
I’ve never tried wrapping a shape like you described – but I’ve used this technique on a lot of things like little felt birds where the pieces are all pretty precisely fitted together. I’ve never noticed any shrinking when I do this – but fibers are so variable it’s certainly possible! My first thought was using cold water – no warmth at all – but you said you tried it with cold water and got the same result. Maybe it’s the felt you’re using? Mine is a wool blend (I use 80/20 and 70/30 blends). If yours has more wool maybe that’s making it more prone to shrink? I’ve heard that agitation can make wool shrink too (though I’ve always heard it’s agitation combined with warm or hot water). Maybe that’s having an impact? And it’s possible that I AM getting a tiny bit of shrinkage – but not enough to notice. If you’re trying to fit it to an inflexible surface – even being off by a tiny sliver is going to be noticeable. Maybe cut it a little bit bigger than your pattern before you soak off the stabilizer and then trim it to its final size after it’s dry? Good luck!
Causes of wool shrinkage are radical temperature and/or agitation. A sudden blast of very cold water has the potential to cause as much shrinkage as a blast of super hot water – although I can’t claim any statistical temperature numbers. Different breeds of sheep (or other animal) also have different characteristics to their wool, i.e. some wools don’t felt well at all, and some shrink far more than others. My ‘rule of thumb’ for working with or wetting wool, whether for washing or crafts, is to try keep the liquid close to the ambient air temperature = warmer “cold” water on a hot day and cooler “cold” water on a cold day; in other words as little difference in temperature as possible.
Oooh! I had one more thought right after I hit send! You said the FRONT is a little bit too small. Not the sides or back? In that case I’ll bet it’s the embroidery itself that’s causing the problem. If it’s very densely embroidered, the stitches themselves will tend to draw up the fabric a bit – even if your tension is perfect. You’ll really notice this in quilting. The pieced top is ALWAYS a little bit larger than the finished, quilted top. If your quilting is pretty open the difference can be less than an inch. But if your quilting is very dense it can be a difference of up to a couple of inches! Embroidery can do the same thing. So try this. Trace the letter. Don’t cut it out! Embroider it. Then trace your letter again for a new cutting line – your old line may have drawn in just a tiny bit. Cut it out on the new line, soak off the stabilizer and go. Good luck!
Thanks for the help! My felt has more wool, so I think that might be part of the problem. With the next letter I will try to embroider without cutting to see if that might be the case. Might be it, since it are a lot of tiny stitches!
I have been looking for something that would work well with transferring embroidery to wool blanketing. I would like to make a blanket for my grandson – do you know if this product would also wash out OK off pure wool blanketing fabric?
Yes – just use cold water for the soak and the rinse.
I love the sheets too, thanks to you and this wonderful site. One tip, I use a Hera Marker to lightly press down and smooth over the sticky bits all the way out to the edges.
Also, a tip as a long time knitter, who washes and blocks a lot of hand knit hats without twisting or wringing. What you can do is roll up your embroidery in a towel, like a sausage pinwheel, and press just a bit down, then unroll. Then I place embroidery on fresh towel, smooth out with fingers and leave alone.
That’s really cool
This is really cool!
I’m going to make it😉😄
I used your technique for sticky fabri-solvy on felt. I used it on a high-quality wool felt. The felt did shrink during the process, but it only shunk in one direction, i.e., the fabric after rinse and drying was short in height but pretty much the same in width. This pattern had quite a few vertical straight stitches. all of them are now loose and out of shape. The horizontal straight stitches are fine. Now, I am back at the same dilemma — how do I transfer a pattern to felt? I may be stuck with having to pre-shrink the felt first and then using the sticky solvy.
The felt I use is mostly 80% rayon and 20% wool, so has minimal or no shrink. If you’re using anything else I’d recommend pre-shrinking it first. Just soak the pieces in the same temp water you’ll use to soak off the Sulky (I use cold when I’m working with felt) and then pull the pieces out and set them on a towel to dry.
I love solve, use It all the time. Not cheap, but sooooooo easy to use. I use sticky and plain, run it through my printer and I’m away. However, I used it on wool felt and it was more difficult to get off. I needed to brush it with nail brush, which Kind of matted up my stitching a bit. Not a problem because it was leaves I was ‘veining’ but had it been a bit more intricate, it might have been worse.
If anyone is still having problems with shrinkage on wool felt after washing off the stick n stitch, the trick is to preshrink your felt. Just run it under cold water until thoroughly soaked. I gently roll mine up in a towel and very gently squeeze the towel log to get the excess water out, then drape on a clothes horse as flat as possible and leave it overnight. The add the stick n stitch and embroider. When washing the piece afterwards there is no shrinkage and the embroidery stays beautiful.
Once I peel off the backing, how long will the stick n stitch stay on my wool pieces? I want to cut and stick a number of pieces, then embroider at my leisure. I would put the wool/solvy pieces in a sealable plastic baggie. They might stay in there for a few months as I work my way through patterns.
In my experience it will stay on there forever unless you’re actively trying to peel it up. A baggie is a good idea because extreme heat and/or humidity (like when I leave my embroidery in the car on a hot day) can make it leave a sticky residue on my needle. It’s nothing that a bit of Thread Magic won’t cure, but it’s annoying. 🙂