Water Soluble Stabilizer Substitute

Colleen Bell’s gorgeous quilt in the most recent of Designs in Machine Embroidery (Vol. 110, May/June 2018) was made with Shannon Fabrics’ Cuddle.  Wrapping yourself in a Cuddle quilt is like submersing yourself in a teddy bear hug.  Its fibers are luxurious and irresistible to the touch. 

Those luscious fibers can make embroidering on it a challenge. The fibers want to work their way through the embroidery stitches leaving your embroidery looking lackluster. Colleen’s traditional method of taming the fibers was to add a layer of water soluble stabilizer on top of the Cuddle before adding the embroidery.  Colleen is an embroidery whiz – she knows what stabilizer to use when and what hoop is best for the job as seen in this photo. 

Her water soluble stabilizer covers the whole design area and is easily removed by just tearing it away after the embroidery is applied.  Her Snap Hoop Monster won’t leave any hoop burn on the tender Cuddle fabric.  This approach is tried and true but what if you don’t have a supply of water soluble stabilizer on hand?

Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro has the solution with one of its most popular features – Nap Blocker.  In just a few clicks you can add a light density fill BEHIND the design that will permanently hold down the fibers. Here’s how you do it.

Open your embroidery design in Perfect Embroidery Pro.  Colleen used Urban Threads UT17449, Floral Arrow. 

Select the design, right click, select Utility, Create Nap Blocker.

The Nap Blocker, a light density complex fill, is now listed as the first element of color 1. 

Select the complex fill and change its color to match the color of the fabric.  This is crucial as you want the complex fill to disappear behind the embroidery.  

Just hoop your fabric, stitch the first color in thread that matches the fabric and complete the design.  No need to tear or wash away a topper!  Love that feature!

What’s your favorite feature in PEP?

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3 Comments on Water Soluble Stabilizer Substitute

  1. Vonee
    June 10, 2018 at 7:28 am (2 weeks ago)

    This is such a great feature in PEP! Such a time saver and a game changer when it comes to embroidery on a nap fabric! Makes embroidery on napped fabric no longer a chore and with such expert results! Genius!

    Reply
  2. Karen
    June 10, 2018 at 1:44 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Great timing to be reminded of this I have towels to embroider on.

    Reply
    • eileenroche
      June 10, 2018 at 3:11 pm (2 weeks ago)

      It’s a natural for terry cloth – in fact, Nap Blocker was initially developed for terry cloth. But we’ve learned there are many fabrics that benefit from a protective layer of Nap Blocker.

      Reply

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