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Soluble Fabric Samples

Cold Water Soluble Fabric

Cold water soluble fabric is fragile and stretches easily and dense areas of stitching may cause the fabric to disintegrate. A loose, even tension is best for this fabric, and a ballpoint needle can be used to avoid tearing.

The edges of these tassel heads used in my assessment hanging were made using cold water soluble fabric.

I chose to use cold water soluble, as the rest of the head was machine stitch on felt and I felt that applying hot water could have shrunk the felt. Also leaving a little of the soluble fabric behind the edges stayed slightly stiff which was exactly what I wanted.

Cold Water Soluble Fabric Sample

Vanishing Muslin

Vanishing muslin is a chemically treated cotton fibre, which dissolves when dry heated, either with a hot iron or by placing on a baking sheet in a preheated moderate oven for 5-6 minutes. Threads are unaffected by the heat and stay in better shape when heated in an oven.

This lace was originally going to be used as the edging on my assessment cushion. First of all I sampled it using cold water soluble fabric but I found that the amount of rubbing required to remove the soluble fabric pulled the stitching apart.

I reworked it on vanishing muslin which was much more successful. Although it took a lot of teasing with a soft brush to remove all the vanishing muslin, the delicate lace remained intact and kept it's shape well.

Vanishing Muslin Sample

Hot Water Soluble Fabric

This looks and works like organza and is easier to stitch on than cold water soluble fabric. It can only be removed with boiling water or by simmering in a saucepan. This may need to be repeated several times with clean water as the water 'exhausts'. In the same way as cold water soluble it is possible to leave a residue to stiffen the work.

It should be noted that some fabrics and threads, particularly metallic threads will not withstand boiling and any work done on hot water vanishing fabric will have to be stretched back into the original shape.

Cold Water Soluble Paper

Cold water soluble paper has the advantages of both cold and hot water soluble fabrics in that it can be used with any fabrics and threads and is also much easier to stitch on than cold water soluble fabric. It can also be used as a stabiliser when working on very fine fabrics such as chiffon or organza.

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