Updated: Aug 23
When we talking about stabilizers break down to four different categories: Cut Away, Tear Away, Wash Away and Specialty. I actually go into more details about that in this blog post called Stabilizer Breakdown: Categories, Weights and Types, but for today’s purposes we are gonna focus on the “Specialty” category.
In the afore mentioned blog post I define the “specialty” category of stabilizers like this: “Specialty” is the nebulas category…it’s basically the “And the rest!” from the Gilligan’s Island theme song. Specialty stabilizers help support your embroidery projects aren’t actually made the stabilize your projects on their own like the other categories. They typically are used in addition with other stabilizers.
Now it will vary per company as to what they each consider “Specialty” but no matter what ya call ’em, these are the three specialty stabilizers you should in your sewing room.
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First off, they are project rolls so they are just enough of each stabilizer for you to use for a project or two. This means you won’t get stuck with a ridiculous amount of a random stabilizer.
Second, I believe the best way to learn is to play around and having so many stabilizers on hand is the best way to be able play around whenever ya feel like it.
It doesn’t include SoftWeb (You can try applique Fuse and Fix in the kit) but it does include the other two stabilizers on this list.
Speaking of the list! Let’s get back to it…
Softweb is my favorite paper backed fusible web. Soft web is used for applique projects like my Limone Block. I love Softweb because it’s clear, thin and keeps your project nice and soft (not bulky) so it’s great for quilts.
In my blog post about 12wt thread appliques, I compared Applique Fuse and Fix (which I also love!) with Soft Web, both are great but you will use them for different types of projects.
How I use it: I fuse it to the wrong side of all my appliqued fabrics, that’s whether I am doing machine applique or machine embroidery applique.
OESD’s Fusible Fleece is my favorite fusible fleece on the market. Like all OESD Stabilizers Fusible Fleece comes on a roll and can be bought in 10″, 15″ or 20″ rolls. I love OESD’s Fusible Fleece so much because of how easily it fuses to fabrics and how lightweight it is.
Since it’s on the thin side, if you’re looking for something thicker you can try another brand or do as I do and double layer it. I’m rarely happy with other brand fusible fleeces, so I just layer this one as necessary.
How I use it: I like to use it in my embroidery projects to create some loft and allow my stitches to sink into the fabric in a pretty way. I especially like to layer it on after Fusible Woven, and love it for embroidered pillows and table runners.
And of course, I use it in any project that calls for fusible fleece.
Now, OESD actually calls fusible woven a “cut away” stabilizer, not a “specialty” stabilizer but they are the only brand to do that sooooo…I’m putting it here! There are lots of woven fusible stabilizers on the market but fusible woven is my over all favorite due to the body it gives the fabric and the availability of the products.
It is a bummer that this doesn’t come on a bolt and I will definitely keep bugging OESD to change that. Typically though, I just buy a bazillion rolls of Fusible Woven at a time so I am happy and never run out of it.
Note that this product comes in black and white and also comes in two sizes: 15″ or 20″
How I use it: I use it on freaking every woven fabric that I ever embroider. You will hear me sing it’s praises in so many posts and lives. I LOVE fusible woven and I think ya need to get it immediately to make all your projects go perfect.
Ready to learn even more about machine embroidery stabilizers? Check out the suggested posts at the bottom of this post for even more machine embroidery help!
After years of being asked about how machine embroidery stabilizers work and how to choose the right one I finally created Stabilizer School a virtual, on demand class for you to learn the a-z of machine embroidery stabilizers.
In this easy to watch class you will learn what stabilizers are, how they are classified, and I even teach you my exclusive MUSHY method, a five step system to walk you through choosing the perfect stabilizer for any fabric or project.
I also include my “Stabilizer Library”, this video goes over type of stabilizer available and how to properly use it.