I’ve been learning lots about stabilizers with my new embroidery machine. A little bit ago, I told you about the inspiration for this series of posts as well as everything I’d learned about Sulky Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizers (WSS). RinsAway (not a spelling error!) is another type of WSS with a few differences from the Sulky style stabilizers.
The key difference
The biggest difference between the Solvy style WSS and RinsAway is that RinsAway doesn’t completely dissolve. Right out of the package, RinsAway feels a bit like a heavy weight paper. It has a slight texture to it and it is translucent enough to see some lines through it. I’ve found I can mark it easily with permeant markers, pens, and pencils. As you can see from my RinsAway soaking experiment, the product never completely dissolves. After it has been soaked, it feels like a misty weight fabric. Nice and soft with none of the paper properties left behind.
The Real RinsAway Power
Here’s what I really love about this stabilizer and why I keep a metric ton on hand at all times – it is an excellent product to turn applique edges for machine stitching. This product soaks up washable glue and when it does it gets very stiff. The win? It keeps the applique pieces and their edges super flat which means they don’t shift, fold, or stretch while sewing. After the applique is complete, a nice wash removes both the glue and the paper like features of the stabilizer. You’d never know it was there and your applique looks pretty spiffy.
Check out this jack-o-lantern I just made using this stabilizer and a scary amount of Elmer’s glue. All of his edges are turned, the satin stitch was pretty easy to add and it lays as flat as any hand turning I’ve done in the past. Heck, maybe it is flatter!
RinsAway and the Embroidery Machine
I tried the RinsAway with an embroidery project and I was satisfied with the stabilizer’s ability to keep a nice flat surface with medium density embroidery project. It seems like an excellent product to use to stabilize wearables and keep the skin side of the garment nice and soft after the stabilizer is washed away. I can see this being preferable to a cut or tear away that will leave edges or crusty sections like some cheap embroidered sweatshirts I own. I don’t know that it is the right solution for all thread densities, though I’d like try more in the future or hear about your experience!
Other RinsAway Tidbits
- I understand RinsAway is the lowest end of this type of stabilizer. IMHO, I have no desire or desperate need to upgrade. It does the job, it is affordable, and I haven’t had any issues with it or thought I wish it did or didn’t blah. As long as I can get it, I’ll probably stick with it regardless of higher end sales pitches.
- It isn’t so readily available in my local stores. I’ve found that it is fairly accessible online. I watch for sales and other discounts at Joann.com or Amazon.com and buy it in bulk when it is a good price. I have yet to see it in a store or at a quilt show. I would buy it by the bolt, but have only found it in pre-packaged cuts.
- Because it does leave behind the fibers when washed away, it also leaves behind markings. When I use it, I typically mark my lines and cut just inside those lines so that the markings are cut away. That way the fibers that remain inside of the project forevermore don’t have marks that shine though the fabric. If I need to number my pieces, I use removable yard sale stickers or numbered pins.
There’s more! Want to see other posts about different kinds of stabilizers? Check out the Stabilizer 101 index page!
So Sound off! Do you use type of stabilizer? Do you have thoughts on the brand value?