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Conversational Threads

Sulky Heat Away

JanF | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Why oh why did I buy and use this stuff?
I though that this would be great for some free embroidery – I spent an afternoon doing fabric flowers by appliqueing on the shape in a fabric and then free embroidery over the shape/edges in particular as I want lots of flower shapes to cover a neck edge on a dress.
Guess how long it took me to try to “Heat Away” the excess…..b…b…doubleb..forever!!
I will never use this stuff again.
I will go back to dissolving fabric ‘cos I have now got loads of tiny, scratchy bits of a very itchy backing
THAT DOES NOT HEAT AWAY! all over my clothes, lounge carpet (cos I gave up yesterday and sat trying to rid the flowers of the excess fabric whilst cheering myself up in front of Pride and Prejudice on DVD)
I would love to say lots more – does anyone use this successfully? – but I feel slightly better now Ive screamed at the screen!

OOH double, double, double…s..t and p…s -(you might guess I’m really not a happy bunny…now I too cannot find the logout button – condemned to be in this loop forever.

Edited 11/22/2008 4:35 am ET by JanF


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    I have never used the stuff.  How high of a heat does it require to heat away?  Perhaps a cotton bag in the dryer tightly closed would start the process and contain the bits better?  Then you could shake the bits out over the garbage bin.  Or even the same bag with the iron would work better?  Just a thought.  Cathy

  2. Josefly | | #2

    I hear you! I think your embroidery and applique sound beautiful, though. I've never used the stuff - only the water-soluble - but I hope you find some easier way to get it out than picking with tweezers. Who has time for that?

  3. MaryinColorado | | #3

    The heat away stabilizers are for fabrics that can withstand a very high heat setting.  They say to put a towel under it but not to get it wet at all.  You might try going to http://www.sulky.com or the website for the brand of stabilizer and read the help instructions.  Hope this helps!  I've been doing machine emb for over a decade and still haven't tried the heat aways because I was afraid of just what happened to you.  I've heard both sides of the coin but after hearing about the mess it made for you, I will skip trying it.  (Unless you find a good resolution, I hope you do!)  Mary

  4. MaryinColorado | | #4

    I googled searched "heat away stabilizers"  and found a Taunton Press Threads mag article called Making Sense of Stabilizers.  I hope you can find the article and that this helps!  Do NOT get it wet! 

  5. jjgg | | #5

    I have used this stuff and love it, you have to heat it up on high heat, it will turn dark brown, almost black and then just fall apart. get a soft brush to brush away the scraps. I use it on top not the bottom. I've done embroidery on silk organza using this as my stabilizer, I was so happy with it I went out and bought 5 yds of the stuff just so I would never run out!Your fabric has to be able to withstand the very high heat it takes to dissolve the stuff

    Edited 11/23/2008 11:25 pm ET by jjgg

    1. JanF | | #6

      I see what you mean folks - I had the iron on Hot for ages - I tried the press on high for ages too - but no joy at all!!
      Seriously - 3hrs. of trying to melt the stuff!!
      Perhaps it was because I was on top of a fabric not just stitching into the sulky itself?
      The little pieces of the sulky stuck under my zigzag stitching at the edges of my flower shapes - I'm not kidding it was an horrendous task to pull it out and i think there is at least 25 - 30 flower appliquesand of courseits always when the deadline is looming that these things happen to me!
      Or not just to me?

      1. MaryinColorado | | #7

        Oh honey, you are not alone here!  I imagine we Gatherings participants could have our own tv show, "greatest sewing bloopers"!  I think those of us that have the most experience probably make the most boo boos! 

        Hemming a pair of curtains took me all day today!  First, they must have been on sale because they were definitely irregulars.  The hems needed to be raised about 3 1/2 inches in the center and 2 1/4 on the sides of each panel.  (No, my rod isn't crooked, lol) 

         I was in a hurry and tried to serge a simple 3 thread overlock stitch and trim the excess fabric at the same time.  My threads tangled, scrunched the fabric, made a mess.  I changed the needle, cleaned the serger, checked all my settings.  The third time was a charm: The cutting blade wasn't engaged because the last time I switched from Coverstitch to regular serging I got distracted because of the puppy kept biting my toes. 

         Finally get that figured out and corrected.  Next, hm the hem is gathered!  The thread had slipped out of the first tension disk of the upper looper.  I had to tear that out and restitch. 

        Now taking a break before I press and stitch the final hem, please wish me luck! 

        1. JanF | | #8

          Oh Mary - you made me chuckle, and appreciate the fact that albeit that a lot of us are experienced sewers, it is somehow quite comforting to know that others of the same ilk, can still make the same b...s up when pushed!
          I still have faith.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #9

            Sometimes I drive myself crazy overthinking a simple project and falling into the perfectionist trap. Other times I'm Speedy Gonzales racing through piles of UFO's without a care.  They seem to turn out just fine.  Today I'm hoping to enjoy some relaxing fun sewing on a crazy quilt.  I have a big square of Giardelli chocolate to reward myself with later, he he...."seams" like the perfect plan anyway.....Mary

            Edited 11/24/2008 12:31 pm by MaryinColorado

          2. JanF | | #10

            Chocolate does it for me every time - in fact in my youth I have been known to eat cooking chocolate as a last resort - however I HAVE become a little more picky now!
            Enjoy urself!

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