Tools of the Trade

I’m often asked about the best type of stabilisers and interfacing to use for embroidery and appliqué so I thought I’d share some of my most commonly used products with you. There are so many suppliers locally and online that offer a brilliant range of stabilisers. I use Barnyarns for all of my stabilisers, they have a great selection and do bulk buy discounts for larger rolls.

Good to Know… As an artist, I don’t always need to know what type of product I’m using but I recommend that you make a note or keep a swatch so that I can get the same type again for a different piece of work.

Aquasol or Solufleece

There are a few different names and products that fall under this category of wash away fabric, I use them for my digitally embroidered projects. I prefer the type that feels more like a fabric than a sheet of plastic. I find this feels nicer and is easier to work with, I use two or three layers depending on how dense the embroidery will be.

Tip…This is supposed to be cold water soluble but I’ve found that it washes away much quicker with slightly warmer water, I use my mixer tap in the central position. To keep your embroidery flat when you wash away the fabric you can tack it to a polystyrene printing tile, this works well for very lacey designs.

Stitch n Tear

This is the backing that lots of people will be familiar with, if you have an embroidered top or hat you will see this backing on the inside of the fabric. I use this type of interfacing for my embroideries on wool fabric and just tear it away when the design is finished.

Tip…I like to trim away my excess threads before tearing away the backing, this makes it easier to tear away as there a fewer loose threads getting in the way.


I use Bondaweb to stabilise fabrics and for appliqué in my own work and classes like visible mending. There are similar products on the market like Heat n Bond Lite that work really well too. This heat activated glue is great for sticking fabrics like cotton to build up an appliquéd picture or making a patch to cover a hole in jeans. I’ve also used it to stick two pieces of thinner fabric together when I’ve run out of iron on interfacing.

Tip…If the glue from Bondaweb gets on your iron, use a razor scraper to carefully clean the sole plate of the iron.

***Please note that this is just my personal observation on the products I use regularly, everyone has their favourites and I recommend trying lots of different types to find the best one for you. ***