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A comprehensive look at the wide and varied world of Sulky stabilizers


The world of stabilizers is vast and varied. There are cut-away, wash-away, heat-away and tear-away. Which one do you choose and for which job. Well, it all depends on what you’re creating and how you want to do it. Read on to learn more about the wide and varied world of Sulky stabilizers.

The sample pack of Sulky stabilizers has 18 different stabilizers in it – wow, who knew there were so many. Let’s see what they can be used for.

All the stabilizers have a different texture – some are soft and supple while others are stiff. Some are plastic and others paper like. Each one has a specific purpose which can be found on the individual packages.

Variety of Sulky stabilizers
Variety of Sulky stabilizers


Cut-away stabilizers

The cut-away stabilizers appear to be used primarily for machine embroidery.

These stabilizers come in a light, medium and heavy weight. The weight to use depends on the fabric and stitching being done. Once the stitching is done the excess stabilizer is cut-away and the stabilizer under the stitching remains in the garment or project.

Some are fused in place while others are pinned in place.

There is even one for use on waterproof and water-repellant fabrics and keeps the integrity of the fabric in check.

For easy identification the package for the Sulky Cut-Away Stabilizers is purple. The cut-away line includes these products: Soft’n Sheer, Soft’n Sheer Extra, Cut-Away Plus, Fuse’n Stitch, Tender Touch and Stitch’n Seal.

Cut-away stabilizer samples
Cut-away stabilizer samples


Tear-away stabilizers

Once again these stabilizers are designed for the embroiderer in mind but they do have a place in the quilting world. These stabilizers are removed once the stitching is complete by tearing away the excess stabilizer and the stabilizer between open areas of stitching. There is no distortion of stitches when the tearing takes place.

These tear-away stabilizers are perfect for foundation piecing or building a layered landscape on.

The tear-away stabilizers come in a variety of mediums from iron-on to self adhesive to pin or hoop in place.

For easy identification the package for the Sulky Tear-Away Stabilizers is green. The tear-away line includes these products: Totally Stable, Tear-Easy, Sticky+ and Stiffy.

Tear-away stabilizers are black or white and come in a blue package
Variety of tear-away stabilizers


Wash-away stabilizers

These stabilizers are just as they say – wash-away. Some require hot water, some any temperature of water and others a spritz or dab with a Q-tip will dissolve the stabilizer away.

Perfect for embroidery but also great for thread play or thread lace construction. I am going to try my hand at tomorrow making something from thread. Some of the tear-away products are also used for hand stitching such as embroidery, needle punch and cross stitch.

Available in 3 different weights – light, medium and heavy they are all temporary and not left in a project.

For easy identification the package for the Sulky Wash-Away Stabilizers is blue. The wash-away line includes these products: Solvy, Super dolby, Ultra Solvy, Paper Solvy, Fabri-Solvy, Sticky Fabri-Solvy and Stick’n Stitch.

Variety of wash-away stabilizers
Variety of wash-away stabilizers


Heat-away stabilizers

This stabilizer works on all fabrics that can withstand temperatures of 260° – 300° – cotton setting on the iron. Perfect for embroidered lace work, 3-D applique and more.

Once the iron is applied to it the stabilizer melts away and forms little balls that can be brushed away.

For easy identification the package for the Sulky Heat-Away Stabilizers is red. The heat-away includes these products: Heat-Away Clear Film.

Heat-away in the red package
Heat-away in the red package


Wow, I have certainly discovered a lot about stabilizers since picking up this sample pack and have learned that many of them are used for machine embroidery. I do believe that I can find a use for many of them in my quilting this week. The wide and varied world of Sulky stabilizers certainly is wide and varied.

Join me tomorrow, there’s more to explore…


This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: 6 steps to making thread lace using Sulky stabilizers and metallic threads

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!

1 Comment

  1. Jack Riddle


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