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Inspira water-soluble stabilizers for superb machine embroidery results

by Elaine Theriault

This week, I’m using the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90 to experiment with stabilizers, embroidery designs, the mySewnet apps for your smart device, and a whole lot of other things. It’s a super fun week, and you’re sure to learn something.

Hopefully, you had a chance to check out the post from yesterday about the Inspira Tear-A-Way stabilizers. Today, it’s all about Inspira water-soluble stabilizers, so let’s get started.

A red and white sewing machine with an embroidery unit attached and a red interactive touch screen, Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

Do you need information on the Inspira water-soluble stabilizers? Be sure to check out the Stabilizer Guide in the JoyOS Advisor. You can find it right on the Welcome Screen (Knowledge Center) when you turn on the Designer Ruby 90, or you’ll find it in the app on your smart device.

Yesterday when I chose an embroidery design, I went into the Signature Designs included in the Designer Ruby 90. Today, I’m looking for a specific type of embroidery design. While I could browse the menus, there’s a much faster way to find a design for a particular embroidery technique.

On the Welcome Screen, under JoyOS advisor, select Embroidery.

A touch screen for a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The JoyOS Advisor on the Welcome Screen

A list of different embroidery techniques appears on the screen. I choose Free Standing Embroidery, and within the free-standing embroidery section, I find three techniques. WOW – that’s super impressive to see all that information built into the Designer Ruby 90, and I have it on my smartphone as well.

I select Free Standing Designs – Thread Only. This time, I get a menu filled with free-standing embroidery designs made only with thread. These are designs that are included in the Designer Ruby 90! How cool is that? And wasn’t that a whole lot easier than searching in a book or through the menus?

A menu of embroidery designs on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The menu of free-standing embroidery designs – thread only

Notice that a tutorial appears on the bottom of the screen? I love having options! I can move the tutorial to the sides, top and bottom, or have it full screen!

I selected a small motif for my experiment today.

A small embroidery design on the Embroidery Edit screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

A small embroidery design on the Embroidery Edit screen

I moved the tutorial to the top of the screen to access the edit tools along the bottom. The Designer Ruby 90 selected the smallest available hoop size for the motif – the Small Square Hoop (80mm x 80mm). The stitch count is 3,246, so the design is pretty small. Did you know that you can enter all the hoop sizes you own into the Designer Ruby 90? That way, the embroidery machine chooses the most appropriate hoop size based on what you own. This feature is in the Default Embroidery Settings in the Settings menu.

An embroidery design and a tutorial on the screen of a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The tutorial moved to the top of the screen to access the edit tools

Now it’s time to move to Embroidery Stitch Out. You can see on the screen that the time to complete the motif is 4 minutes. Perfect for experimenting.

An embroidery motif on the Embroidery Stitch Out screen on a computerized embroidery machine; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90

The embroidery motif in Embroidery Stitch Out mode

Let’s chat about the Inspira water-soluble stabilizers. There are two kinds – one that looks like a thin film of plastic, and the other reminds me of fabric. You’ll find more details about each type in the Stabilizer Guide. Remember, there’s more than one type of water-soluble stabilizer, so be sure to get the correct one for the job.

A transparent stabilizer and a non-woven stabilizer

Two different types of water-soluble stabilizer

I’m doing a small design, so maybe I can use that filmy-looking one? Let’s see what happens. Now I know what’ll happen, but as I said yesterday, an excellent visual is sometimes what we need to remember which product to choose for each job.

A transparent film stabilizer in the embroidery hoop; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Square Hoop (80mm x 80mm)

The Inspira Water Works Soluble Film stabilizer in the hoop

This stabilizer looks so unstable! As I start to stitch, I see the film is starting to pucker. Now the stabilizer will get washed away, so is that a big deal? Oh yes. Just wait for it!

A transparent stabilizer puckering in a machine embroidery hoop with an embroidery design partially stitched; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

The Inspira Water Works Soluble Film stabilizer is puckering

Oh – the stabilizer in the center of the motif has completely disappeared with the stitching. Remember, there are only 3,256 stitches in this design, so there are not many, but enough to cut through the water-soluble stabilizer.

What does that mean? There’s nothing to support the stitches around the center of this design. All those puckers also mean that the design will get distorted, and the final decorative stitches will not end up where they are supposed to be. Let’s say that it’ll be a mess. As soon as the center was gone, I stopped the Designer Ruby 90. No sense in making a mess when we know the incorrect stabilizer is in the hoop. As I mentioned, I knew this would happen, but I’ve never taken the time to experiment to see how quickly the stabilizer disappears. It didn’t take long!

A partially stitched embroidery design in black thread using a water-soluble stabilizer; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

The filmy water-soluble stabilizer is completely gone from the center

Here’s a view of the embroidery design in the hoop. See how it all pulled and puckered. Not only do we not have a stabilizer to support the remaining stitches, but the decorative stitches used to finish off the design will likely not sit in the appropriate place due to all the pulling and shifting of the base stitches. In other words, it’s great to experiment, but we must learn – the filmy water-soluble stabilizers are not suitable for stand-alone designs.

An embroidery motif stitched with black thread in an embroidery hoop with puckering water-soluble stabilizer; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Square Hoop (80mm x 80mm), Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

The puckers result from using the incorrect stabilizer

This time, I’m using the Inspira Aqua Magic water-soluble stabilizer, which resembles a non-woven fabric.

A white non-woven water-soluble stabilizer in an embroidery hoop; Small Square Hoop (80mm x 80mm), Inspira Aqua Magic

Inspira Aqua Magic stabilizer is hooped in the 80mm x 80mm embroidery hoop

I’m using the same embroidery design. We can already see from the beginning that this water-soluble stabilizer provides enough support to prevent distortion, and it won’t get cut away.

An embroidery motif stitched in black thread on a white stabilizer in a machine embroidery hoop; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Square Hoop (80mm x 80mm), Inspira Aqua Magic

Stitching the stand-alone embroidery motif on water-soluble stabilizer

And here’s the final embroidery design. The stabilizer is still intact around all edges of the design to give it stability. There was no distortion or pulling of the stabilizer that could distort the placement of the final stitches. It looks great.

A stand-alone embroidery design in a black thread in a machine embroidery hoop with a water-soluble stabilizer; Small Square Hoop (80mm x 80mm), Inspira Aqua Magic

The completed stand-alone embroidery motif using a water-soluble stabilizer

The last step is to cut the excess stabilizer away and rinse the bits that remain in the motif.

An embroidery design stitched in black thread cut out from the excess water-soluable stabilizer; Inspira Aqua Magic

The finished free standing embroidery design removed from the excess water-soluble stabilizer

What to do with the excess water-soluble stabilizer? I keep it, and it can be dissolved in water to provide a fabric stiffener for your free-standing lace projects or other craft items.

So, where should we use that transparent water soluable stabilizer? It’s a topper, which means it sits on top of our fabric to prevent the embroidery stitches from disappearing into a napped fabric. There are two toppers; one is a bit thicker than the other, so be sure that you use the correct one depending on the nap of your fabric. The Stabilizer Guide provides more details.

Here’s an example to show you what I mean. I had some fleece squares, and I thought I’d experiment with putting my initials on them. I found some lovely decorative letters in the mySewnet library, and I saved the two letters in the mySewnet cloud. I opened the two files in the mySewnet embroidery software and created a file which I then sent via the mySewnet cloud to the Designer Ruby 90. I love it! No cables, no USB.

I floated the fleece in the Small Metal Hoop (100mm x 100mm) because all I had was a 6″ square of fleece. I used an Inspira Cut-A-Way stabilizer as the base. More on that type of stabilizer tomorrow.

A piece of red fleece in a small metal hoop; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Metal Hoop (100m x 100m), Inspira Magnets for Metal Hoop

The embroidery stitches are sinking into the nap of the fleece

Even though we don’t think of fleece as having a deep pile, it does, especially when it comes to embroidery, so choose a large design to show on the fleece.

Here’s the finished design. Although it’s passable, I can see the red fleece popping through the center of the letters. Hmmm – I think I can do better than that.

The letters E and T in black thread on a piece of red fleece

The red fleece is visible through the black stitches

I used the same small metal hoop and stabilizer. But this time, I added the Inspira Water Works Soluble Film stabilizer to the top of the fleece. Even as the design starts to stitch, I can see the embroidery design more readily as the film prevents the stitches from sinking into the nap.

A layer of water-soluble stabilizer over red fleece with black stitching; Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, Small Metal Hoop (100m x 100m), Inspira Magnets for Metal Hoop, Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

The water soluable topper prevents the embroidery stitches from sinking into the nap

Here’s the completed design. Remember No more than eight magnets on any of the metal hoops. I sure love those metal hoops for small pieces of fabric or anything that won’t easily fit in a traditional two-part hoop. The Small Metal Hoop (100mm by 100mm) is the smallest of three metal hoops available.

The letters E and T stitched in black thread on red fleece in a metal embroidery hoop with a layer of Inspira Water Works Soluble Film on top; Small Metal Hoop (100m x 100m), Inspira Magnets for Metal Hoop

The completed design using Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

Notice how the water-soluble film didn’t detach from the design like it did when it was the only stabilizer I used. It’s easy to tear the excess away.

The letter T in black thread on red fleece with a transparent layer of film; Inspira Water Works Soluble Film

Removing the excess water soluable stabilizer

Even with the little bits of water-soluble stabilizer trapped in the threads, the finished design looks way better than the one done without the topper! All that’s left to do is to rinse those bits away. I don’t know about you, but I want to grab all my fleece jackets and embellish them with this! That is so cool!!

The letters E and T embroidered in black thread on red fleece.

Successful embroidery on fleece!

And there you have our stabilizer experiment for today. Thanks to the Husqvarna Viking Designer Ruby 90, it was easy to find designs using the JoyOS Advisor or transfer the files from the mySewnet library to the mySewnet embroidery software to the Designer Ruby 90.

It’s all seamless and so easy! Remember, you need a Wi-Fi-enabled embroidery machine and a mySewnet account!

And don’t forget how important it is to choose the right stabilizer for the job and your fabric!

Tomorrow, we’ll look at another category of stabilizers, so be sure to come back for that.

Have a super day!!

Ciao!!!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: How to choose the right stabilizer for your machine embroidery project

Go to part 3: In machine embroidery: knit fabric stays put with the right stabilizers

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