Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizers

Brand Ambassador Rebecca Ringquist of Dropcloth Samplers shares one of an image transfer tip where she uses on of her favorite tools.

People often ask me what my favorite tool is, and I often respond that it’s Sulky Solvy, which is water soluble stabilizer. This stuff was originally invented (under a different brand name) to be used in hospitals as laundry bags. The bags were filled with soiled linens and thrown directly into the washing machine, in which the bag dissolved and the linens were cleaned.

Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizer Materials

Now, we are lucky to be able to purchase this substrate in rolls or small sheets for use in transferring images of any kind to fabric projects. I use it all the time in my artwork to add images from my sketchbooks to my stitched works.

Even though many machines come with pre-programmed embroidery patterns and stitch sequences, nothing can replace your own imagery and designs.

Of course, anything at all can be transferred, including images from your favorite books, including coloring books, which are chock full of simple line drawings.  For this demo, I used a vintage coloring book image of a duck.

You might also choose to use your own drawings or doodles, or children’s drawings, which are a never ending source of inspiration. I hope you like this easy technique as much as I do.

Step one

Find an image that you like, and tape a small piece of Sulky Solvy over the top of it with blue painter’s tape.

Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizer - step one - tape down solvy

Step two

Trace the image using a micron pen or a permanent marker (such as a sharpie)

Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizer - Step 2 - Trace down the duck

Step three

Remove the Sulky Solvy, and using the same tape, secure your solvy to a piece of fabric.

Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizer - step 4 - position your fabric including image on your sewing machine

If your fabric is thin, you may wish to also add interfacing or stabilizer to the back.

Step four

Using the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR) on your BERNINA with the feed dogs lowered, stitch over the traced lines.

Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizer - stitch out your traced image

Step 5

When all your lines are covered, remove your fabric from your machine and soak your fabric in water for at least an hour. I usually do this part over night so I’m not tempted to remove it too soon.

Squeeze your fabric dry by rolling it up in a terry cloth towel, and lay flat to dry.

Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizer - Finished Stitched Image

You can also find Rebecca on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest

2 thoughts on “Image Transfer Tip Using Water Soluble Stabilizers

  1. Does the ink remain after the stabilizer is washed away? I want to stitch in white on a colored background and don’t want the ink to discolor the thread.

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