Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric


pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

 

Kraft-Tex™ Paper

All artists relish finding new methods in expressing individual creativity. Machine embroidery is not exempt from craving new inspirational materials. Welcome, Kraft-Tex™, an exciting product certain to stimulate the imagination.

kraft-tex paper fabric

What it is

Kraft-Tex is a paper product that performs like fabric on many levels.  Seriously! At least take the time to read about it, because it is amazing!

Available in several colors, Kraft-Tex can be purchased by the roll, bolt, or in sample packages of multiple colors.  It seems to be more easily available on the Internet (such as on C&T Publishing), but do check local craft or fabric stores.

Directly out of the package, Kraft-Tex looks and feels like a light-weight, sturdy cardboard. In this original state, Kraft-Tex offers many creative outlets such as block printing, drawing, painting, dying, etc..

Taking Care of Kraft-Tex

Since Kraft-Tex is a natural, plant-based product, much like cotton and linen fibers in cloth, it is WASHABLE!  I literally threw several large pieces into a washing machine, electing to use cold water. I then threw it into the dryer, setting it to the next to the highest heat. Pre-washing and drying softens the feel of the paper. Plus, the process gives Kraft-Tex a slightly crinkled texture, resembling leather.

Over time, Kraft-Tex continues to soften, stretch, and mellow with use – which are also leather-like properties.

This product cuts easily, but since it is paper, it will dull needles and scissor edges. So, it is best to designate a rotary cutter blade and needle specifically for working with Kraft-Tex.

Although Kraft-Tex does accept machine stitching, it needs to be treated as a non-forgiving surface.  Just like any paper or leather surface, every hole made by a needle or pin will remain…forever!  If necessary to secure straight edges while stitching, hold joining sections with clips rather than pins – or at least make sure that the pin holes are within the seam allowance.

Putting it to the Test

Since Kraft-Tex is advertised to “function like fabric”, I decided to put it to the test by stitching a seam in 100% polyester utility thread with a 90/14 Topstitch Needle, lengthening stitching to 8 stitches per inch. Contrasting thread was used for samples for ease in evaluating tension.

The sewing machine handled the material beautifully. Even seen from the wrong side, the seam looked perfect.

One question was: Would the seam hold under duress or would the perforated paper tear along the seam? Stress was applied to the stitched seam by pulling the paper apart and, I must admit, not too gently!  I really pulled at the seam!

Although the holes stretched (not surprising if you knew how hard I pulled) and became a bit more apparent when viewed up close, the stitched seam remained strong, secure, and held no matter how hard I tugged!

So, if nothing else, this material has already proven to be potentially valuable for all kinds of projects – from belts, wallets, coin purses, book covers, luggage tags, tote bags, coupon organizers, bookmarks, and even a key fob!  It would also be a valuable resource for Halloween costumes or theater attire, where a “leather” garment/accessory was required, but now could be made at a much lower price point.

What about machine embroidery?

Because I love to machine embroider, the big question for me is… Is this a suitable canvas for machine embroidery?

Considering most modern machines are capable of “machine embroidery” to some extent by employing the often overlooked decorative stitches built into sewing machines, I thought that was a great place to start.

The silky look of Sulky® 40 wt. Rayon provided a striking contrast to the faux leather, while the heavier Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Blendables® – #733-4108 complemented the rugged texture of a Kraft-Tex canvas.


Decorative stitches with space between entry points, or those which re-used the same hole, seemed to work best. Satin-filled stitches shouldn’t be automatically ruled out. However, remember that the closer the needle penetrations are to each other, the weaker the paper foundation will become.

Choosing the proper machine embroidery design for non-forgiving foundations is very important. Not only must every stitch matter by being part of the actual design, needle punctures cannot be too close together or the paper will tear.

 

Red-work, stippling, and line designs may prove to be a good choice. However, avoid line designs that include closely placed stitches.


Look at designs specifically digitized for paper or choose a line design that reuses the same holes to boldly define its shape.

You can find the entire Jumbo Fabulous Fern collection here.

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer is the natural choice for Kraft-Tex embroidery since paper cannot be secured directly in the hoop.

Secure Sticky+ in the frame with the release sheet (shiny, gridded paper side) facing up.  Gently score the paper with a pin.  Peel back the protective paper.

Press Kraft-Tex firmly to the exposed sticky surface.

Never having embroidered on this material, it was important to do a test sample. Fern design #26311 was a perfect choice.  The machine was threaded, both top and bobbin, with Sulky 40 wt. Rayon.  The machine was put to its slowest speed and a 100/16 Topstitch needle was used.


Knowing that this was just a test, after a short segment of stitching, the large 100/16 Topstitch Needle was changed out to a smaller gauge (90/14 Topstitch) to reduce the size of the penetration holes.  The speed of the machine was then increased to its next level.  The final experiment switched the rayon thread to Sulky 30 wt. Cotton.

Evaluate your test sample, noting what worked and, if necessary, what didn’t. Label and save test stitching-samples, referring to them for future project input.

The Results

Results: Both Sulky thread types stitched equally well, but each offered a different appeal for the design. The smaller needle gauge (90/14 Topstitch) was preferred.

The testing sample already inspired my first Kraft-Tex project. It will be a tote bag featuring a Poppy design from the Sulky Embroidery Club, stitched in Sulky 30 wt. Cotton, #733-1119. Three fabric prints will be used in a patch-work style bag, accented with additional Kraft-Tex panels. I can’t wait to share this project with you!




Get Scrappin’ with Free Webinar: Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers

free webinar, scrap quilting, stabilizers

Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers 

For all you scrap lovers! Have piles of scraps around your sewing room, and need a little inspiration for what to DO with all those wonderful scrap pieces? Then our newest, FREE Webinar: Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers is perfect for you! Our Special Guest, Judy Gauthier is the author of “Quilts for Scrap Lovers” and “Rainbow Quilts for Scrap Lovers”.

Judy will amaze you with her beautiful scrap fabric quilts, as she demonstrates how easy (and fun!) it is to delve into your scrap bins so you, too, can make gorgeous quilts from all those leftover pieces. Not only that, but you will learn template techniques, stabilizer techniques, and applique tips to help make scrap quilting easier, AND save you money!

free webinar, scrap quilting, stabilizers

Get the details…

Title: Scrap Quilting Made Better with Stabilizers

Special Guest: Judy Gauthier

Date: August 8, 2017

Time: 9 pm EDT

Duration: One hour

Cost: FREE!

Register Here

ADDED BONUS: If you watch the webinar on August 8th, you’ll receive a special coupon that’s good for 24 hours! You won’t want to miss it!

free webinar, scrap quilting, stabilizers

What you will learn:

  • How to organize and “bust” your scrap fabric stash for quilting
  • How to use the Fast 2 Cut Simple Square Templates to cut odd-shaped scraps
  • Judy’s secret way of using Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer to improve your quilting (and save you money!)
  • Applique tips and how Judy uses stabilizers on specialty fabrics that cannot be ironed

PLUS: You will receive a FREE scrap fabric quilting pattern!

 

free webinar, scrap quilting, stabilizers

 

Can’t make it? No worries! After the initial broadcast, this webinar will be available as a Start Anytime course!

Register now to save your spot!




Not Your Typical Table Topper Courses 50% off Month of July

Who doesn’t love table toppers? They can match your décor, make a statement, or celebrate a holiday, birthday, anniversary, and more!  Not to mention, they’re SO much fun to make!  And guess what?  This month only, you can get 50% off all of our “Not Your Typical Table Topper” Courses with coupon code: SULKY50

The inspiration for these projects came from my own desire to have some new items to decorate my home that were different and a little more modern. I started by making this set of 3-dimensional pieces. These guys are perfect for holding coffee filters, fabric, rotary cutters and the big one is perfect for a wine bottle! The best part is once you take the on-line class, you will be able to make these so quickly, they will be your new go-to gift for friends and family.

Next, came the Matchsticked placemat. I love matchstick quilting and what better way to practice and get really good at it than to make a beautiful set a place mats. To take this project over the top, I added a cool border, some big-stitch hand quilting, and a binding technique that you will love learning how to do. 

Since I have a round table in my breakfast area at my house, I wanted to be able to put a round table topper on it. So, I set my mind to figuring out the easiest way to put together a round table topper without doing any math at all (I hate math!), and yet have the project stay flat. You can learn this cool method without all the trial and error that I went through! The best part is, you can do a round table topper as big or as small as you want with this method. Yay for flexibility! 

The last project, the Minimalist Table Runner, may seem to be the simplest, but it is my favorite. Partly because the sample is made in my two favorite colors, but mostly because it teaches how to create your very own unique modern design that perfectly fits your style and personality. NO longer do you have to follow a pattern or be limited to another designer’s imagination. It’s your project and you make all the decisions. I show you how with step-by-step instructions!  (And guess what?!  The background fabric is denim!)

Sale price for the entire Course Collection, which includes tutorials on how to make ALL FOUR table toppers, is only $49.50!  And each Individual Course (you pick which table topper you want to make!) is only $17.50!  (You save $20.50 when you take the Course Collection).

Learn All Of This And More!

  • Four fabulous, trendy and unusual Table Toppers that you will thoroughly enjoy making. They will inspire you to design your own versions that have your personality and creativity written all over them.
  • Kelly Nagel, Creator of Opportunities at Sulky of America, guides you step-by-step through these projects, making them easy-peasy. Go beyond the typical table runner to improv, circular, and even 3-dimensional pieces.
  • These modern projects teach you valuable sewing techniques, inspiring you to “kick it up a notch” if you want.
  • This class is designed for both beginning sewists and more advanced sewists looking for professional finishing tips.
  • The projects are all simple, with optional more challenging techniques.
  • ·Whatever end of the sewing spectrum you’re on, you are going to LOVE these home decor projects. You’ll be making these for your friends and family, too. And best of all…none of these have to fit beyond the size of the table!

Patti Lee, VP of Sulky, says: “I don’t know about you, but I’ve reached the stage in my life, where I just like making smaller projects now. Maybe it’s because I have too many UFO’s to finish even if I live to be a hundred! So, for me, making table toppers is just the ticket! They’re fun and ‘finishable’, probably even in time for the special event! So, I hope you’ll find these as much fun as I have.”

Even More “Stuff” You Will Learn:

  • You will learn exactly how to set up your machine (and you can use any well-maintained machine, you don’t need a fancy, expensive machine). Older machines with just a few decorative stitches will be fine, as well as top-of-the-line brand new machines, which you’ll see in the videos.
  • You will learn all about different weights and types of threads to use for quilting or free-motion embellishment or decorative stitching.
  • Quick lesson on free-motion machine set-up and quilting.
  • Proper needles, SO important to success.
  • And lots of ideas on how to take these techniques even further.
  • You can sign in and read the materials, watch the videos, DOWNLOAD THE MATERIALS AND VIDEOS TO KEEP FOREVER, and work at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want to for one full year!
  • We’ll be here every step of the way to help you with any questions or problems during that year. (And in reality, we at Sulky will always be here to help in the future, too.)
  • You can submit photos of your projects for our input and suggestions, too.
  • Share ideas, questions and comments with fellow students within the course, if you want.
  • There are wonderful full-color, step-by-step instructions for you to print and keep for each project.
  • Includes a bonus video by Ellen Osten, Director of Education for Sulky, for Magical, No-Show, Perfect Binding every time!

Sign up today!




Christmas in July Sale 2017 + Projects and Inspiration

Christmas in July 2017

Projects and Inspiration

 

To kick off Christmas in July 2017 we put together some great projects and ideas to get those creative juices flowing! We’ve got some amazing deals on the Sulky website this year that we can not wait to share with you! 40% off Webinar Kits, NEW bundles and kits over 20% off, Deck the Walls Christmas Panel kit – only $14.99, 15% off Embroider Buddies, 25% off all Christmas Thread, and so much more!

A few new and exciting things we’ve added to the site for Christmas in July are all new Amy Barickman Crossroads Thread and Fabric Bundles!  The inspiration for Crossroads came from Amy’s desire to design a line of denims that would be versatile for fashion and home. A new line of softened denim for today’s urban lifestyle by Amy Barickman.

 

 

Amy Barickman Crossroads Winter Thread and Fabric Bundle

For some unique, fun projects to make with Crossroads Thread and Fabric visit Indygo Junction. Here a few super creative and neat gift ideas:

Pieced Pet Pillows Pattern

We also added two new embroidery kits – one for hand embroiderers and one for machine embroiderers! Hand Embroidery Kit is normally $37.22 but for Christmas in July it is only $29.99! Beginners Machine Embroidery Kit is 25% off – normally $260.83, but is now only $199.99!

 

Hand Embroidery Kit – Christmas edition

Beginners Machine Embroidery Kit

And guess what? All of our Christmas Embroidery Designs on the Sulky Embroidery Club Website are 50% off for Christmas in July!

 

Plus….check out our Hand Embroidery Pinterest board for even more embroidery inspiration!

and our Christmas Pinterest board, too!

 

New Deck the Walls Christmas Panel – purchase the kit (or the panel itself) for two great deals:

Christmas in July sale

Deck the Walls Christmas Panel Kit comes with the panel and three spools of Metallic Holoshimmer Thread – only $14.99

Deck the Walls Christmas Fabric Panel – was $9.99, now only $4.99

Here’s a PDF of helpful hints, stitching guide, and tips for stitching on panels with Metallic Threads.

Here are a few more festive projects…

This pincushion would be the perfect gift for someone who loves to sew!

By: Swoodson Says

Embroidered Reverse Applique Snowflake Pincushion – by Swoodson Says

 

These adorable Elves!

By: Wild Olive

Elf Dance Puppets – by: Wild Olive

And this Christmas Ornament: Snowflake Mitten

By: Shiny Happy World

Oh, and as an added bonus, the Zen Machine Embroidery Classes AND Not Your Typical Table Toppers Courses are 50% off as part of our Christmas in July Sale! These are great courses where you will learn a ton from our Sulky Educators, and have so much fun along the way!

Christmas in July is all about savings for you and your loved ones to take advantage of for the holiday season. Whether you want a head-start on a Christmas gift for a loved one, know someone who would LOVE some new sewing supplies, or are looking to spruce up your home in time for Christmas, we know you’ll love these spectacular products – and savings!

Christmas in July Sale ends 7/31 at Midnight EDT. 

 




Why You’ll Love This Cotton+Steel Webinar

Cotton + Steel Webinar

Sunshine Pillow


cotton + steel webinar: why you'll love it

Want to add a little extra cheer to your home or office? Maybe you’re looking for a neat gift for a baby shower, wedding, or birthday! Whatever the occasion, the Sunshine Pillow project by Cotton+Steel is your winner. Here’s why…

  1. You get to watch how it’s made in a FREE webinar!

  2. You get to hang out with Devon Iott, Captain of Creative Communications at Cotton+Steel! (And we all know how cool those gals are!)

  3. If this fabric is too bright for you or doesn’t fit the occasion, you can change it out with whatever fabric suits your style! (Like these other fun Cotton+Steel Fabric Collections)

  4. You’ll get to see the new Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky in action

You will learn…

Why You'll Love This Cotton+Steel Webinar: Sunshine Pillow

Register Now!

Once you register, share the registration link with your friends on Facebook with hashtag: #cottonandsteelwebinar to have your name in the hat to win a 6-pack of Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky!! (Make sure you use the hashtag so we see it!)

Can’t make it? You can still sign up and receive everything that’s included in the webinar AND watch the recorded webinar at your convenience anytime in the future.

Added bonus: Following the webinar we have a special discount running on the Sulky website that you have GOT to see!

See you there!Why You'll Love This Cotton+Steel Webinar: Sunshine Pillow




4th of July DIY Using Sulky Blendables in a Serger

pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

DIY: 4th of July Napkins and Place Mats

Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger

 

4th of july napkins and place mats using sulky blendables thread

The 4th of July is all about outdoor gatherings, fireworks, and celebrating our country’s independence! These explosions of color are sure to inspire creativity!  So, this is the perfect time to explore the wide variety of Sulky® Threads and using them in applications other than our regular intentions.

 

Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger

Let’s look at Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread .  These exciting, multicolor threads are a masterful blend of different colors within the same range of tone and intensity, with random, subtle color changes every 2-1/2 to 5 inches, which come in two weights: 12 wt. and 30 wt.  Originally brought into the Sulky Thread family knowing that it was perfect for free-motion and decorative machine stitching, it became apparent that this wonderful thread was also applicable to many machine embroidery designs.

Appreciating that Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread performs well in so many applications, my curiosity got the better of me and I began to wonder how this thread would perform in a Serger.

Fully aware that Sulky only produces quality products, I was not terribly surprised that this thread stitched flawlessly in the Serger. But what was truly amazing was the effect it produced!

My 1st attempt was using a 4-thread overlock stitch with 12 wt. Cotton Blendables Thread (not even the same color) in both upper and lower loopers. And two solid-colored 30 wt. Sulky Cotton Threads, picking up colors in the upper looper blend, for the top needles.

Sulky Metallic Thread in a Serger

With the interest Sulky Blendables created in Serger stitching, I added a Sulky Holoshimmer™ Metallic Thread to one of the top needles (O2). Loving the process, I began to experiment!

Adjusting stitch length on a Serger translates into “how compact” the over-edge stitches are.  On my sample fabric – a loosely woven polyester/linen fabric – I wasn’t thrilled with all the loose threads that appeared along the edge, so, I tried a folded-edge finish.  I then added a Metallic Thread in one of the upper needles and it did bring a bit of sparkle!

So, now I’m dying to see the results of using a metallic thread in the upper looper, which is the decorative over-edge stitch that shows on the top-side as the fabric is fed into the Serger.  One quick word of advice, Holoshimmer Metallic Thread could not be “air-threaded” in my Evolution. I simply threaded a cotton thread through the looper, tied it to the metallic thread and pulled it through. Sulky Holoshimmer #6046 stitched beautifully and provided a lot of sparkle!

Can you begin to see how fun this is??  Can you also agree that it is important to first experiment before attempting a project?  Although I love the effect with the metallic thread in the upper looper, if I was ready to incorporate “glitter at its best”  (which already has me thinking of Christmas), I would try another sample changing out the outside top thread (O1) to a Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread matching the fabric in use.  I’d then check out how Sulky Invisible Thread stitches as the second top thread (O2), plus use Sulky Metallic Thread in both upper and lower loopers and not necessarily the same color.  I’ll go from there!

It is helpful to establish a “sampler cheat-sheet” for your Serger! In a small notebook, staple the stitched sample to a page documenting stitch selection, widths, lengths, thread type and threading location.  This documentation will be a very valuable resource for future projects.

After seeing and loving the effect of using Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread in a Serger, my thoughts turned to practical applications:

The obvious application is to provide a decorative finish to any edge.  Why not edge tucks on a garment?

Why not add an additional row to create a lacy or crotchet effect and edge a fleece blanket?

Edge a strip of bias binding for finishing a garment.

So far, only one stitch has been explored, so I questioned if Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread provide artistic appeal with different Serger stitches, such as a Rolled Hem.  The answer was overwhelmingly, yes!

In stitching a rolled hem sample, it became apparent that this stitch can stand on its own and be used as a decorative “braid”…

which offers many applications, including couching.

Seriously, endless possibilities!!

Here is one quick, easy project to start with, and just in time for the 4th of July!  Make a set of place-mats and napkins using Sulky Cotton Blendables Thread #4105.

 

Napkins

Sizes of napkins vary, but the considered standard is 16”-18” luncheon size, while 20”-22” is for dinner. Therefore, a yard of cotton fabric will yield four 18” napkins.

 

Supplies:

Pre-wash, dry, and press all fabrics prior to using

Steps:

  • Cut cotton fabric into 18” squares on grain
  • Thread the Serger for a 3-Thread Overlock-Narrow Hem. On my Baby Lock Evolution:  stitch length 1, width 3.0.
  • Stitch two opposite sides first

  • Stitch top and bottom leaving long tails at the beginning and ends cutting off any tails on the two already stitched sides.

  • Turn the napkin to the wrong side and weave a blunt needle into the stitches.

I used a dental floss carrier since it is plastic with a blunt end, but more importantly, a very large eye which makes it easy to thread the wide Serged thread through.
  • Pull the thread into the back side of the napkin in each corner, cutting excess thread not under stitches.

There are other techniques for finishing off.  Thread Check is a glue product many people use to “seal” Serger ends.  Others will “Serge off” ends.  Napkins will be repeatedly washed, so make sure whatever method you choose will provide a pleasing look and remain intact.

Another Serger stitch often used for napkins is a rolled edge and it provides almost a ridge edging because the stitches are more compact, not to mention the machine rolled the raw edge to the top of the fabric.

It’s also exciting to experiment with different Cotton Blendables Thread shades such as #4108, another perfect choice for celebrating the 4th!

Two layers of fabric can be Serged together making a heavier napkin. This method will also provide a “finished” backing to a fabric printed on one side, plus present more options with table settings.

Make sure you check out the Internet to find interesting ways of folding napkins.  That’s where I learned to make the pinwheel for my table setting!!

Place Mats

Supplies for 4 place mats:

Steps:

  • Cut Drill cloth into 15 ½” x 20” rectangles
  • Designate center placement for embroidery design with hand basting

  • On the left-hand side, baste a line ½” in from edges marking off “a margin for error”. This will also ensure ample space between the embroidery design and the decorative over-edge stitch.
  • Fold the 15 ½” side in half to determine horizontal center of the embroidery design
  • Measure in 3 ¾” from the left edge to determine the vertical center
  • Securely hoop Sulky Soft ’n Sheer™ Stabilizer.  This stabilizer will need to have the excess cut away, but it is easily done plus any remaining sheer stabilizer in almost invisible.

 

 Fabri-Solvy is another great choice.  Although water-soluble, it behaves like a fabric stabilizer and can be securely hooped directly in the embroidery frame.
  • Lay the hoop on a grid mat, matching the hoop center marking to heavy lines on the grid. Roll back the fabric on center and lay on vertical center, matching hand basting horizontal lines to proper grid line.

  • Download design and transfer it to your machine
  • Attach the hoop, line the machine’s needle placement for design, and center up with fabric center

  • Once satisfied, machine baste a box around the design area to secure the fabric to the stabilizer using an 80/12 Topstitch needle.  This is a function found on most embroidery machines.  If your machine does not have this function, lightly spray the back of the fabric with Sulky KK 2000 and firmly press onto the stabilizer.
  • Change the needle to a 90/14 Topstitch or Metallic needle.  Embroider the design in Sulky Sliver™ Metallic.

  • When completed, remove from the machine and hoop, evaluating design placement. Use the basting box around the design to re-square the fabric if necessary, removing only the barest amount needed.  Trim excess stabilizer and any jump threads.

As you can see (or I should say “not see”), even though most of the stabilizer has been removed, Sulky Soft ’n Sheer remains inside the butterfly outlines.

  • In each corner, measure 4 ½” in towards center, as well as 4 ½” down/up.

  • Use a straight edge to connect each corner mark and cut a diagonal line (red line).
  • Set up the Serger for a 4-Thread over-lock stitch.  On my Baby Lock Evolution:  stitch length 2.25, width 6.5
  • Serge the diagonal cuts first.  Serge the straight sides next, leaving long tails of thread both at the beginning and end, cutting any tails on the diagonal edges.
  • Finish ends as shown in Napkins

Now that you see how easy it is to make place mats and napkins, in addition to how much fun it is to experiment with the wonderful world of Sulky Threads, I’m sure your imagination is brimming with other ideas. Not only for holiday place mats, but many other beautiful items!  Enjoy!




Sulky’s 30th Anniversary: The History of Sulky Solvy

Sulky’s 30th Anniversary: The History of Sulky Solvy

It’s the 30th of the month again, which means we’ve got another 30% off sale for you to celebrate Sulky’s 30th Anniversary! Every 30th of every month through September, we are having a 30% off sale on select items. Today’s sale is all about Sulky Solvy Stabilizers. So, today only, all of our Wash-Away Stabilizers are 30% off! 

Also to celebrate today, we spoke with Fred and Joyce Drexler, the co-founders of Sulky of America, to learn how Solvy got its start here at Sulky…

The History of Solvy® in the United States really began 34 years ago at the Bobbin Show in the World Congress Trade Center in Atlanta. This immense trade show showcased every imaginable type of equipment and product that Ready-To-Wear and Commercial Embroidery Manufacturers needed or wanted, to be able to manufacture clothing and do large-scale embroidery jobs. Attendees came from all over the world and walked miles of aisles to check out all of the latest products.

When Joyce and I heard about this show, we decided to attend in 1983 to see if we could find any products that we felt would be appropriate for the home sewing market. It had to be fate that our future German partners also decided to exhibit at this show for their very first time and, more importantly, to introduce to the world their new water-soluble stabilizer product called Solvy.

When Joyce first saw Solvy she became very excited about all of its possible uses in the Speed Stitch™ kits that she was planning to produce.  These included Cut Work, Battenberg Lace, and Monogramming. At the time, Cut Work was done very laboriously using the plastic film that covered your clothes when you got them back from the dry cleaners. Solvy made the process light years easier and faster. And thus a star was born and a relationship was begun that would lead to the creation of Sulky® of America 4 years later!

Our company, Speed Stitch, immediately began packaging and marketing Solvy under the trademarked name, Wash Away™. Over the next 10 years, we sold it to a dozen different distributors who sold it to thousands of retail stores across the United States and Canada.

sulky's 30th anniversary: the history of sulky solvy

The Start of Sulky Solvy

In 1989, Sulky of America acquired the licensing rights to the trademarked name, Solvy, from our German partners, and Sulky introduced it, along with Totally Stable™, to Sulky retailers and consumers.

By then Joyce had found numerous other uses for Solvy including: using it as a design template; as a pattern guide; to support stitches on the edge of fabric; as a topper on napped fabrics like towels to keep the loops or piles from poking through; to keep stitches from getting lost in any fabric; for bridging and buttonholes; to enhance the clarity of fine lettering and detail stitching; and to make your own liquid, brush-on stabilizer, to name a few.

Super Solvy

In the early years, we discovered that you could make Solvy twice as thick by fusing 2 layers together with a warm, dry iron so it would be heavy enough to support free-motion embroidery stitching or lace making. A short time later, we introduced Sulky Super Solvy™, which was twice as thick as the original Sulky Solvy, so you didn’t have to fuse layers together.

Ultra Solvy

As consumers wanted to make increasingly larger and more complex embroideries and laces, they were fusing 2 layers of Super Solvy together to be able to stitch them. Eventually, we introduced Sulky Ultra Solvy™, which is a very heavy water-soluble film that is 4 times as heavy as the original Solvy, again to avoid having to fuse layers together. Ultra Solvy has all the firmness that is required when creating stand-alone Thread Lace, Cut Work, Battenberg Lace, Digitized Lace, Hoop-less Machine Embroidery, or Free-Motion Embroidery.

Paper Solvy

When Paper Piecing became popular, we introduced Sulky Paper Solvy™ to make this technique much, much easier. By inserting a pre-cut 8 ½” x 11” piece into a copier, ink-jet printer or bubble-jet printer, you can print any design directly onto the Paper Solvy.

Fabri-Solvy

Several years ago we introduced Sulky Fabri-Solvy™, which has the firmness, strength and feel of fabric. It is non-woven so it doesn’t stretch in any direction while having the strength and quality to support stand-alone Computer Embroideries, Cut Work, Lace-Making, Free-Motion Embroidery, and Turned Appliques.When we added a sticky back and release sheet to Fabri-Solvy, we created, by far, the easiest way to transfer a pattern using your printer or copier so you could stitch over it by hand or machine, then easily remove the remnants. It is also perfect for printing quilting templates. This product is marketed under 3 distinct names for 3 distinct markets.

  • Sticky Fabri-Solvy

Because home sewing, quilting and embroidery consumers knew and loved Fabri-Solvy, it seemed intuitive to originally name the sticky-backed version Sticky Fabri-Solvy™.sulky's 30th anniversary: the history of sulky solvy

  • Stick ‘n Carve

Then, along came a culinary expert and professional carver of watermelons who raved about how much easier it was for him to get a design in place on watermelons for him to carve. Through extensive testing we found that to also be the case for Pumpkins as well as other fruits and vegetables, wood, rubber stamps and much more. And so, Sulky Stick ‘n Carve™ became the second distinctive name for this product.

  • Stick ‘n Stitch

With ever-increasing numbers of consumers discovering and loving the beauty and convenience of using Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Petites for hand sewing rather than floss, we realized that getting designs in place to stitch was a big component.

Since neither of our other two names for this product really spoke to this market about how easily this product made it to get their design in place we created the third name, Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch™.

We never would have imagined 34 years ago what an important role Solvy would play in the history and growth of Sulky of America.

To celebrate Sulky’s 30th Anniversary, and to honor Solvy’s history, all of our Sulky Wash-Away Stabilizers are 30% off today! 

Sale ends tonight 6/30 at midnight EDT.

 




Machine Embroidery Series: Sulky Specialty Threads

Sulky Specialty Threads

pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

We have been exploring all types of Sulky Thread in our last few blog segments and have learned about individual properties and potential usage for 40 wt. Rayon, 60 wt. PolyLite™, 40 wt. PolyDeco™, and 12 wt. and 30 wt. Cotton Thread  (including Sulky Cotton Blendables® Thread) !  We have also been exposed to the creative possibilities of stitching, or accenting, an embroidery design in one of the many threads from the Sulky Metallic Family:  Original, Sliver™ and Holoshimmer™.  Now, we will talk about the other Sulky Specialty Threads!

Believe it or not… Sulky still has more types of thread that will quickly become a welcomed supplement to your thread collection!

Did you even know that light-activated thread exists?Sulky Specialty ThreadsAnd that it really does glow in the dark??

Sulky Specialty Threads

Sulky Glowy™ Thread is available in six pastel colors…

Well, until darkness sets in!  That’s when areas stitched with this specialty thread will simply glow!

The glow will last 15-20 minutes, depending upon how much prior exposure to light it had received.  The “glowing” property will persist through repeated washings as well!

The obvious usage for Sulky Glowy would be for spooky Halloween items. However, what about using it on a T-shirt that your child will wear to the July 4th fireworks?  The holiday evening starts off with the sun setting, but shortly turns to complete darkness as the fireworks start.  Your child begins the evening of fun wearing a cute T-shirt embroidered in pastel colors. Once the darkness settles in, their shirt becomes a reassuring way to quickly spot your child among their group of friends!

A small Glowy design can also offer a sense of nearness for a young child who is having trouble falling asleep. Embroider a pillow case with a cute design using Glowy simply with just a single star or a little heart.  It may be just the thing a young child needs in order to relax and help remind them that you are always nearby.

Sulky Polyester Invisible Thread

It is a great idea to have Sulky Invisible Thread, available in both clear and smoke, readily on hand. It is a very fine, flexible, polyester thread which can be used both as the top and bobbin thread (wind the bobbin slowly and only about half full). It is softer and much more heat tolerant than nylon counterparts; it will not melt with normal ironing through the polyester setting.  (Irons vary in temperature, so test first.)

Sulky Invisible Thread fulfills needs of stitching in the ditch, invisible appliqué and “hand-look” quilting/stippling, whether these applications are done on a regular sewing machine or as an “in-the-hoop” project on an embroidery machine.

Please remember that Sulky ’s priority is to have informed, satisfied consumers.  Therefore, Sulky offers a “Resources” tab on their website at http://www.sulky.com/resources/
So much information is immediately available to answer your questions and to offer sewing hints.  However, if you still have a unique situation, you can go to the “Ask the Experts” page at www.sulky.com/faq/ or send an email to info@sulky.com.

I hope the Thread Blogs have provided you with practical information about lots of different threads, and when one type might prove to be more beneficial over another. But my greater hope is that you have become inspired to “paint” your machine embroidery creations in more than one palette!

Sulky Embroidery Club

Design from Sulky Embroidery Club




Rod Art with Sulky Threads

Rod Art with Sulky Threads

Did you know you can even glam up your fishing rod with Sulky Threads?  Rod art is a great DIY gift idea for the fisherman in your life!  We talked with John, who has been building rods to help make fishing easier for people with disabilities since becoming disabled himself. He uses Sulky Threads to turn his rods into beautiful works of art. Here are a few of his tips and tricks to making Rod Art:rod art

How did you get started with rod building?

After I became disabled my hands became very weak and the pain in my body made fishing very difficult. My wife gave me the idea that I should make my own fishing rods. The idea was to make a rod that was easier to hold and less painful. After talking to several people I was introduced to a really nice guy who started a rod building club. He taught me how to make rods that were easier to use, and how to do rod art. He warned me that it was addictive and it has proven to be just that! With all the different thread types and colors that you can only get from Sulky, there’s no end to the design possibilities. The only limit is your own imagination. Half the fun is making something no one else has.

How long does it take you to finish one rod?

Most people can build a rod in a day or two. However because of my disability it can take me several months.

rod art

Do you have any tips or tricks for people wishing to make their own rod art?

Trial and error, or, as some call it, “The school of hard knocks.” To come up with a new design, look at what others are doing and then look at the thread colors. You can find inspiration from anything and everything. Watch the “How To” videos and add your own twist. After all your threads are down, always use at least two coats of CP “color preserver”. This keeps the threads from moving when you put the epoxy on. Keep your pattern tight and straight by lining each thread as you go. To keep bubbles out of your finish use an epoxy mixer and never mix by hand. Use a heat gun to bust any bubbles.

This rod was a test to see if it was possible to do a full wrap. Most of the time only a wrap of 6 to 8 inches is done. This rod looks great but you have to see it in direct sunlight to get the full effect.

You don’t need a lot of money to get started. I made most of my tools or bought tools that are for a different craft but can be used for what I need. My first rod wrap cost me less than $20 to build. Use the internet to your advantage and let your imagination run wild!

This link is a great way to learn the craft: https://www.rodguild.com/how-tos/

This is the second rod I ever made. I made it using the spiral wrapped eye technique. When a fish pulls on the line, instead of pulling the rod out of your hands, it bends the rod in a way that it pushes the handle back towards you.

 

What is your favorite Sulky product to use, and why?

It’s so hard to choose. The Sulky Rayon and Sulky Polyester Threads come in every color imaginable. They are super strong, they don’t stretch or sag, and the color doesn’t change or fade. Sulky Metallic Thread is almost as soft. However, my favorite Metallic has to be the Metallic Holoshimmer Thread. In direct sunlight it sparkles like diamonds. Plus, it reflects the color from the other threads you wrap over it. It makes a great base layer, you can weave it into the pattern, or it can be used all by itself like a trip band or accent wrap.

rod art

Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic Thread

 

If you want to learn more about how to get started in this craft you can visit The Custom Rod Builders Guild.

 

 




Build Your Collection: New Sulky Thread Packs + 20% off Sale

Build Your Thread Collection: New Sulky Thread Packs + 20% off Sale

We’ve been busy creating all-new thread packs to help you grow your own thread collections.  From names like Favorites, to The Essentials, to Grooviest and Majestic, these 22 New Thread Packs have got it all!

If you are into convenience and saving money, (You save 15-20% when you buy any Sulky Thread Pack versus buying individual spools!) you will definitely want to check out all of Sulky’s Thread Packs: Samplers, Assortments, and Collections.  Let me start by first breaking down our “Packs” for you….

Samplers

First, we have our Samplers, which contain 6 spools of thread.  These are perfect for getting a taste of one type of thread that maybe you haven’t tried yet, or are still testing out. Think of these as appetizer portions.

40 Wt. Rayon Thread

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – Favorites Sampler – 250 yd. Spools (Snapspools)

You may recall seeing these in our popular Cotton Petites Sampler packages, which have 50 yds of 12 Wt. cotton thread on each Spool!

12 Wt. Cotton Petites Sampler – 6 Most Popular Colors – 50 yd. Spools

However, you may not realize that we have now expanded our “Sampler Packs” to include our King Spools (and even our Maxi Spools if you’re looking at Rayon!).  These added spool sizes allow you to create more with our Samplers, so in reality, you’ll be saving more money! (Good job, you)

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – Favorites Sampler – 1500 yd. Spools (Maxi Spools)

 

Assortments

Next, we have our Assortments.  Our Assortment Packs contain 10 spools of thread.  Adding just four more spools to each pack gives you added room for creativity – not to mention, who doesn’t love having more colors…for less money?!  Added bonus: you can also find our Assortment Packs containing 10 Snap Spools, King Spools, or Maxi Spools (again, depending on which thread type you are looking for).

Snap Spools

40 Wt. Rayon Thread Assortment – 10 Most Popular Colors – 250 yd. Spools (Snap Spools)

King Spools

30 Wt. Cotton Blendables Thread Assortment – 10 Most Popular Colors – 500 yd. Spools (King Spools)

Maxi Spools

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – 10 Most Radiant Rayons Assortment – 1500 yd. Spools (Maxi Spools)

Collections

Finally we have our Collection Packs, also known as our Slimline Collections, which consist of two types of thread storage boxes: Sulky Original Slimline Storage Box and Sulky Universal Slimline Storage Box.

Sulky Original Slimline Thread Storage Box Collections allow you to choose from Starter Collections and Complete Collections of pre-filled boxes (Go ahead, get the bigger one, you deserve it!). Each box holds up to 104 small spools (Snap Spools), yet weighs only 4 lb. when filled!

With Sulky Universal Slimline Thread Storage Box Collections you can also choose from Starter Collections and Complete Collections of pre-filled boxes. Each box holds up to 64 King Spools OR 64 Snap Spools (or a mix of both) yet weighs only 6 lb. when filled!

Each spool in both types of Slimline has its own exclusive, patented lifting tab.  All spools are clearly visible and easily accessible, and they won’t fall out! Full Thread Collections are organized and labeled by color families.  The best part? You save BIG over buying these products separately (like a full 20% off buying the thread separately, how great is that!?!)

Each spool in both types of Slimline has its own exclusive, patented lifting tab – shown here.

We’re not Spoolin’ Around!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff…we’ve put together 22 new thread packs (Samplers and Assortments) just for you!

And now, through 6/25 ALL of our Thread Samplers and Assortments – new or old – are 20% off!

Since you are already saving 15-20% just buy buying a pack versus buying individual spools, this means that you are actually saving up to 40%!  How could you NOT take advantage of this great offer?!

 

Here are some of the newest members of the Sulky Thread Pack family:

In Rayon:

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – 10 Most Radiant Rayons Assortment – 250 yd. Spools

40 Wt. Rayon Thread – Favorites Sampler – 1500 yd. Spools

Polyester’s newest members:

40 Wt. PolyDeco Thread – Top 10 Grooviest Assortment – 900 yd. Spools

60 Wt. PolyLite Thread – Essentials Sampler – 440 yd. Spools

Cotton:

12 Wt. Solid Cotton Thread – Essentials Sampler – 330 yd. Spools

12 Wt. Cotton Blendables Thread – Quilter’s Assortment – 330 yd. Spools

Last, but not least, the Metallics:

Sulky Original Metallic Thread – Majestic Assortment – 110 yd. Spools

Sulky Sliver Metallic Thread – Super Star Assortment – 250 yd. Spools

Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic Thread – Heavenly Assortment – 250 yd. Spools

 

Don’t forget!  Our Designer Thread Packs, Perfect Pairings, Seasonal Packs, and Breast Cancer Awareness Samplers are also on sale for 20% off! 

Sale ends 6/25 at Midnight EDT