Textile Samples: Machine & Hand Sewn on Soluble Fabric

I bought some booklets on embroidery techniques, by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn recently and thought I would try one of the exercises in ‘New Dimensions in Hand & Machine Embroidery’: Book 9, p5.

This involved making a machine sewn grid on soluble backing (I used some by Brother, which resembles thick, flexible plastic and is usually used as a temporary backing when making machine embroidered motifs. I also have another type, generously given to me by my friend, Margaret, which handles more like a fabric, but having tried a sample, I find that it really requires a frame to hold it taut, without one it is gathered into a scrunched bundle (below, right), so I have a frame on order as both types of soluble fabric would benefit from being held taut in a frame to avoid distortions).

The fabric is pinned to polystyrene before washing away the soluble backing, then it is dried before removing the pins and it can then be used as it is, or it can be decorated with further stitch. I tried adding a variety of yarns, ribbon and fabric strips.


The resulting fabric is reversible, and could be further oversewn by hand or machine. It resembles a loose weave. A possible texture to add to a wall hanging, or even a three-dimensional piece if it were shaped over an armature. A handy technique to call on, in any case.


Book:- Beaney, J. and Littlejohn, J. (2002) New dimensions. Double Trouble Enterprises, p5.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s