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    Alternative Stabilizer Cents

    by Amanda StephanWhen I’m test stitching a new 4×4 embroidery design for the first time, I hate to use up my expensive stabilizer on it.

    Instead I recycle used fabric softener sheets that I’ve ironed out and saved just for this purpose.  Just hoop as you would a regular swatch of material and stabilizer, stitch your design, trim the fabric softener sheet and you’re finished!  It’s never given me a bit of trouble, and even washes well!  Happy embroidering!

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    19 Responses to Alternative Stabilizer Cents

    1. kay says:

      I have a large familey and use alot of fabric sheets, this will save me alot of money, thanks

    2. Penny Kitzmiller says:

      I’ve done this before, and still do it. It also makes my project smell good too. Great little tip!

    3. Joyce says:

      I have used dryer sheets. Do wash them first to get out all the softener.
      I also use a product called Soil Separator purchased at Lowes. It is in the plumbing section and works well. Workman use it under pipes when putting them in the ground. I like it. I know there has been discussion on the forums regarding this, and some have positive comments and some not. I think I got a 2 1/2 foot wide roll and a big one for about $17.00. I have been using it for nearly a year and still have a lot left.

    4. Susan Palmer says:

      I have been doing the same thing for years now. Used fabric sheets work terrific and are very cost effective and one can truly say you have ‘recycled’ them. Also, the large coffee filters work equally as well, especially in the round hoops that some machines have. I never throw away decent sized pieces of stabilizer either, what I do is use a glue stick (not hot glue) and piece them together or sew them together with a zig zag stitch. Works wonders!

    5. Kimberli says:

      I purchased the new Purex complete 3-in-1 laundry sheets recently . I am also using the sheets after the fact for stabilizer and they work great for the smaller designs too.

    6. Hagrids mom says:

      I used to sell machines and we had some weird repairs from people trying to save money by using non standard stabilizers. One poor woman had to replace her entire embroidery arm from using coffee filters. The non standard items can leave little pills or balls or whatever in your machine. I would be very hesitant to do this. I am broke too but replacing your embroidery arm is not cheap!

    7. Rose says:

      I dont use the fabic softner sheets now as I received email about them causes dryers to go over heat. If you do you need to take your filter screen from your dryer and wash it in soapy water occassionly as the softner clogs the holes. They say to put under running water and you will see what they are saying. The email came from studies of fires in houses. Hope this helps someone.

    8. Jan says:

      Some ladies here are using Septic Tank Liner from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Some are even using it for stabilizer- but using 6 sheets as the STL is very lightweight. No stretch. I do not know how it holds up behind cloth after multiple washings, but great for preview stitch-outs. You may have to ask someone in the store to find the product.

    9. sewing4jesus says:

      I did not think of this. I do use the used dryer sheets as a stabilizer in sewing strips of fabric together to make scrappy blocke, so this is just another perfect way to recycle! Thanks for being so smart and sharing with us!

    10. Mary says:

      Personally, I don’t use dryer sheets anymore because of the addition of chemicals to my clothing and clogging my filter. I use the rubber balls and my clothing and towels come out soft. Some stabilizers are pretty expensive and I never thought about using things like septic tank liner or soil separator. Are these items linty and do they leave fuzz in your machines?

    11. Margaret says:

      I’m all for saving money too. I save larger pieces of tear away and patch water soluble stabilizer. I really like to use Glad Press’n Seal as a topping for large areas of fill stitch or applique on bibs or towels. I’m not so sure after spending literally thousands of dollars on an embroidery machine I want to take a chance on something that close to the bobbin case.

    12. Dena says:

      The purpose of doing a test sew-out is to 1) see how the design stitches, 2)to ensure you’re using the proper stabilizer and needle, 3)to verify you are using the correct colors for your project, and 4)to confirm all of the above works on your project medium and make any necessary changes before sewing on your project. With this being said, if you’re going to use a fabric dryer sheet in your final project, then by all means use it for your test sew-out. Otherwise you run the risk of being very disappointed in your project stitch-out. I, for one, do not want to spend all that time working on a project only for it to be ruined because of an error in judgement.

    13. ossie says:

      What another great idea, would never thought of it. This has been a marvellous newsletter for information. Congratulations to the writers. Cheers and thanks.

    14. Sam says:

      Wow! I guess we learn something new everyday!
      I know I did… Thanks everyone 🙂

    15. Sheila says:

      I have also used the cheap drip coffee filters. They work wonderful for tear away. You can usually get about 200 for .99.

    16. Nancy Kelley says:


    17. Jan says:

      For the lady who uses Glad Press ‘n Seal for topping her embr on towels, etc, how do you remove the Press ‘n Seal? It is not water soluble like Solvy….?

    18. Judy says:

      My problem with water soluble stabilizer topping towels is that you can’t get out those little areas without dousing the towel in water or painstakingly moisten them. They still are sticky when you try to do the latter. Is there an alternative. If I’m giving it as a gift, I hate to have to wet it beforehand.

    19. Jennifer Davis says:

      I love these suggestions. There are always alternatives. The people that sell these products do not want us to use anything else. I’m trying the dryer sheets for WSS and the coffee filters for Stabilizer. Of course I will use it on a test first. Thanks again.

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