Friday, March 12, 2010

Fusible Web Comparison

I am finishing up the program I will be doing for my guild next week on fusible web products. I purchased 10 products and did the same things to all of them so the guild members could have a side by side comparison. It turned out great and I love my samples.

I made two identical samples of each product and one was washed and the other stayed unwashed. On each sample I have two applique shapes. One is in green and the other in pink - the green applique has the fusible web under the entire applique and the pink applique had the center cut out of the fusible to make a window like piece of fusible that got pressed to the back of the fabric. I tried to keep the "window" fusible about 1/4" wide in all the samples.

Another thing I did with each sample was to stitch around 1/2 of each sample with a blanket stitch by machine. I wanted to see how the fusible web would hold with no stitching when washed.

Besides these samples I have made an Excel document listing the products, mfg., web address of company, where purchased or could purchase plus all the observations about the product that I found before, during and after samples were washed. I called all the area quilt shops and found out what products they sold and list those for each product too so guild members would know where to buy them. Also included information on removing it from your iron, tips for using fusible webs, product instructions, etc.

This project has taken a lot of work but I feel I have learned a lot from it. I know which products I would not use and which ones I like the best. My favorites are Pellon Wonder Under the lighterweight one #805, and Steam A Seam 2 Lite. I know you would ask so am telling you now to save you the trouble of asking.

I did like Misty Fuse too as it is so light you can hardly tell it is there, especially after washing. I did learn a slick trick to mark the applique designs on it that worked really well. You take a piece of parchment paper, draw the applique design onto it with a pencil then iron it to the back of the applique fabric that has the fusible on it. The pencil marks come right off onto the fusible and are ready to cut out. You don't have to reverse your patterns either as when you iron it to the back it gets reversed - neat trick right?

I really liked Soft Fuse by Shades too but it is just too expensive and I can't buy it locally. It is probably as soft as Misty Fuse but has paper on the back of it.

I did not like Heat N Bond lite as it was too stiff and heavy. It is more like the regular Steam A Seam 2. It did hold well but is really stiff.

One thing you might have noticed about the photo is the unwashed sample looks wrinkled. It is wrinkled, your eyes are not fooling you. I washed the samples in a mesh bag in my washer then patted them flat to dry. I did not put them in the dryer. I ironed around the outside of the appliques but did not want to iron the appliques as that would have re-attached the fusible if it had come off the backing. I want the samples to be just the way they were after laundering.

Think I am almost done with preparing this program so I can get back to quilting. I have my split 9 patch all basted and it keeps calling my name but I just have not had time to even start on it.


Anonymous said...

Good study!
IMHO ... One more test would be great.... Fused layers! That's what most people wind up with and that's where the differences get most dramatic.

Lynn said...

What a great idea - had not thought of that!

ann said...

Hard to believe I just found this.
I also hate the Heat n'Bond because of both the stiffness and sticking to the needle when trying to sew. I also found out after my project was finished, that IF you try to iron the Heat n'bond again AND it gets too hot, all of the fusible is melted away.
I had the same problem with Steam A Seam. I have used all of their products which work OK unless you get the iron too hot.
I know time has passed. However, I am interested to know how the fusibles work on a comfort or bed quilt or any quilt that gets washed and dried.
Thanks for sharing your project information. I appreciate it a LOT.

Lynn said...

Ann, since you are a no-reply blogger I can't reply to you personally so will post my comment here to your question. I personally would do some sort of stitching around any fused applique that will get laundered. I don't trust any fusible enough to repeatably wash and dry it. You could use a straight stitch or a decorative one on the machine with thread that either matches the applique or contrasts with the applique.


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