In college this week we learned how to create machine embroidered lace designs. A water-soluble plastic film is used as a stabiliser. The basic technique is to stitch onto your fabric and the plastic film, and then rinse your work in warm water which dissolves the film, leaving your embroidery. The technique can be used inside your fabric, on the edge of your fabric, or you can simply stitch into the plastic film. Here is an example I made using my home sewing machine.
I used calico as the fabric. This was placed into an embroidery hoop with the plastic film also in the hoop underneath the fabric. I then drew a shape onto the fabric and sewed round the edge in a running stitch 3 times.
The next stage is to cut out the middle of the shape, cutting the fabric but not the water-soluble plastic underneath. Then zigzag stitch around the edge of the shape to make it more secure.
Now you can sew whatever you like over the hole. The one thing to remember is to sew so that the design in the middle is attached to the edge of the fabric, otherwise it will fall apart when the water-soluble plastic is melted. On some machines the plastic doesn’t move around freely and so you may need to place something else underneath. At college we were given dark blue kitchen paper which gets tangled in your work and makes a mess. At home I used baking paper and this was easier to remove afterwards.
The final step is to rinse the design in warm water to dissolve the plastic.
Here is the sample I made at college. I had one of the rubbish machines which didn’t have an embroidery foot, hence the masses of pink thread. I added silver thread on top on my home machine.
Here is another sample I created at home.
Finally, I decided to try creating a design at the edge of the fabric. The technique is the same, only there is no fabric to cut out this time.
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