Rose's Quilting Blog

Do you use Water Soluble Thread? Has this ever happened to you before?

Do you use Water Soluble Thread? Has this ever happened to you before?

I wonder if you’ve ever been in this position, hopefully not, but this is
how you could very easily end up in that position if you’re not careful.....

Picture this scenario....

You’ve just finished using your sewing machine one day, and possibly
as usual you just turn it off and walk away. 

A few days later you decide to make a white dress, out of some beautiful
fabric that you came across one day and "Just had to have"...You quickly check your bobbin, and see that it’s almost full with white thread, so that was easy, and you’re on your way to making this dress.....

Feeling very proud of your new creation and masterpiece, you decide
that you’ll wear it next time you’re going out. The next day you’re going shopping, and you put on your new dress, a stunning pair of shoes,..

You’re feeling fantastic, in this new dress, that fits your body so perfectly well, and several people have commented on how nice your dress is.
You’re in a really happy place.

Oh no....Suddenly it’s raining and you get caught in a downpour of rain...
You’re absolutely soaked.... hair’s wet and hanging, dress is soaked, shoes are wet.... not what you’d quite planned.

Could it Really get any worse?
Oh dear, you suddenly realise that you forgot to change that bobbin thread
when you were making your new dress.

The white thread that was in that bobbin when you first checked your machine  was actually Water Soluble Thread, and now it's proven that it  did its job perfectly as it was supposed to, and dissolved once it was wet.
Your dress is now on the ground in pieces..
Surely hope you’re wearing your bra and knickers.

How embarrassing would that be?
Could you almost feel it for real as you were reading that?

It’s so important to always keep your wash away thread away from all
your other threads particularly your bobbins, as the above could actually really happen, if you did sew accidentally with wash away or water soluble thread in your bobbin... or your top thread.

This is more likely to happen from your bobbin though, as the reel of
thread is distinctive, as most of our spools of thread are. But when it comes to bobbins, they’re all pretty the same in looks, shape, colour etc.

I suggest that you use a permanent marker and write on the edge of
your bobbins “wash away” and then keep both the spool and the bobbin with your wash away on it, in a sealed zip lock bag and try to always be in the habit of taking these out and off your machine the moment you’ve finished using them.

The above story can be found as a very similar “tip” with my
100 Inspirational Tips to help you on “YOUR” Quilting Journey
within tip number 92.

Wash away or water soluble thread can have many uses within your
personal quilting & sewing journey.

Although I use this water soluble thread extensively for all my Trapunto work that I create, here’s another idea and place that I often suggest to students when teaching and they’re feeling a little apprehensive as to what quilting design to use within a particular place, and they start asking...
“Will it look right, How big should I sew the design, Will it be a “little cramped” in that corner, Will it marry within with my quilt and my desired effect I’m looking for” etc etc.

I suggest that they take some wash away / water soluble thread in both
their bobbin and top thread, sew the desired design in the desired place, and although it won’t be the colour thread they’ll be using in the “real” quilting, it’ll definitely give them more insight and a visual view as to whether that design will look okay.

If it does, then they can then just stitch right over the top of the
wash away / water soluble thread, and after the quilt is finished, then it’ll just wash away. If they don’t like it for whatever reason, then they can just wet that place and the thread will dissolve, but they’ll then need to leave it to dry before they can quilt it once again in possibly a different design or size.

I only recommend wetting fabric that is 100% cotton, and something 
that's not going to create a dye run. I take no responsibility in any way or form with you trying out the above idea.

There's so many ways that you can use water soluble thread or often
known as wash away thread, within your personal creative sewing and quilting journey. Like so many things in life you’re only limited by your imagination.

Can I please also give you a little insight to the brands that you may
decide to purchase, as I see this issue at least once or twice within the classroom when teaching in person?

Be very aware of the brand that you may decide to purchase, as there's
some out there in the market that's a Chinese or similar brand, and I don’t know the brand as it’s written in Chinese or similar so I can’t read it, but anyone that uses this within the class room “always” has enormous issues with it.

I then give them one of my opened spools of thread that I use and
magically that's the end of all their frustration and issues.They then decide to purchase one for the rest of their sewing, and they enjoy their day as everything is now sewing as it should be. 
The brand that I always use is Superior Vanish Extra Water Soluble Thread.


Why do I use the “Extra” / thick thread?
If your hands get maybe warm and particularly in the summer months, this thicker thread is not so likely to dissolve while using it. It’s just a really good thickness to also sew with. I've used this with quilts, where it's been in there for approx 18 months, and it's still like it was sewn the day before, hadn't started to dissolve at all, but it washed out when I was ready to within a few seconds.

If you’re purchasing  a water soluble thread, yes the brand you decide to purchase is fully your decision, but do be aware of the above tip that I’ve just sent your way, otherwise you may regret your purchase at a later date.

 Also regardless of what anyone may tell you, always use water soluble
thread in both your bobbin and your top thread. You don’t actually use much of this thread in each project, so a spool can last quite a long time, on saying this, I always use the bigger spool, as I use it within “every” quilt that I make,as well as class samples etc, as I do so much trapunto work of course.

Why do you use it in both the top and bobbin threads?
Because later on when your quilt is totally finished, and you’ve dissolved the thread, there's a huge possibility that you’ll actually see the cotton thread that you've used within your bobbin, underneath your immediate top layer of fabric, and now it’s far too late to remove it, and you’ll always have a regret as to why you didn’t use water soluble thread within your bobbin as well.

This is also another tip within my
100 Inspirational Tips to help you on “YOUR” quilting journey.
Tip number 80

So hopefully today I’ve given you more insight that’ll help you on your
"personal creative journey".

 Hopefully you’ll like today’s quote, and remember it the next time something may not go quite as you were hoping or expecting. We learn so much from our mistakes, no matter how embarrassing they may be!

So with all this said and done,
I'm going to go and make myself a cuppa,
then settle into some sewing for the day.

Whatever you're personally choosing to do,
I hope it's very creative and inspiring.

Have a beautiful day