Behind every beautiful stitch there is an unsung hero: stabilizer. Quality stabilizer is a crucial part of machine embroidery and a key player for many quilting and sewing projects as well. Why? Well, it's simple: as a needle pokes fabric, the fibers have to shift around to make room for the stitches. The continual push and pull can result in distortion, gaps, uneven stitches, puckering, and a whole host of other problems. The right stabilizer plays an important part in reinforcing fabric, reducing shifting, and providing a solid foundation for stitches.
We are so excited--thrilled, actually--to announce that Kimberbell Stabilizer will soon be hitting the shelves of your favorite quilt shop! Each type surpasses the Kimberbell standard of quality with consistent results on our favorite projects. Let's take a look at what makes the Kimberbell Stabilizer product line so unique.
OUR INNOVATIVE COLOR CODE
Kimberbell’s premium selection of Cut-Away, Tear-Away, Wash-Away, and Specialty stabilizers are recognizable at a glance. You see, each product line is assigned a specific color, with the gradient indicating the weight. The lighter the color, the lighter the stabilizer. The darker the color, the heavier the stabilizer.
For example, if you’re looking for Tear-Away, always look for the red packaging. The darker the shade of red, the heavier the Tear-Away. If you’re looking for Cut-Away, look for shades of orange. Wash-Away will be labeled in blues, while Specialty stabilizers will always be in greens. With Kimberbell Stabilizer, finding the right product for your embroidery projects has never been easier! Oh, but that’s not all. (Drumroll, please…)
We’ve also got color-coded Slap Bands! These innovative bands wrap snugly around stabilizer rolls to keep them labeled and easy to find.
After removing the packaging, simply wrap the coordinating Slap Band around the roll and you’ve got an efficient, tidy, (and might I say very pretty) solution for your sewing room shelves. Again, the ombre color gradient indicates light, medium, or heavy stabilizer. It's like a whole rainbow of creative possibilities!
Sold as a set of 13, each Slap Band is 9.5" long and coated with silicone for durability. Kimberbell Stabilizer comes in 12” and 20” rolls, with popular precuts also available for 5x7 embroidery hoops!
Now that you know how to identify, shop, and store Kimberbell Stabilizer, let's talk about the different types, including what you'll need for various fabrics and projects.
Kimberbell Tear-Away tears easily and neatly away from stitched areas and comes in a variety of weights. Use Light Tear-Away for lightweight fabrics with low stitch count designs, Medium Tear-Away for medium-to-high stitch count designs, and Heavy Tear-Away for designs with a heavy stitch count.
Tear-Away is ideal for tightly woven, non-stretch fabrics like cotton, denim, vinyl, leather, felt, terry cloth, and canvas. You'll also want to use Tear-Away for designs with large, open areas. (Trust me, it can be a pain to pick Tear-Away out of tiny, intricate spots!) But for larger stitched areas where you don't want stabilizer to remain, it's so great to simply tear the excess stabilizer away. Oh, and if you’re wondering if unlabelled stabilizer is Tear-Away or Cut-Away (they can look alike!), then do the tear test: if it rips easily, it’s Tear-Away. Kimberbell Tear-Away tears in multiple directions.
Kimberbell Cut-Away is a fibrous material and does not tear; you have to trim the excess stabilizer with scissors. Because it stays smooth and taut, Cut-Away is what you want for loosely woven or stretchy fabrics like T-shirts, knits, or any project where stabilizer needs to remain and give continued reinforcement (e.g. on clothes that are worn and washed repeatedly).
Choose Ultralight Mesh Cut-Away for baby quilts and piecing projects, Light Mesh Cut-Away for quilt blocks, Medium Cut-Away for medium-weight knits and lightweight denim, and Heavy Cut-Away for denim, sweatshirt fleece, and heavy knits. Heavy Cut-Away is also wonderful for multi-needle or open arm machines. Remember this rule of thumb: the heavier the stitch count, the heavier the stabilizer needs to be!
Kimberbell Wash-Away is a thin, fibrous, pliable material that easily dissolves in water for projects where you don't want any stabilizer to remain. Use Wash-Away on delicate or sheer fabrics like chiffon and organza. If you’re wondering if unlabelled stabilizer is Wash-Away, add a little water to the corner and if it becomes sticky, it’s Wash-Away! Wash-Away is particularly helpful in intricate little spots where it would be difficult to pick out Tear-Away.
Ideal for cutwork, freestanding lace, baskets, reverse applique, and more, Kimberbell Wash-Away adds stability during embroidery but is completely rinsed away afterwards. Choose Wash-Away Sticky-Back, with its adhesive coating, for floating hard-to-hoop items such as Baby Bodysuits and Over-the-Edge projects.
Kimberbell Specialty Stabilizers are used with Tear-Away, Cut-Away, or Wash-Away. They do not replace these stabilizers, but instead help ensure the very best results.
Use Silky Soft Fusible Backing to cover uncomfortable seams and to provide stability to sheers, silks, and other lightweight fabrics. We strongly recommend Fusible Backing for Kimberbell Bench Pillows and feature quilts; simply iron to the fabric before stitching to add body and prevent blocks from puckering. Our Fusible Peel & Stick is ideal for both sewing and embroidery machine applique and for specialty fabrics like wool, velveteen, leather, and silk.
Use Specialty Stabilizers for Sweet & Snarky: Kimberblank Appliques, Blossoms & Butterflies: Kimberblank Appliques, the December Days Advent Calendar, The Snuggle is Real: Petite Appliques, and a variety of dimensional projects!
You'll soon be finding our new stabilizer line at your favorite quilt shop. From quilt blocks and lace to Bench Pillows and more, Kimberbell Stabilizer will back you up every time!
For more information, please watch our coming how-to videos on kimberbell.com and experience the joy of creativity™ with us.