Posted on

Removing the adhesive sticky back stabilizer with a spray bottle of water

A spray bottle with water is great for removing sticky-back stabilizer
A spray bottle with water is great for removing sticky-back stabilizer

The other day I visited Make it Sew in St. Louis.  I had run out of green embroidery thread and needed a specific shape and brand to complete my embroidery project.  My plan was to be in and out of the store quickly but when Beverly (a lady who works there) started doling out advice I slowed down and started listening. Bev lives embroidery and appliqué all day, every day, so she has a lot of experience to share. After she taught me about patching stabilizer in the hoop, talking me out of purchasing smaller embroidery hoop, I started asking questions.

I’ve gotten down my appliqué technique and most of my projects turn out great – but one step I find a bit annoying is getting the adhesive sticky back stabilizer off the back of the design.  The stabilizer I bought is fantastic because it is really really sticky.  Unfortunately the stickiness makes it hard to remove.  My solution has been to toss anything I appliqué into the wash.  Once it comes out of the wash – the stabilizer peels off easily.   The problem is that this takes time for the item to get through the wash and the dryer.  So it’s not an ideal solution when I am in a hurry.  Also – some items I embroider are too delicate to go through the wash.

Bev’s solution: a water spray bottle.  She said that all you have to do is to spray the adhesive back stabilizer with some water.  Once the backing is grey-ish because it is saturated with water, let it sit for a few minutes, then it will peel away easily. The benefit is that only part of the item gets wet (primarily the stabilizer) so there is not a long drying time.  Genius.