Seven Different Ways to Use Washaway Thread

WonderFil Specialty Threads
Spring 2021

You may have seen washaway threads sold at your local quilt shop and wondered what good is a thread that disappears when exposed to water? Not only does this unique thread have a lot of time-saving utility, but once you know how to use it, it will become an essential part of your sewing room arsenal! Here are seven different ways you can use washaway thread. Rinse ‘n Gone is a 40wt washaway thread that disappears when exposed to water.

TIP: It is recommended to store these threads in a labelled and sealable bag.     
Baste a Quilt Sandwich

Together Is your quilt top pieced and ready to be quilted? It’s a lot easier to quilt if you don’t have to avoid the pins holding your quilt sandwich together. Quickly hand or machine baste the layers together using washaway thread and do all your quilting with ease! This way, there’s no need to pause to take out the pins as you quilt. And it isn’t just a matter of convenience. Basting the layers together will have the added bonus (arguably the more important reason to do this) of preventing them from shifting, skewing or puckering your quilt top and backing. Taking that extra time to baste before quilting can make a huge difference.

Ease Stitching

Sometimes a clothing pattern requires you to ease in or gather fabric. The best way to do this is with a basting stitch. It’s much easier to wash the basting thread out than trying to pick it out after it’s been stitched over. Simply thread your needle and bobbin with washaway thread and baste as usual. Then, switch to a regular thread in the top and bottom and sew over it permanently. The basting thread can be easily removed by washing the project after it’s finished or scrubbing the stitches away with a wet toothbrush.

Secure Your Trapunto Batting

A washaway thread is perfect for securing your initial layer of batting when doing trapunto. After tracing the trapunto design onto your fabric with a washaway pen, sew around the design with washaway thread in the top and a regular fine bobbin thread. Trim away the excess batting from around the design. Now add a second layer of batting and backing and do your trapunto with a regular thread, leaving the raised layer unquilted. The initial layer of batting in the trapunto design won’t shift and you won’t need to deal with needles puckering the fabric!

Add Unique Texture to Your Fabric

Add a fun texture to your fabric by layering three pieces of fabric, with the top two pieces facing right side up and the bottom piece facing down. Sew along all of the edges, then diagonally across, with washaway thread to secure the layers. With a regular thread in your machine, sew in straight lines over the fabric with even spacing. Take a pair of scissors and carefully cut the top two layers between the lines of stitching. Wash the entire piece to remove the basting thread and so that the raw fabric edges fray a little. You’ll end up with a very cool texture to use in quilts, bags, or any other type of project!

Stitch the Perfect Appliqué

Here’s a neat trick to help you achieve the most perfectly shaped appliqué pieces. Take two pieces of fabric, one that will be your appliqué and a second that will be a scrap piece. Load the washaway thread in the bobbin and put a regular sewing thread on top. With the appliqué piece right side down, sew all the way around your appliqué design and snip into the corners and curves of the design so that it will lay flat. Then, cut a hole into the scrap piece of the fabric to make a turning hole and turn it inside out. Press the appliqué with the iron’s steam setting on high to make the water-soluble thread disappear; any remnants can be scrubbed away with a wet toothbrush. Pull the scrap piece away and you’ll be left with a perfectly turned appliqué piece!

Combine Your Scrap Washaway Stabilizer into Usable Pieces

If you have a lot of small scrap pieces of washaway stabilizer, you can sew them together into a larger piece to use in your projects. For instance, if these smaller pieces won’t fit into your embroidery hoop, you can sew them together into one larger piece that will! Load the washaway thread into both your needle and bobbin and stitch your pieces together. The thread will simply wash away with the stabilizer when you wash your project. This is great for using up all those little scraps of extra washaway stabilizer instead of hoarding them or throwing them away.

Prevent Puckered Machine Embroidery Designs

To help ensure that your machine embroidery stitches out perfectly every time, stitch through the fabric and stabilizer with washaway thread around the area where your design will fall before beginning to embroider. Because of the high-speed stitching and movement in an embroidery machine, a design that could end up puckering won’t shift and will instead stitch out beautifully! After the design is completed, rinse your piece to easily remove the washaway thread. This quick trick will help keep your embroidery designs looking perfect every time.

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