Apliquick and Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets

Apliquick PhotoThe Apliquick method for turned-edge appliqué is fast, easy and extremely accurate. Appliqué shapes are traced onto light-weight fusible interfacing, cut out, and ironed onto the wrong side of the fabric. The fabric is cut out, leaving a seam allowance, and water-soluble glue is applied to the edges. Apliquick rods are used to easily and precisely turn under the seam allowance before hand or machine stitching.

Even though the interfacing is light-weight, it does stay inside the appliqué. Even after washing, the interfacing adds a certain amount of body to the work. In cases where this might not be desirable, it is possible to cut out the inside of the shape before fusing it to the fabric. This significantly softens the final result.

Apliquick interfacing cut out of the middle

Apliquick interfacing cut out of the middle

What if there were an option that washed out? I tested the Apliquick method with Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy sheets, with mixed results. The Solvy does wash out; however, the edges don’t have the same stability for turning the seam allowance with the rods.

Apliquick with Sulky Stick Fabri-Solvy

Apliquick with Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy

Applique SheetsThen I tested Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets, by C&T Publishing. These 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets claim to be printable, water-soluble, single-sided fusible, and eco-friendly. Here are the results.

Printing versus Tracing

Printing on Wash-Away Applique SheetsThe sheets are transparent enough to allow for tracing patterns, but I love the idea of printing the appliqué shapes. What a time saver! The sheets fed through my inkjet printer without any difficulty, however I did notice some fibers pulling away from the surface. I also noted a marked degradation in the quality of my paper printouts afterwards, and fear that some of those fibers may be embedded in the rollers or ink cartridge heads. You may want to designate an older printer for this use.

Fusing

The sheets fused securely to the fabric although it took longer than fusing the Apliquick interfacing. I also noted that the Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets cannot be peeled off and re-fused; Apliquick interfacing can be repositioned.

Turning the Seam Allowance

The Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets worked beautifully with the Apliquick rods and glue stick. There is sufficient stability at the edges to allow for turning the seam allowance crisply and accurately.

Stitching

I tried hand and machine stitching with the Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets. I did experience some thread breakage while machine stitching, which may have been unrelated. A new Topstitch 80/12 needle seemed to do the trick. I was concerned that the sheets might be a bit stiff for hand stitching, but I had no difficulty at all.

Removing

The washing instructions state that “with agitation in multiple washings, fibers will further disintegrate and become even less noticeable”. “Less noticeable” isn’t exactly the same thing as “wash-away”, is it? Two options are given: rinse by hand in a bowl or sink full of warm water OR machine wash on a normal cycle, warm wash and cold rinse, using quilt soap or any mild detergent.

I decided to place my stitched sample in a pan of water along with an unstitched sample, so I could see what was happening. I must confess that I didn’t use warm water – I didn’t want to risk any dye bleeding out of the fabrics. After 24 hours, the Wash-Away Appliqué Sheet had indeed softened but hadn’t dissolved or disappeared entirely. The stitched sample had a nice soft feel after the same amount of time in the cold water.

Wash-Away Sheets before after 24 hours in cold water

Wash-Away Sheets before and after 24 hours in cold water

Curious whether warm water would make that big a difference, I rinsed a second sample for two minutes under warm running water and gently rubbed at the appliqué sheet. The results were quicker but not discernibly different.

Warm water left; cold water right

Warm water left; cold water right

Price

One meter of Apliquick interfacing contains 760.5 square inches. At $9.99/meter, it costs $0.013 per square inch.

A package of Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets contains 25 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets, for a total of 2,337.5 square inches. At $24.99/package, it costs $0.011 per square inch.

Conclusion

Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets are a viable option for the Apliquick method of turned-edge appliqué. The ability to print multiple copies is appealing and the cost is roughly equal. The edges turn beautifully and the appliqué softens with washing – even if the liner doesn’t actually go away. It may not fuse quite as nicely, but its other advantages balance that out. Be careful of your printer but be assured that you will achieve great looking – and feeling – appliqué.


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