getEdited - SELECT
by asterixsew Moderator ( edited 30 Dec 2019 ) 30 Dec 2019

A question was asked a few days ago. The poster was asked to repost here but hasn't. I am putting it here as it would be good to get the answer for them and others who don't know the answer

Can I turn any embroidery into free standing by backing with wash away. Will that stiffen it sufficiently?

Thanks and flowers


by pennyhal2 01 Jan 2020

For the reasons explained below, the answer is "no."

However, if the design is very dense to begin with, you might try using a product that permanently stiffens things. Or stitching it on organza and spray it to permanently stiffen it to see how it turns out.

1 comment
asterixsew by asterixsew 01 Jan 2020

Thanks for replying

by meganne 01 Jan 2020

The simple answer is no.
But having said that, some designs might be dense enough to stand on their own without fabric, though usually they will just fall apart as FSL requires a whole network of foundation stitches ALL connecting like a grid and inside a series of outline stitches.
Most fill designs have individual segments and each segment has its own underlay stitches done in the same colour and they usually overlap each other, be it ever so slightly.

I have turned fill designs into FSL by first creating what is called a "GLOBAL" underlay, the underlying grid as described underneath the whole design. The trouble with doing this is that some sections might then be so dense that the needle breaks.

It is not difficult to create this grid if you can digitise, even if you can't, if you have a good software program such as Embird, which allows you to take any design into the digitising module where you can make alterations.

Please be aware though, that designs are protected by Intellectual Property Copyright Laws so any alterations you make could see you breaching those laws and inviting the wrath of an angry digitiser.

I hope this has been helpful.
hugs n roses, Meganne
Melide Menschen Designs

1 comment
asterixsew by asterixsew 01 Jan 2020

Meganne thank you so much for your reply. I hope that the person who originally posted in Q&A sees your excellent reply

by KCowden 31 Dec 2019

Can’t tulle be used with same color bobbin as top thread?

by crafter2243 Moderator 31 Dec 2019

I guess it would depend on the project. I have used WSS to stiffen an item on purpose that was not a FSL design at all

1 comment
asterixsew by asterixsew 31 Dec 2019


by jofrog2000 31 Dec 2019

I have used some regular designs to make Christmas ornaments. I hooped wss and organza. Mirror imaged the design. Glued the 2 together after trimming super close, and used a wood burning tool to get rid of stray pokies along the edges.

1 comment
asterixsew by asterixsew 31 Dec 2019


by sewtired 31 Dec 2019

If not digitized to be free standing, there is a very good chance that it would fall apart when the wash away was washed away. There needs to be something there to hold the stitches in place. As graceandham suggested, one might try organza, but that might not hold up if the stitches are too dense. It might really distort the design.

1 comment
asterixsew by asterixsew 31 Dec 2019

Thanks for your comments

by graceandham 30 Dec 2019

I think you are exactly correct. There is nothing more disappointing than to stitch out poorly digitized FSL and have it fall apart. However, if she really wants '"the look" she might try stitching it on organza and trimming verrrrry carefully and closely.

1 comment
asterixsew by asterixsew 31 Dec 2019

Thanks for your comments

by jrob Moderator 30 Dec 2019

I'm not a digitizer, but I'm fairly certain that in order to be a free standing design, it must be properly digitized so as not to "fall apart".

1 comment
asterixsew by asterixsew edited 30 Dec 2019

I don't describe myself as a digitiser either but I am pretty sure your right. Thanks for replying