Saturday, 23 January 2016

Matilda's Own Polyfuse: fusible, water soluble tearaway

In the last 2 weeks, I've been asked so many times about which fusible I use and why that I'm re-posting this article. Back in June when I first posted it, I was selling this item over in my Etsy Shop. My primary motivation was to make it available for my students who were always looking for it. I no longer sell it as it simply wasn't worth my time, however it is available out there through good quilting shops, so ask locally. And yes, I'm always trying new products, so if I find one I prefer, I'll post about it when it happens!
Matilda's Own Polyfuse 
I use this product all the time in my applique. The method I use is that I reverse the pattern line drawing and then trace the reversed shapes onto the matt non shiny side of the fusible sheet. Then I cut the shape out on the line (without seam allowance). I iron it down on the wrong side of my chosen fabric and then add a seam allowance when I cut out the shape from my fabric (for edge turn applique) you could also cut the shape out without a seam allowance for raw edge, whatever suits you.

I now prefer to use Matilda's Own Polyfuse for when I draw my patterns down as you can see above. I have tried to put it through my printer for sheet printing (after cutting it down to A4 in size) but my printer didn't like it and I didn't persist. It actually spat out inky fluff balls and it damaged the head of my Epson inkjet printer (which now doesn't print) so I only use and personally recommend it for drawn patterns.

I think the best fusible for putting through a printer is actually Beth Ferrier's Wash-Away Applique Sheets (C&T Publishing) which comes pre-cut in a packet ready for printing. I don't actually sell  this product, I'm just recommending it for those of you who do intend to print through your laser jet printer. I find that it has a superior finish which is smoother and easier on your printer whereas the Matilda's Own is a bit grainier and like I mentioned above, ruined my printer.

Until very recently, I used Beth Ferrier's Wash-Away Applique Sheets (C&T Publishing) all the time, I shipped it in from America and it was worth the expense as far as I was concerned. But today, the Australian dollar is dropping and with the climbing cost of international shipping, I was happy to discover that there was a new fusible available to purchase locally and this is why I now work with Matilda's Own Polyfuse so much instead.

Deciding on which fusible will work best for you depends on what you want to get out of it. As I need my fusible for drawing, the fact that I don't use it in my printer doesn't matter to me, but it is something to keep in mind depending on your own preferred technique. For those repetitions I really don't want to draw out, I switch back to Beth Ferrier's printer friendly product. 

I will also add that the Matilda's Own is thinner and less noticeable on the finished applique piece whereas I have found Beth Ferrier's to be thicker (this has a place in your quilting, it just depends on the size, intensity and placement of your applique). Again, this is down to preference issues and you'll soon find out after a bit of experimentation which suits your current project better. They both have a place. But I think the fact that Matilda's Own is now here makes shipping products in from the USA less desirable (on our budgets at least). My decision to switch was because of ease, why wouldn't you buy a product available locally if you could?

I love tearaway water soluble fusible as it makes applique so much quicker and is a basic staple in my applique tool kit. 

Do you use fusible? 
What's YOUR favorite brand? I'd love to know!

9 comments:

  1. The Matilda's Own Polyfuse is new to me and I am not sure if tit is available widely in the UK. It is great to get recommendations for products. I have only used the Wash-away once and the top is unfinished and unwashed so not sure how it will feel. I would love more posts like this as they do help so much.

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  2. Hi Catherine, it is a new product and in my own opinion, it is excellent. It is made in China and distributed by the Australian brand Matilda's Own which may be why it hasn't reached the UK yet. Actually, a lot of Australian quilters haven't heard of it either.

    I only raise an eyebrow when they say it is suitable for injek printers because I just don't feel that it is. My Epson inkjet printer was new and purchased only for the purpose of using it to print on printable fusible as my unit for creating patterns was a laser printer which couldn't do that. And it destroyed the head. The printer doesn't work at all now, so if you are going to print, I suggest Beth Ferrier's.

    The thing is, when you are applique-ing hundreds of pieces onto a background, you want your shapes to be as light as possible before and after washing and the Polyfuse by Matilda's Own really is thinner and lighter than other fusibles. It's something that's worth experimenting with.

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  3. Esther, thank you so much for sharing your process using the fusibles. I have never tried it before, (I usually just do simple needle-turn) but love the look you achieve. I've ordered the C & T Beth Ferrier product from Amazon, and plan to give it a go. I doubt we can get the Matilda's Own in the USA yet.
    I LOVE your FB pages and excellent tutorials. Thanks for your generosity!

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  4. I've tried Beth Ferrier's product. It was good, but a little expensive if you're doing a lot of appliqué. My favorite product is http://www.jukeboxquilts.com/products/applique-stabilizer/. It is 60 inches wide and comes in 1 yard cuts. I've cut it and sent it through printers with no problems. I've also used in in my Silhouette cameo to cut scanned shapes.

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  5. Hi Esther, does this polyfuse stay on when you wash your quilt or does it desolve??? thanks Paula

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  6. Thanks Ester.

    It sounds like these fusibles do not actually disappear after the applique is done. I have seen & you mention that some of them are tear away. Not quite what I was looking for. I will stick with what I am using now: freezer paper or label paper.

    Dawn BC

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  7. If you ever consider the use of a cutting machine like the commenter mentioned above about the Silhouette Cameo, you might consider making the switch to a cutting machine just for printing actually. Today's cutting machines also print, and I have personally printed with my Cameo now for the last year and a half, on freezer paper, and water soluble stabilizers. The big secret to printing on these mediums is using a "used" mat, so that the stickiness is not so prevalent. It's a great way to use old mats until you restick them or replace them. You can use almost any drawing pen, or pencil with them (not all cutting machines accept a lot of pens, until recently the Brother SNC for instance was limited to only their pens).

    I know a printer is expensive to replace, but the Cameo for instance might cost you 100.00 more than a new printer, and you won't be replacing expensive inks for the Cameo like you would a printer.

    You don't have to cut fabric with your cutter (in fact it's not that easy to do unless you use fusible products like heat n bond, you need to stiffen the fabric like heatnbond does, but for printing patterns, or even cutting freezer paper templates, or possibly even water soluble (I haven't tried cutting templates with water soluble yet) you will really pay for that cost quickly.

    I did try Beth Ferrier's paper for cutting in the cameo, and I had an issue with putting the "furry" side on the side of the mat that is sticky, so if you use Beth's paper on a cutting machine, use the non furry side to cut, and that may affect the pattern because of the reverse side needed for applique patterns.

    Anyway, if your going to have to replace your printer, you might give the cutting machine idea a thought or two. So sorry you ruined your head, that sucks big time.

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    1. Hi Marian, I've actually been looking at cutting machine printers lately and can't decide between the Cricut or Brother Scan N Cut, they're both well over $500 each so I am sitting back and waiting to hear some real feedback on them after the initial excitement wears off.

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  8. Since writing this post, I've gone back to Floriani Stitch N Wash Fusible as my favourite go to fusible - it's a bit pricey but I'm happier with the results post washing. It's not as stiff. Mind you, neither of the products mentioned in the above post are bad - they're suitable for different projects. I keep trying new things but once again have returned to Floriani as my preference.

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