A Question about Fusible Materials

A friend recently called me asking which fusible web I use in my artwork. She was excited about working on a fusible project, but the product suggested with the pattern wasn’t working for her because certain fabrics would not fuse together.

The quick and easy answer is that my chosen fusible web is Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 (LSS2). But with that said, what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for everyone . . . or even for me all the time.

Prior to calling me, my friend had tossed the problem fabric in the wash to see if that would make a difference. That was an excellent place to start. In the directions that come with LSS2, the first item mentioned is to prewash.

I have to admit that I am all over the board on prewashing my fabric. I washed all my fabric when I first started because that was what I was told to do. Then as I inherited other stashes in large boxes and bags, I gave up on washing. If I think of it now I will wash any hand-dyes I acquire, but that’s it.

 What I like the most about LSS2 is the ability to stick my fused fabric to the base fabric and then reposition it if necessary. Once I have everything in place and am happy with the entire piece, I can hit it with steam and fuse it permanently. I have a tendency to design on the fly, by the seat of my pants—or you might say by jumping into the deep end without a plan. So I like the flexibility the LSS2 provides me.

I also find the tackiness of the fusible helpful when I am tracing the design onto the liner backing. If you look closely at some of my pieces, the design has fused pieces that can be quite intricate. You don’t want the fusible moving while you’re tracing these.

One complaint I’ve heard about LSS2 is the amount of trash it generates. I have to admit the trashcan does fill up quickly. When you buy it 50 yards at a time like I do, you have the instruction sheet and the two liner papers. One liner is always easier to remove, and I use that anytime I need a pressing sheet. The other liner is what I trace onto. The back of the instruction sheet is blank and a ready source of paper for notes or sketches.

I also keep a small amount of Misty Fuse around for those rare times when I need to fuse light fabrics like tulles or organzas. It doesn’t have a paper liner, so I end up using freezer paper on the right side of the fabric for my patterns.

I haven’t used every fusible that is on the market. I know some artists swear by Wonder Under, Misty Fuse or Soft Fuse. To some extent I think we are often influenced by the product with which we learned.

As my mom was fond of saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat!” Or in our case, more than one way to fuse a cat. What is your favorite fusible?