Is polyester the new cotton? It is with machine embroidery thread. Maybe it is the same with fabric.
When you think of quilting, you think of cotton fabric. Daleen Lubbe from Stitch Delight gets gorgeous results when using a non-traditional fabric. The secret? Scuba.
Scuba is not the swimming or diving suit fabric, but a finely spun polyester that used most often for form-fitting apparel. It is extremely soft, drapes well, and comes 60-inches wide.
Because it has more spring than quilting cotton, it really highlights detail embroidery. Embroiderers just add a layer of low-loft batting to the back and float the fabric in the hoop when stitching.
It almost makes no sense as an embroidery base because it has a four-way stretch, but the results are stunning. Any kind of embroidery, whether it is redwork, outlines, quilting, applique, or even fill stitches, all seem to sew well on scuba fabric.
Here are some tips:
- The more detail in the embroidery design, the better.
- No stretch needle is required, a 75/11 is most often used.
- Use a soft cutaway (not mesh) stabilizer in the hoop.
- A water-soluble topper helps to prevent accidental snagging while stitching.
- A Pon Te Am scuba knit has a soft sheen; crepe versions are lighter weight with more texture.
- Scuba fabric comes in a variety of solid colors.
- Stitch multi-colored embroidery in one color if you want a tone-on-tone effect