Friday, May 25, 2012

Review - DMC Soluable Canvas

I was pretty excited when I heard about DMC's new product:  Soluble Canvas.  I bought some right away and tried it out to see how it would work for adding cross stitch and counted thread embroidery onto crazy quilting as an alternative to using waste canvas.
The canvas is quite nice to stitch on.  The holes are even and perfectly spaced so it is more like stitching on a piece of Aida cloth instead of canvas.  The canvas has a bit of a funny feel to it.  More than anything it reminds me of dried white glue - you know that plastic-y feel almost? It isn't unpleasant or nasty - just different.
I began by cutting a piece of canvas to size and basting it on the block, then stitched the cross stitch motif, in this case a rose, as I would normally.
 Following the instructions, I then had to soak the piece in soapy water.  Rinse lots after that to get the soap and residue out and you are done.  The canvas turns soft, then into a slime and then disappears completely.
Here is the end result.
So, now for my feelings on using this product vs. traditional waste canvas on a cq project.
Pros:  I think I got more uniform stitching and a nicer piece as an end result.  If I were using this on  a piece of clothing I was going to throw in the washer anyway it would be good.
Cons:  It is more expensive than waste canvas - you only get one small sheet in a package. Also, you can`t see the stitching as clearly against the background as you are working with this canvas vs. waste canvas.  I found this worrisome in this example since I was concerned about how the shades of gold were going to show up against each other - hoping the black background would make them pop enough to be distinguishable from each other.
 I sweat bullets when I had to immerse the thing in warm water.  I get nervous when I use a damp Q-tip to dab away water soluble markers I have used so this had me going up the wall - immersing it in warm soapy water!  Had the cottons it was pieced with been preshrunk?  Had the muslin backing?   Then when it came to  having to iron it after I was worried again - what about the threads?  Were all these speciality threads going to hold up under the heat of the iron?  Well, everything worked all right although the rose is not as clearly a rose as I would like because of the way the shading works against the black.
In conclusion, I will use the product again in other applications but not on crazy quilting work. Getting it out of there necessitated more stress on me and the piece than I am happy about.  I also worry about new products like this that claim to "disappear" until they have been proven by time.  Recently there were new markers on the market that claimed to "disappear" but they don't - they return with cold temperatures.  Up here in Canada at least that is a concern eight months out of the year.  I also think back on the sticky boards we used years back for framing needlework.  In that case it turned out that the glue used on the boards attracted insects to your work over the long haul - not a happy outcome.  So, maybe it is an age thing on my part that I have become very cautious over time but when you put this many hours into your stitching, do you really want to take unnecessary chances?   As for myself, I can't give this a thumbs up, at least in the applications I hoped to use it for.  Just my own opinions but there you have it.


Quayceetatter said...

Thanks for experimenting with this new product. I will give it a try but "Old People" are set in their ways!! LOL

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

Great post Kerry. I had this product in my hands earlier this week. I hadn't tried waste canvas yet and was actually looking for it when I saw the water soluable product. I knew the CQ I was working on now was one I wouldn't want to soak in water so I stuck with my original pick of waste canvas. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Very informative.

Mosaic Magpie said...

I too worry when I have to immerse something that contains silk or velvet...but on the other hand I hate to dry clean anything. Even if you carefully hand wash your fabrics before embellishing them, you have to be concerned as you said how the specialty threads or beads will hold up. It is a bit of a double edged sword.
Waste canvas always seems a bit stiff and is hard to remove without getting it damp. It also leaves the stitching a bit lumpy looking, not a pretty cross stitch. It looks like you used waste canvas.
Thanks for the review it is always nice to know if something works or not before purchasing it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honest evalutation I would be worried about the same things considering all the fancy fabrics that are used in crazy quilting.