If you’re an experienced embroiderer you’ve most likely heard of water soluble toppings, also known by it’s trade name “solvy”. If you don’t know what water soluble toppings are you’re going to want to add it to your embroidery stash!

What is Water Soluble Embroidery Stabilizer Toppings or Solvy?

Water soluble toppings (or WST for short) are used as a topping and are floated above your embroidery designs (after hooping your fabric and stabilizer). WST work best with terry cloth, fleece, PK knits among other textured fabrics. Essentially it creates clear embroidery by creating a smooth embroidery surface. Water soluble toppings do not sink into fabric, giving your embroidery definition and better detail.

Embroidery Stabilizer Toppings or Solvy

What You’ll Need:

Twenty-five years ago during the factory days of my families’ business, we used water soluble toppings quite frequently. Doing thousands of golf shirts daily using water soluble toppings was a must. Water soluble toppings tears away extremely easily but because it is sticky it tends to get stuck in the inside of letters / holes in embroidery (Especially O’s, A’s, P’s and etc). Production time equaled money so we needed the quickest and easiest way to remove water soluble toppings.

This is what my family came up with, you’ll need:

  • A bowl of water
  • A tennis ball
  • Water soluble topping

… Yes, you did read that right, you will need a tennis ball.

How to Remove the Embroidery Stabilizer Toppings or Solvy

You may be asking yourself “why on earth would I need a tennis ball to remove water soluble toppings?”, the answer is quite simple. Next time you use water soluble toppings make sure you keep the excess topping after you’ve torn it off your embroidery, then wet your tennis ball so it’s damp (not soaking) and begin wrapping it in your excess solvy. Eventually, you will have a solvy-ball. Once dry it will have a nice hard surface, acting like a cocoon around the ball.

Wrapping solvy on tennis ball

To get rid of the water soluble topping stuck in your design simply wet your fingers and begin rubbing an area of your solvy-ball until wet and tacky, next simply tap it on the water soluble topping you wish to remove!

It’s as easy as that! The best way to remove water soluble toppings is water soluble toppings! Working like a magnet it attracts to itself and lifts the topping off instantly!

solvy ball

Next time you’re out, be sure to grab a cheap tennis ball as you never know when you’ll need it for your next embroidery project.

Hopefully this has helped you better understand a bit more about water soluble toppings, remember to have fun learning this new embroidery technique, if you haven’t already go try it out your own designs!

Want to see a video tutorial on how this works? Watch this awesome video now:

So give it a try today and don’t forget to comment below & let me know on how it worked for you!