Have you stitched a design and you know that it was stabilized properly but, when you pulled it out of the hoop and ironed it, the puckers started to show up? More than likely, that's because either the fabric wasn't preshrunk or the stabilizer wasn't preshrunk. When either one shrinks, it pulls and puckers stitches.
I always advise to preshrink your fabric and stabilizer so that you don't get any surprises after the fact. I have not seen this issue with non-woven stabilizers but woven stabilizers may shrink.
I used a poly mesh stabilizer on a project and it looked great in the hoop. It looked great when I took it out of the hoop, not a pucker in sight. Then I ironed it from the back as I do. Of course the stabilizer was still there and I noticed some tiny little puckering. It wasn't major, it wasn't horrendous, but it bugged me.
You spend all this time, effort, money, to create your perfect little project and then, when you iron it, there's a little bit of waviness or a little bit of puckering and it just drives me nuts. I finally figured out what happened.
I prewashed the fabric so the only thing that hadn't been preshrunk was the stabilizer.
When I use a polymesh stabilizer now, I preshrink it. Just iron it with the same heat setting that you are going to use on your fabric.
If my fabric is cotton, I iron the stabilizer with a cotton setting. If I'm going to use spray starch on my fabric, I spray starch my stabilizer. If I'm going to use steam on my fabric after the fact, I use steam on my stabilizer. Treat the stabilizer like you think you're going to treat your fabric.
I cut two 10” by 10” squares of stabilizer to test my little theory of what might be going on. I pre-shrunk one square and left the other one alone. Between the two stabilizer squares, there was anywhere from 1/8” to 1/4" difference. That creates puckering.
It only takes a couple of minutes to avoid the puckering issue when you preshrink your stabilizer. Again, I have not noticed this issue with my non-woven stabilizers but test your stabilizer at home see and if preshrinking is necessary.
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