Mylar is actually a polyester film developed by DuPont in the 1950’s.By the 1960’s cellophane was developed and many people confuse the two – thinking they are one in the same.Mylar, in and of itself, is used in many applications from hydroponics, food packaging, gift wrapping etc.It was never intended to be used for embroidery.When we talk about Mylar for embroidery purposes – it is really a film that is different than mylar – someone just gave it that name for embroidery.
Mylar Embroidery®is a registered trademark of– Registerant Patricia Gates – for her business Purely Gates Embroidery.Interesting enough is that if you (or me in this instance) were to use the Word Mark Mylar Embroidery®– Patricia Gates would probably come back on us because that is what someone did to her using just the word mark Mylar – that is much like Fat Quarters and Quilter’s Quarters infringement that was going on a few years ago.To a point she will probably let you get away with it – depending on how you were using the wordmark because when you search the internet her site will usually come right up.She claims to be the first to use her designs for Mylar Embroidery.
But the film they are calling mylar for embroidery is actually a polypropylene film and not really Mylar.If you go to the most recommended site to purchase this film you will find the owner has (I believe) removed the word Mylar and calls the product iridescent or opalescent film – and that is made specifically for embroidery and is suitable for machine washing and low temp drying – but do not iron without something between the iron and the film.
Designs that are used for Mylar Embroidery® are designs that have little underlay and specifically digitized for this purpose and they should give you a specific die line.I will show you exactly what I mean and how I do mine.
Example 1 Snowman – digitized specifically for film use – (by Charming Station) stitched on felt piece.The design, as you can see, is not very dense and allows for some of the film to peek through – nothing overwhelming – but it does make a cute pin, decoration or whatever.
Because it was digitized for film use, there is an outline (or die line).So you would first hoop your stabilizer (or in this case my felt), stitch the die line, lay down a piece of inidescent film, and continue stitching.When you are done – while still in the hoop – gently tear away the excess film.It comes off pretty easy at this point because there are a lot of penetration points.Then cutaway your stabilizer.
This item was done with Mettler Polysheen and plain bobbin thread.I did not use a stabilizer on this one – but if I were to put it on a garment, I would use a Floriani No Show Mesh – Cutaway (or whatever it is you use).The film is iridescent film from Heirlooms by Sharon.This would be completely washable, dryable and ironable (only if necessary).
These are free standing lace – one on film and one on iridescent organza.Notice the lacy holes are really too big for any film – even the good stuff.Reason being again, because of the needle penetrations the film will pull or be cut away from the design.This design was not digitized for film embroidery – even though it was digitized for FSL embroidery.
An alternative to get a little shimmer would be to use the iridescent organza – or better still and opal iridescent (which I did not have any).Organza is readily available at any bridal fabric department.
This pattern is a Criswell K-Lace Sampler Bookmarks - Angel Bookmark – the thread is Mettler Polysheen and prewound standard Janome embroidery thread bobbin.
The procedure for film was - to hoop Sulky Ultra Solvy WS – There is no die line because this was not digitized for this purpose, but I know where my outline lies so I stitched to that point then laid down my iridescent film and proceeded to stitch out the rest of the design.Removed the excess film while still in the hoop and then washed away the rest of the stabilizer as you normally would.
The procedure for organza was - to hoop Sulky Ultra Solvy WS and the organza (or you can just lay down the organza – but it is slippery so I hoop it.There is no die line because this was not digitized for this purpose, but I know where my outline lies so I stitched to that point.Then I gently remove the hoop from the machine - and cut away only the organza (just like any in the hoop project) – be careful not to cut your solvy or stitches – but get as close as possible to your stitch (remember this was not digitized for this purpose).Place your hoop back into your machine and continue to stitch out.Usually it will just pull away from the stabilizer – but if need be just trim it up and wash away the rest of the stabilizer as you normally would.
Example 3 – Roses
These flowers were digitized for film (free design by Inspiration Mutz Embroidery of South Africa).One was done as the manufacturer suggested – Floriani Stitch ‘n’ Wash Fusible – the other on Ultra Sulky WS.I do not like the Floriani Stitch ‘n’ Wash – it always always leaves fuzzies – sometimes they wash away – sometimes they don’t.
The with grey trim is actually the Floriani with an iridescent film and green flower wrap film.As you can see the Floriani NEVER washed out – may be a number of reasons for that – and there are still some fuzzies.The green will be ok in here because of two things at this point.The penetrations were few and the backing is still there.The green is actually a little thicker so it can hold it.
The mauve trim is on WS, has a piece of iridescent and a piece of dollar store wrapping paper – so very very thin – but it will probably work OK because this item is not going to be washed.If it were going to be washed – I would venture to say the red and maybe even the green would wash away…but the iridescent probably will still be there.
So there we have it….the choice is certainly yours, but I like to use the iridescent – it really is not more much (if at all) expensive than the cheap stuff (according to the manufacturer’s charts). But keep in mind that the threads that are out there today - will give you very good results as well - its just a different idea to have fun with.