There are tons and tons of embroidery tools and items that will help you with perfecting your stitch outs, and chances are you have a few in your sewing room already! As with any helpful items, some tools are handy, and some tools can be overused and cause issues.  Enter temporary adhesive spray!  The temporary adhesive spray can help out in a tight situation, but make sure you are using it properly.

What exactly is temporary adhesive spray?

Temporary adhesive spray or “sticky” spray comes in a few different formulas for different uses. There are a few different manufacturers, but the one that I have on hand in my workroom is called 505 Temporary Fabric Adhesive.  Pretty cool stuff when used properly.  It is a spray adhesive (like hair spray for your fabric) that will lightly and temporarily tack down your fabric.   I have had the same bottle of spray for around 3 years!  I use it, but I do use it carefully.

useful tools for embroidery

What it is NOT:  Temporary adhesive spray is not a stabilizer, nor does it replace hooping!  It does not stabilize your fabric in any way, or make it better to stitch – it merely lightly tacks down your fabric.  Applique fabric is a great to use a bit of temporary adhesive spray – when you have your fabric ready, and your machine has completed the placement stitch, then spray a bit on the back of your applique fabric and smooth it down in your hoop.  Immediately after that, you can do the tack down stitches and the final satin stitches.   The temporary adhesive spray will help hold the applique fabric flat so you can get the applique fabric flat…and as the name says – the adhesive qualities of the spray are temporary – so spray and press it down!

The temporary adhesive spray is just temporary, and no matter how much you use, it is still a light temporary hold for your fabric.  It does not replace hooping your fabric – it does not have enough sticky or holding power for that!  I did notice on the back of the bottle that it had a t-shirt that was sprayed and pressed on to stabilizer – I do not recommend this for embroidery – you will end up with your t-shirt moving, and you will run into registration errors, among other things.  So don’t go out and buy bottles of temporary adhesive spray thinking that it will be a miracle spray and fix all of the embroidery errors – hoop it and be sure and use the temporary spray as a light aid once in a while.

CAUTION 1:  There are a few things to be mindful of when using this type of spray.  The first rule is DO NOT SPRAY THIS NEAR YOUR MACHINE.  Yes, seriously, move away from the machine before spraying!  You do not want this spray inside your machine – eventually, you will have a mess on your hands!  It does leave a residue, and that residue will not be healthy for your machine.

SOLUTION:  it is simple!  I don’t want to go outside or spray my fabric in another part of the workroom near computers or other machines.  Get a box!  Yep, find a box that your hoop or fabric will fit into, cut off the sides and voila!  You have a safe spray zone!  You can spray the proper amount of temporary adhesive spray, and you won’t get the spray everywhere and make everything sticky!  When the box has too much residue, switch it out for another box and start fresh.

use a box to keep machines safe

I use a box to keep the over spray from getting everywhere.

CAUTION 2:  If you look at the container in the picture, you can see some warnings printed clearly in capital letters “EXTREME DANGER.”  I guess this should have been caution 1?  What they are telling you is that the spray itself is extremely flammable and use with caution.  So check out your surroundings before you spray!!   The contents of the container are also under pressure, so you need to be cautious on how you store your temporary adhesive spray and keep an eye on the temperature, avoiding extreme heat as well as making sure that the container has no dents or blemishes.   Be careful – don’t leave your temporary adhesive spray near your heat press or iron, that’s for sure.

SOLUTION: be careful when using and storing the spray – make sure it is stored properly and check out your surroundings before using it and putting it down after use!

RESIDUE:  Yep, residue happens with this stuff!  You need to clean your hoop if you have some residue buildup, and yes it will happen! If you don’t use the spray with your hoop, then you probably won’t have any residue on your hoops.  If you do find residue,  you can carefully try and wipe off the hoop with a clean dishcloth and some water – maybe even a small amount of dish soap too – and that might help.  Be sure you are very careful with your hoops and dry them completely.  There are some other solutions – one that I have tried is called GooGone – and it has a nice orange smell and gets rid of the goo on your hoops!  I am not making any kind of recommendations here, I have only used it a few times when the residue got piled up, but I mostly use the box method so that my hoops stay nice and clean. Of course make sure that you use ANY cleaning solutions on your hoops carefully – use sparingly and only once in a while – don’t clean your hoops after every use, you don’t want them to be slippery or have chemicals on them!  Make sure you wipe off as much of any cleaning chemical as possible, and rinse or wipe with water – you don’t want any cleaning stuff to transfer over to your fabric.

before and after hoop cleaning

dirty vs clean hoops

While temporary adhesive spray can be a great tool for embroidery, I would use it sparingly and only when necessary.  Avoid damaging your machines with the excess spray and make sure you store and use the spray with caution.    When used properly and sparingly, it can make applique easier, and the final result look better!

Until next time

Happy Stitching and careful spraying!



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