Saturday, September 6, 2008

Backing, etc

Okay, I keep reading about backing/stabilizers/, fill a new beader in. Why are these used, and how important are they? What little beading I've done has always been on 3-dimensional pieces, and just little touches for detail, never on a flat piece of fabric where most of the surface may end up utilized.



flyingbeader said...

What type of backing depends on how you want your finished piece to feel. If you are going for a more stiff card-like end, then a Pellon or Timtex is what you want to use. You can buy this in the fabric deparment at Joanns (comes in big rolls). You can usually just iron it on the back of your fabric. Or if you are looking for more of a soft finish, then I'd recommend a quilt batting. That too comes in different weights and types. I like Soft & Natural for this. Or you can use an interfacing which is a iron on product. Or you can just glue a piece of wool on the back of your fabric, or you can just use nothing. Most of this depends on your experience with working on flat pieces.


shebaduhkitty said...

CynJon, thanks for asking something I have been wondering too. I want my pieces to be able to stand up... BUT how would you bead through something so stiff? So I (so far) am working mine like I usually do my mini fabric collages. I have my top collage of fabrics that I usually am using an iron on interfacing to place before sewing. Then I have an inner layer of felt. I don't want them to be as fluffy and thick as quilts so I don't use batting. Then I have a backing fabric. I sewed these all together, then started the beading. Of course now there is all the ugly stiching on that cute back fabric and it is not sturdy enough to stand yet. My prototype had cardstock in with the felt center, but I can't bead through that (or don't want too) and after the beads, I don't think that will be strong enough. SO I think I will be adding a more cardboard type paper to the back with glue and a final covering of fabric once all the beading is done.

But I am as new as what do I know! I imagine that #10-12 is going to be vastly different in construction than #1-3.

Marty S said...

Backing or stabilizer is used to keep the fabric you are beading on stable--so it won't change shape or size while you are beading. If you pull the thread tight while you are sewing, you will gather up the fabric and the beads will buckle. This is especially important if you are working on a lightweight fabric such as cotton. Heavier fabrics, such as Ultrasuede or leather, don't need backing.

I've used paper, Lacy's Stiff Stuff, non-woven stable in all directions interfacing, embroidery hoop, and quilt batting. Personally, I don't like fusible interfacing. It's stretchy and I don't like putting the needle through any extra gummy stuff.

But who am I to talk? I was the one who asked about backing in the first place!

And shebaduhkitty, can you do your beading on the fabric collage backed by felt, then sew the cute backing fabric on, leaving one side open to slip in cardboard (like a pillow case), and then hand stitch the opening closed after you put the cardboard in?

Marty S
Crackpot Beader

beadbabe49 said...

I've used pellon (like timtex) with cotton fabric basted to it (or fused around the edges) and then backed it with ultrasuede or another layer of fabric after the beading is done...that's held up well to moderate beading but if you bead it heavily you might need two layers of pellon to keep it from buckling or bending.

Susie Schwartzenberger said...

I recommend Lacy's Stiff Stuff for bead "encrusted" pieces. It is slightly thinner, yet stiffer, than the heaviest Pellon interfacing. Interfacing is meant to be used in clothing, Lacy's has been made specifically for beadwork.

I like that Lacy's stays flat even if you pull your threads a bit too tight. Pellon and Fun Felt have both distorted all of the threads used when completely covering a piece.

Here's a question... WHY am I pulling my threads that tightly?? I usually feel very relaxes when I'm working on bead embroidery...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips, y'all!