8/10/11 - Here it is 3 years later and I just wanted to add that I still use and LOVE Badgemaster. I use it for so many things, not just FSL. I ran out recently and bought some Ultra Solvey. What a surprise! It is the same, but at a significantly higher price. The Badgemaster lasted 3 years ($49.95 for 50 yards at 15" - VERY wide). Ultra Solvey does not even compare. ($20.49 - at Overstock - for 12 yards at 8").
If you read the forums, you will see lots of great opinions and terrific suggestions. One of those threads was about an item called Badgemaster. Users felt it was a good product. Since the AnnTheGran crew work hard to give ME enthusiasts the highest and best quality, the site decided to carry Badgemaster.
When I got my first look at Badgemaster, I was taken aback at the price. The photo did not show much but the description was very encouraging. I was interested in their comparison with two well known water soluble stabilizers (wss). I had used one, but not the other. I decided it was time to put Badgemaster to a test!
Badgemaster says “it maintains its integrity even when stitched through repeatedly.” Well, I had the opportunity to check that one out and found this statement to be true. I had some difficulty with my thread and I actually sewed 3 times over a single area, a notorious problem for FSL. Badgemaster held up very well and did not tear or pull away from the design.
I checked the Internet to find a stabilizer that would call itself ‘heavy duty’ and comparable with Badgemaster. I found one and selected two other wss at random. I compared them for costs and here are my results:
The three wss cost were: $3.01, $3.49 and $3.67 per square yard respectively. The $3.67 wss was the one called ‘heavy duty’ by the seller. At $2.69 per yard, Badgemaster was the most reasonably priced.
So, I have been using Badgemaster for two weeks on several different projects. Did I like the Badgemaster? Yes, and here is why:
· It is industrial sized. For a home user, I approximate this to be about a year’s supply of wss. You won’t be running out of it quickly and, therefore, saving money on shipping and handling costs. A standard size of Sulky is on the left and Badgemaster on the right.
· It is industrial quality. I found it to be very strong and when stretched it returned to its original size. For Free Standing Lace, I normally would use 2 layers. But I only used a single layer because I really wanted to challenge Badgemaster. I was very happy with the results.
· It gave industrial results. I used the “soak” method to clear the stabilizer. I was pleasantly surprised that the resulting lace was so much softer** than anything I had used before. It felt like the fine laces at my fabric store.
· It is versatile. I personally use wss if I am out of another stabilizer and frequently use as a ‘floating’ (under or over the hoop) piece of stabilizer.
· I can use scraps. I melded two pieces together with a light basting of water to one edge, pressed edges together and allowed to dry for 10 minutes. I had created a new sheet ready to be put into my next project!
**About a year ago, I attended a seminar where I saw this wonderful embroidered sweater. It was not a sweater that had embroidery on it, it was a whole sweater made from FSL. I remember how soft it was and more beautiful than any sweater I had ever seen. I know that they must have used Badgemaster because all my other FSL had been ‘stiff.’ As noted, this sweater was soft to the touch.
Did I find anything negative about Badgemaster? No, and I plan to use it for a long time to come. If in the future it fails in any way, I will let you know. After all, most materials have some drawback to them, but I did not find one with Badgemaster.
The manufacturer recommends that once you are done embroidering your design, cut away as much as possible and immerse in warm water. If you want more firmness for projects such as Christmas ornaments, run under warm water but don’t soak your design. For a softer result, soak your finished embroidery. This film will reconstitute itself, so when you are finished with any water, dispose of the water properly. If you were to put it down a drain, it might cause some future plumbing problems. All film types of wss should carry this warning. After all, it is better to err on the side of caution.
I thought that it would be appropriate to thank the community for suggesting this product, and it would seem that there is agreement from the "powers that be". AnnTheGran is offering you a free gift with the purchase of Badgemaster for the next week. This group of sayings that is being offered as a free gift, called Home is a Garden Sayings, is my personal design, so I am really pleased that I've contributed something that you'll be able to use to create something special.
Home is a Garden Sayings as shown on these towels: