Mokuba Free Lace Tutorial by Carla Barrett
The picture on the top reflects a finished scarf, however, this product can be used to create a variety of fiber projects including a purse, wearable art, embellishments for a quilt (like the leaves above), textured fabrics, etc. You can purchase Mokuba Free Lace in sheet size (large enough to make a shawl or 2 scarfs) or it is also available by the yard on a bolt.
Pictures used to illustrate each step are from the scarf and leaf projects I have created in the past.
What is Mokuba Free Lace?
Mokuba Free Lace is the Gold Standard of the water soluble products currently on the market. It comes with a base and a water soluble overlay. The base is unique in that it has 2 layers- the sturdy base with a peel away adhesive.
What is the difference between Mokuba Free Lace and other water soluble products? Typical water soluble products have 1-2 layers of plastic, slippery layers. They are thinner than Mokuba Free Lace, so are more likely to tear and fold on you as you work with it- particularly at the stitching phase. The surface of most water soluble products are extremely slippery, however, this problem has been solved by the manufacturer of Mokuba Free Lace. It is the highest quality of water soluble being sold, plus is very easy to work with.
Where would I use Mokuba Freelace?
Mokuba Free Lace is used to give your quilt and fiber project texture, dimension, and interest. You can use it on quilts, scarfs, purses, wearable arts and any other fiber applications.
Where to purchase Mokuba Free Lace?
I asked High Sierra Quilt store, (Phone # (530) 677-9990) in Cameron Park, CA, near where I live, to carry the shawl or scarf sheet package- which is a perfect size for experimentation. It retails for $14.50 per package. I would suggest you call them up (see the link) and order it if you don’t have a local source.
How do I use Mokuba Free Lace?
Step 1: Cut the Mokuba free Lace base to fit your project need. Next, you peel off the backing layer, which leaves behind a sturdy base with a tacky adhesive layer to prevent your fabric or fibers from shifting. Add fabric strips or bits, fibers, yarn, ribbon, angelina fibers, wool or silk roving bits or other materials to your base.
Carla hint: I lay down a sprinkle layer of the smaller thread bits (I use my scissors and just snip yarn, thread, fibers), then add some larger pieces of batik, silk, hand-dyed fabric or ribbon for the middle layer, finishing up with another sprinkling of the smaller yarn and fiber bits. This ensures that the finished project will look similar on both sides.
Step 2: Once you are satisfied that you have the desired texture and density, you lay over the base a water soluble sheet and tack or pin in place to prepare for the stitching:
Carla hint: Add the top water soluble layer to this base and pin. (I also will tack it in place using slight moisture such as rubbing my finger over a sponge, then between the layers. Be careful with how much moisture you add because this is a water soluble product, after all)
Step 3: Next is the fun part. Use decorative or other threads to match your project for the stitching.
I start the project by outline stitching 3 or 4 times around the area to stabilize the edges. Next, I stitch from side to side or free motion across the surface willy nilly. If you prefer a controlled look, you may also stitch a grid for a more structured look. The goal is to encapsulate the piece and hold it all together with the stitching.
Step 4: Last step is to wash the water soluble layers out of the piece. I start by rinsing or soaking it in warm water. Then I wash it by hand, using a mild soap or synthrapol, until the water soluble is no longer in the piece. (if this is a scarf project, then I will add some fabric softener, too, for added softness to the project. Plus it smells nice, too.)
For the leaves, and in projects you wish dimension and stiffness, leave some of the water soluble in the fibers. As you wash it, there will be a “gummy” phase. Stop and shape your project to dry. If you later find it is too stiff, then simple wash it further in warm water to the desired stiffness.
Let your finished piece dry, then it will be ready to embellish or incorporate into your project!
More Helpful Carla Hints:
*Try cutting batik into small pieces and dropping them on the Mokuba free lace. Cover, then stitch. Add as a textural appliqué to your project.
*Use strips of fabric or fiber bits layed out onto the base. Cover, stitch and wash out for textural sheet of fabric.
*If you have difficulty getting the soluble material out of your finished project, just soak overnight in warm water.