Mokuba Free Lace Tutorial

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.

Let’s Start!

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.

25 thoughts on “Mokuba Free Lace Tutorial

  1. Carla, you continue to amaze me with your talents and willingness to share with others. The scarf freelace and the leaves look like a great deal of fun. I, for one, cannot wait to see the purse you are making.



  2. Thank you for your comments! Lori and I have played with this stuff for many years- I think the first time was during one of our creative “adventures!” LOL If you have time, go see what creative things Lori does- she is amazing!

    I have been busy quilting. Because these are show quilts, I will wait to share them until they hang publicly. After I finish the quilts, I will load that purse piece and quilt it up so I may finish it.

    As always, I love your comments! Carla

  3. I never heard of Mokuba Free Lace sheets. Does the bottom piece wash out as well?
    Love the look of the leaves, very nice!

    Hi Kathy, to answer your question- yes, the base of this product is water soluble as well. Regards, Carla

  4. Is this product new? I havent heard of it before. Looks much
    better than solvy etc.
    thanks for the info. regards, Verna

    Verna, It’s one of those products that have been around for a few years, but known to some fiber artists, especially those of us who like to paint, torch, burn and experiment. Trust me… once you try this, you will never want to use solvy again!

    I updated the tutorial with the US phone number for the quilt store that I teach at, their link was not working earlier today. Anyhow, the store carries it for me, so I know you can get it from them. It is very hard to find.

    Thanks for stopping by! Regards, Carla

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  6. Hi Carla

    I need to find a supplier for the Mokuba Free Lace paper. The listing you suggested only has the small scarf size, do you have another contact that you could share.


  7. I heard of this product, Mokuba Lace, and was fascinated. I am a fiber artist and love to experiment. I tried Sulky and was very frustrated by the fact that it wasn’t adhesive to begin with. I would love to purchase some. Could you please describe its qualities and how it could be used further before I order? It does sound like just what I’ve been wanting to try.
    Mary Jean

    Mary Jean, Mokuba Freelace is- imho- the Cadillac of water soluble. It is expensive, but does have a sturdy base with tacky qualities so that the fibers you place on it does not slide around. I will drop you an email and we can chat about it further. Carla

  8. bonsoir,
    pouvez vous me dire où puis je trouver le free lace moins cher que chez mokuba car ça fait chère pour une écharpe, j’aimerai faire une écharpe comme vous avez fait et merci pour les explications c’est superbe!
    à bientot

    • Bonsoir,

      I do not speak french, however, I used an online translator to figure out what you were writing.

      Regarding Mokuba Freelace, I do not sell it, however, you can locate a business online that does. Here is a business that sells it: ||||5&p=8

      The company that makes this is called Mokuba and is known for manufacturing ribbons:

      Good luck with finding Mokuba Freelace, it is fun to work and create with.

      Regards, Carla

      Translated online from English to French: Traduit en ligne de l’anglais franais :


      Je ne parle pas du franais cependant j’ai utilis un traducteur en ligne pour chiffrer que vous criviez.

      Quant Mokuba Freelace, je ne le vends pas cependant vous pouvez localiser une affaires en ligne qui fait. Voici une affaires qui il vendent :| |||5&p=8

      L’entreprise qui ceci fait est appel Mokuba et est su pour fabriquer des rubans :

      La bonne chance avec trouver de Mokuba Freelace, c’est amusant pour travailler et crer avec.

      Les gards, Carla

  9. Thank you Carla for the answer on Mokuba. Can you tell me where I will be able to find sites or books to learn free piqué, j’ test but I make n’ import what. so long Astrid

    • Hello Astrid, I am not sure what you are asking due to the differences in our languages.

      Any chance you can find someone to translate so I understand what “pique,j test” means? I am willing to help you, but we need someone to chime in that speaks both French and English. Regards, Carla

  10. bonjour carla,
    pour moi le piqué libre,c’est les dessins que vous faites dans les quilting,tu vois ce que je veux dire?

    autre question,peut t’on mettre angélina qu’on repasse dans une écharpe?

    hello carla, for me free piqué, c’ is the drawings which you made in the quilting, you see what I want to say? another question, can t’ one to put angélina qu’ one passes by again in a scarf? thank you for your answers Astrid

    • Hello Astrid, I am back from my vacation and just saw your comment. Yes, Angelina fibers can certainly be added to your fiber scarf project. Basically, anything you can sew through is fair game. For me, I love adding silk fiber waste and silk fibers, too.

      Would enjoy to see your work… do you have a website?

    • Hello Astrid, I answered above, but can certainly answer again…. yes, angelina fibers may be added to your project if you wish. Any fibers that may be sewn through may be added. Carla

  11. I took a class last week in making scarves with Mokuba and Solvy. The Mokuba, although was more expensive, worked so much better and stuck together better. Also with the Solvy, we had to go out and buy a $15 can of spray to help it stick better and the people who used the Mokuba still had a better experience. I would like to know if there is anyplace I can buy it in Southern California where I live, and not have to get it online.
    Jan in Lemon Grove CA

    • Hi Jan, you are correct… that is why I wrote this free tutorial. I love this stuff!

      Here’s the negative- this stuff is very hard to find as the company is more into ribbons that soluble. They have a very high minimum, which is a barrier to many stores.

      Your teacher was able to get her hands on some, so perhaps you could ask her of a local So Cal source. The only other store I know of is in NO Cal- a lovely store called JRR Flamingo.

      Btw, the store you took the class from? They should also carry it- at least I would think?

      Good luck!! Carla

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  14. Contact Mokuba in New York City. You can buy quantities wholesale from them and you save a lot of money, especially if you buy it by the roll.

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