Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Peltex Ponderings

Because of the number of American patterns that recommend Peltex interfacing (and therefore the number of customers asking us for it) we've been keen to get our hands on some for a while. After much nagging of a sales rep I've managed to convince our supplier to bring it in to the country. Now I have to play with it and find out what it's all about.
My initial observations were that it's a bit like a looser, coarser version of Fast2Fuse - more pliable and slightly thicker. The glue is in globules rather than spread over the surface. It fused on nicely to my test piece of homespun cotton.

And then I rolled it and got a bit of a shock...

I'm used to Fast2Fuse doing this...
Ah... but then I realised I was rolling against the grain!! When it's rolled in the OTHER direction it does this......which is what Fast2Fuse does when you roll it against the grain. (In fact, I'm not sure which product this photo is actually of - Fast2Fuse on the wrong grain or Peltex on the right one - they really are VERY similar). This was a revelation to me - I hadn't realised that there actually WAS a grain in Fast2Fuse!!

A layer of medium-heavy interfacing between the fabric and the Peltex/Fast2Fuse softened the ripples on the surface, but didn't completley erase them on the Peltex.
(...oops! I can't spell PELTEX...)And THEN..... I tried a layer of light fusible wadding between the fabric and the stiff stuff.... and fell in love with Peltex.The surface of the fabric was softened by the wadding and the Peltex gave it stand-up support -without being as cardboard-box-like as Fast2Fuse can be (when you're sewing a bag that is completely interfaced with it).

I think the two products each have their pros and cons. (The most obvious balance is that Fast2Fuse is finer, smoother and more rigid than Peltex - and Peltex is half the price of Fast2Fuse).
I have to decide whether to stock it or not. I feel obliged to at least give it a go - having hassled that poor interfacing rep for the last four years...! I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts and experiences with Peltex - if you have any. Would you buy it, have you bought it, any hot tips for using it, does the price difference affect your purchase decision....? I'd love to know more about it from a user's point-of-view and any help is greatly appreciated!


Sandra @ Pepperberry and Co. said...

Hmm... half price is definitely a seller, although that Picture of Peltex doing crazy things on the fabric throws me!

dyanna said...

I like your blog.I'm waiting for your new posts.

Handmade said...

Can't add anything to your research .... go the nag!

Silver Pansy Designs said...

Love to use it in the bottom of bags!

Mandi said...

I have used both, quite extensively, in my artwork (which I sell in a gallery, so quality matters to me!!!). I will not buy Peltex again. Even though it is half the cost, I find it is half the quality and therefore I either double it to get the same effect at F2F (I use heavyweight), and it gets creased very easily.

Also, a piece that I did last year and is hanging in the gallery had something happen to it (might be some sort of storage issue), and is now curling. All other pieces I've used timtex or F2F on don't do this.

Now, I will say that the fuse on F2F isn't all that great, unless you're fusing directly to plain quilting weight cotton. Anything else (and I use it all!) and I do require some Misty Fuse or WU (I prefer MF). So,even F2F isn't perfect, but it's thickness, strength, and overall quality throughout the yardage, make it better for my purposes.

That said, if I was doing a quick, cheap gift or something I knew wasn't too valuable, I'd use the cheaper Peltex. The F2F I use for my quality products.


handmaiden said...

At half the price I thought it would be definetly worth trying if they were very imilar but after reading mandi's comment she has put me off. i would rather pay for quality and have a perfect article. I am not into scrimping.
Would like you to use it a couple of bags to see how it goes in application

Fibrenell said...

Interesting comment about creasing from Mandi, because I found that happening too in bags. In stand-up bucket type bags if a crease formed causing it to slightly collapse, reironing never seemed to shift it. I resorted to the extra cost of pelmet vilene (520) with 640 wadding to give softness and structure that was reliable in bags for sale.
I also like the bags to be sponge cleanable and the structure seemed to change with peltex after it was wet - not drastically but it worried me. I always meant to do my own testing of it after washing but never got round to it - maybe that might be something to test out, Nicole.

Nikki said...

Fibrenell - I love the combined effect of 630 wading and Vilene S520 for structure with smoothness, too. Not the easiest for newbie sewers to manipulate around a sewing machine, though... I was hoping Peltex and wadding would be a good - malleable - alternative....? Has anyone tried this in bags?

Anonymous said...

I'd rather pay more and get the better quality product - go Fast-to-fuse! Although the peltex/wadding combination does look good - and you know I like to use wadding in most bags.

Candied Fabrics said...

I use lots of peltex, but in situations where I want it to stay flat, I'm never curving it. I use the kind with fusible on both sides. The neatest thing I ever did with it are these 3-d art houses:
All these notepad covers were made with it:
I also use it to back small quilts (~ 8" x 10") so they can stand on an easel:

All things have stood up well, so I'm happy with it!

Vintage Grrl said...

Also look at the Floriani Stitch'n'Shape. I have used this in place of F2F and it is BRILLIANT. Also half the price of F2F, but I don't find it of lesser quality.

Saremy said...

I know this comment is a bit outdated seeing as you wrote your Peltex piece a year ago!

I have used Peltex (formerly Timtex) for a long time and love it. I'm wondering if you tried your experiments without fusing it. I find fusing it makes it harder to deal with.

Anyhoo. I'm in desperate need of a wholesale source for Peltex and would reward handsomely! My entire line is dependent upon this stiffener. I know it can come in 54" widths too and that is my objective.

If you have any leads you are willing to share- just ask and I will do what you want to learn it!

Thanks a bunch!