Vanishing Act: Machine Embroidery on Soluble Fabrics • Jan Beaney

Digital Edition – Read Online + Download Today
The very first edition from Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn in the Double Trouble Stitch Series, the exciting process of producing machine-made lace, edges, dangles and trims by embroidering onto soluble fabric.



Vanishing Act: Machine Embroidery on Soluble Fabrics • Book 1 by Jan Beaney

Vanishing Act 02

For creative embroiderers, water soluble fabric is one of the most exciting discoveries of the latter part of the 20th Century. By machine stitching on to a soluble fabric and ensuring all sections link one to another, a type of machine-made lace can be created. On dissolving the backing fabric a network of machine stitches is revealed, a unique cloth which can be heavily textured or appear as a fine tracery of gossamer filaments with delicate edgings and additions.

The material was initially made for use in hospitals as bags in which to store soiled linen in order to prevent the spread of infection. Once in the washing machine the bag dissolves during the wash cycle. The fashion industry has also used the fabric to support machine embroidered motifs and decorative cutwork. During the 1980’s machine embroiderers were given the opportunity to purchase the cloth and since then an amazing variety of machine lace has been created.

It is a versatile technique, an ideal choice for decorating a garment, creating textile jewelry and fashion accessories or for the construction of a background cloth or additional sections for wall panels or hangings. The total control the embroiderer has over the choice of color, texture and imagery, as well as the non-fraying effect, offer endless possibilities for creating much distinctive work.

Vanishing Act 03
Vanishing Act: Machine Embroidery on Soluble Fabrics is the exciting process of producing machine-made lace by embroidering onto a soluble fabric is described. A range of suitable fabrics is introduced, together with needles, frames and threads. Techniques include creating a new fabric, free machining and applying special effects such as edgings, decorative beads or cords.
  • 28 pages of full color illustrations
  • Online Reader + PDF Download
  • First published by Double Trouble Enterprises 1997
  • ISBN No: 0-9531750-0-6

Jan Beaney • About the Author

Jan Beaney Jean Littlejohn Bw

Before there was “Double Trouble” there was Jan Beaney.  Yes — this first edition was published by Jan immediately before the collaborative work with Jean Littlejohn began.  As such it is the only book in the “Double Trouble Enterprises” editions that is published by one author. For more than forty years Jan has been challenging traditional notions of embroidery and stitch by working with soluble fabrics, mixed media, bonding, printing, embellishing and collage and extensive use of color development and journaling to great success. A founding member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists, featured instructor at Callaway Gardens School of Needle ArtsCity & Guilds (London), Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen (UK)  and President emeritus of the Embroiderers’ Guild (UK), Jan along with Jean Littlejohn continues her work in inspiring stitch artists of all ages with print books, digital books, and a wide range of DVDs and streaming workshops.

Learn more about Jan and Jean in their interview with

Visit Jan and Jean’s  Double Trouble Enterprises Website