All wrap scrap creations are sewn by me on a semi-industrial Janome sewing machine. He’s a temperamental beast that can power through just about anything I can stuff under the foot. I picked him up in May 2019 after realising that my poor Toyota machine wouldn’t live long if I kept asking it to sew through 4 (or more) layers of wrap scrap material. He was actually an awesome second hand find that I was very lucky to stumble upon – he’d have been far beyond my budget otherwise!
I use polyester Gütermann thread for all my creations. It’s synthetic which isn’t what I’d prefer to use, but I have found that even though Gütermann (an absolute market leader when it comes to sewing thread) also makes cotton thread, the cotton just isn’t as strong and durable as the polyester thread. I do have cotton in a variety of colours so if you prefer I use that for your Treasure instead, it’s definitely an option.
Ironing fusible interfacing onto my scraps is a must before I start cutting pattern pieces. It stops the fraying of the fabric, makes it easier to draw the pattern pieces 😉 and above all, it adds durability to my creations. I used to buy it by the metre but nowadays I just buy a 25m roll.
Merino wool, mulesing free and relatively locally sourced (South Germany, to be exact) is my go-to stuffing material. It comes in fluffy rolls of 1 kilogram and I order multiple of these at once. Not too many though, because I have to store them somewhere and my husband already thinks I have too much stuff… Wool is sustainable, durable, keeps it shape well, it’s fire retardant and resistant to mites and bacteria.
As a vegan alternative I also have organic kapok available. It’s lovely material, very soft and fluffy (maybe even a bit too fluffy; can’t work with it outside or it’d all blow away). It stuffs very firmly though so there are different levels of ‘firmness’ that can be achieved with it. It washes well, but stays wet for a long time (days, depending on the size of the item) and becomes heavy when wet. So I’d advise you to machine washing with care, because the heaviness may cause your wrap scrap item lose shape due to tumbling so you’ll have to beat it back into shape afterwards.
Last but not least – all my creations get a handmade paper card with their name. It also lists the fabric they’re made of, material they’re stuffed with and care instructions (where applicable of course – the keyfobs only have the fabric mentioned). When sent out, I use sturdy cardboard boxes. When using the slightly-less-sturdy boxes I have left (or that I use when recycling boxes). I use recycled plastic packaging material to wrap my items in when needed. Only too often this will be the signature purple bag of a certain wrap brand… If you’re familiar with the brand you may also recognise the twine used for the hearts and stars I make!
I’ve always added notes to my creations with some care instructions. However I’ve recently changed these, because I feel that the risks do not outweigh the benefits of being able to wash your Treasures in the washing machine.
So – regardless of the blend, I ONLY recommend you either spot clean your keepsakes, or if there’s more thorough cleaning needed (because Accidents Do Happen), hand wash them. I’ve always thought that machine washing, if you have a very trusted machine and use the right detergent (liquid, no enzymes, no optical whiteners), you can do it. But there are some very real risks to that, such as shape changes or accidental felting, and it’s just not worth it.
I HAVE machine washed several of my creations in my very trusted Siemens front loader, but the whales didn’t improve from this treatment (the tail is a “weak spot” and the stuffing moved out of the narrowest part, creating limp dangling tails) and I can think of other animals with identical issues. Also, the wool stuffing may felt or become lumpy, and the organic kapok takes AGES to dry and becomes VERY heavy with water in the meantime… so just don’t do it.
To dry your keepsakes after washing, please do so on a spot away from direct heat (don’t dry them near a heat source such as a hearth, stove or (central) heater) and out of direct sunlight. The direct sunlight is especially valid for silk blend fabrics, but since you’re not using your fabrics to carry your child and silk won’t immediately disintegrate when dried in direct sun, you may put them out in direct sunlight to bleach any stubborn stains – it may work!