Battle of the Foam Stabilizers
Whether you’re into bag making, or just use foam stabilizer in craft projects – there are several different brands available at varying prices. I’ve used three of them and have compiled a comparison.
Bosal In-R-Form Plus Unique Fusible Foam, ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable, and the newest to the scene getting a lot of buzz – Pellon Flex-Foam FF-77.
BOSAL IN-R-FORM PLUS UNIQUE FUSIBLE FOAM
Description: Double sided fusible foam laminated to napped tricot, soft and formable, easy to stitch, and needle friendly
Price per inch: .9 cents based on price of $9.51 for 18 X 58 inch piece (Comparative sew-in version is also .9 cents per inch based on price of $19.30 for 36 X 58 inch piece)
Moore thoughts: For some reason I expected the Bosal foam to price out the least expensive, but both the fusible and sew-in versions were actually the MOST expensive! The foam is thinner than ByAnnie’s and Pellon and the individual foam cells appear larger, but they are probably the stiffest out of the three. For me, that’s actually a plus since I prefer bags to be more “stable” than “soft.” With the double sided fusible foam, I have noticed there is some dimpling/wrinkling on the fabric after fusing it to the stabilizer.
Compared to ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable, it is slightly better for making large bags. Both the Tudor Bag and Cargo Duffle made from Bosal are sturdier in construction and hold their shape.
Projects using Bosal:
Sew Sweetness Tudor Bag in Fantasia / Cotton + Steel
Noodlehead Cargo Duffle in Cotton + Steel / Violet Craft Brambleberry Ridge
Description: Give a professional finish to bags and other projects with this great product. It has many features that make it superior to other battings and stabilizers including being soft comfortable lightweight and easy to sew. It also has great lasting body and stability that maintains its shape.
Price per inch: .7 cents based on price of $34.70 for 72 X 58 inch piece
Moore thoughts: Confession – I have been somewhat stingy with using my Soft and Stable. I’d been under the impression it was significantly more expensive than my stash of Bosal In-R-Form, but it was actually the other way around! (Now that I know this – watch out!)
Out of the three, it’s the most dense and “plush” in my opinion. The fabric on both sides of the foam is very soft compared to Pellon’s Flex-Foam which feels silkier. Definitely more “soft” than “stable” – depending on the project – this could be a positive or negative.
Soft and Stable has the most drape, and the Aeroplane Bag I made using it is kind of floppy and doesn’t stand up on its own very well. If you’re making a tote bag, or a craft project that you don’t want to feel stiff, this would be your best bet. However, for a larger bag – I would go with either the Bosal In-R-Form or Pellon Flex-Foam.
Project using ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable:
Description: 100% Polyester lightweight foam stabilizer, sewing machine safe, machine wash warm on gentle cycle, tumble dry low or dry clean.
Price per inch: .69 cents based on Jo-Ann’s sale price of $49.99 per 20-inch 10 yard bolt (this seems to be a frequent promotion)
Moore thoughts: Just got my bolt delivered a couple days ago, so I haven’t had too much time to play with it yet. Flex-Foam appears to have a slightly higher loft than Soft and Stable, but the Flex-Foam has about the same amount of stability as the Bosal In-R-Form (more than Soft and Stable). The fabric laminated to the foam is quite silky.
Out of the three, the Flex-Foam is the least expensive and I feel it’s a combination of the best aspects of Bosal In-R-Form (stability) and ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable (loft). I also prefer to buy stabilizer/interfacing in large quantities and appreciate that Pellon offers this in entire bolts.
Project using Pellon Flex-Foam: Whipped up a quick fabric basket last night using scrap fabric – this took less than an hour.
Here’s a look at a cross section:
All three types of foam interfacing have benefits of their own, but I wanted to share my observations on how they are different. One thing they do have in common is how easy it is to sew through them. I do use a walking foot and a needle meant for denim fabric when I’m working with thicker material.
See you next time!
DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links for several different programs. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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