Steam-A-Seam Substitutes

20140707 ETA: CuttingCorners Fusible Web


Alas Steam-A-Seam, my favorite fusible tape, has disappeared from the market. Their home page explained that their paper supplier retired and the Warm Company searched far and wide for an acceptable paper substitute. At one time the Warm Co published an expected ship date of June 2014 which now has been pushed to “in production” Fall 2014. In production? What’s the ship expectation? What’s the in stores projection? And dang it all, what is so wonderful about the paper that it can’t be easily substituted? Other companies have rushed to fill the void and though I have held off partly from loyalty and partly because SAS was my preferred product, I’m now actively investigating other possibilities. SAS may have lost my business.

****Cutting Corners fusible Web  This product is superior to Steam A Seam.  I forgot to include it in my original post because I use it very sparingly, mostly for zippers. Alas it is often the only product I need a the time and I’m reluctant to order only one thing due to shipping costs. This is the lightest weight I’ve ever used.  It has never added stiffness to my garment. I gave it a 4 star rating is because it doesn’t come in 1/2″ width and is available only through CLD.

** Dritz Sewing and Craft Tape Another long time available product. I think it was the first that I used. In its 1/4″ width, it is invaluable holding zippers in place for stitching. Removing the paper backing is a chore and often I remove the tape as well as the paper. My roll is old; very old because I hate to mess with the paper. 2 Star rating, because I’d rather use something else but this is better than nothing.

***Heat Press Batting Together Where Stitch Witchery is available everywhere including Walmart, you have to hunt more for the Batting Together. It’s also not marketed for use in dressmaking (my baliwick) but it does work with fabric and it does have the paper backing. However, I always had issues during pressing. Either I didn’t press long enough or pressed too long. In the first case the fusible doesn’t melt and therefor doesn’t stay in place and therefore makes a mess on my iron. In the later case of pressing too long, it didn’t stick to both sides. Just sort of melted into one layer. It’s prime disadvantage for me are the widths in which sold. I use fusible tape to hold edges in place until I can stitch them. (Edges: hems, facings, zippers…) 3/4″ is the narrowest Batting Together is available. I prefer 1/8″, 1/4″ and maximum 1/2″. I considered sawing the 3/4 roll but safety factors ruled against. Alas it does work satisfactory, but the downsides have me giving it 3 stars.

****Kool Tak I just recently found this and note that it’s already in clearance on some sites. One of its Stars is awarded because of the variety of widths in which available including the illusive 1/8″. It has the needed paper backing (Warm Company, why can’t you find paper?), peels off the roll and positions easily. If lightly pressed, it can be repositioned but if firmly pressed into place, it’s a done deal i.e. cannot be moved. It’s also thicker. Definitely more of a tape than a bonding agent. As such, I notice it in the hems to which it was applied. For me (my laundry methods are rough) the Kool Tak lessens with a few washings. But still stiffness continues to be present in the areas to which applied. It is for that reason that I prefer the narrower 1/8 and 1/4″ widths. Be careful when purchasing. Kool Tak comes in many forms. I purchased Double Sided permanent tape “Premium Pro”. It’s white on the roll but clearish when applied.
Seeing as how the Warm Company has no idea when SAS will be available for us again, I’m open to trying more fusible tapes. I want the kind that fuse two layers together. I have bias and straight tapes that I’m well satisfied with using for their purpose. I need something thin, narrow and paper backed. Any suggestions?

*** Stitch Witchery The product I don’t use because it doesn’t come with a paper backing. But it has returned to my attention because it is ever bit as good as SAS and it is available for use. It’s also reasonably priced, much lower than SAS. Still I hate the extra effort that comes from trying to keep it off my iron and it’s definitely not repositionable. Once in place, that’s it. Ergo my 3 star rating


6 thoughts on “Steam-A-Seam Substitutes

  1. Pellon has a couple of new products, “EZ Steam II” and “EZ Steam II Lite”. Both come by the yard, 1/4″ roll, and 1/2″ roll. Good luck!

  2. Sorry, no recommendations here. As soon as I realized the issues with shortages a few months ago, I found some online and ordered 2 boxes. Those should last me a while. Good luck in your search.

    1. Linda
      I thought I had plenty. I 2 boxes of 1/2″ and 3 of 1/4″. I’m down to half a roll of the 1/2″ and 1 of the 1/4″. I really love and use my SAS. Kinda of bummed that the Warm Company can’t find a paper substitute.

  3. Have you tried the paper release fusible from Louise Cutting? I’ve bought it, but not used it yet, as I still have a little SAS lite in the stash. Looks to be similar though. Karen

    1. Yes I have. Completely forgot about it. I like the narrow width for use with zippers. I use it sparingly because of shipping costs. Generally adding it on to another order. Good product. Thanks for bringing it up.

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