Terial Magic Spray by Terial Arts

Michelle Marvig explains Terial Magic Spray by Terial Arts and how to use it on your chosen fabric for the best possible results.

Driven by Michelle Marvig


Patterns, products, tools and our own skills are changing constantly. I started sewing originally to make clothes, now I do not even do hems! When I found machine-pieced patchwork, a love affair was started that is yet to end. But the style of quilts that are made now are vastly different to what was being crafted when I started 25 years ago.

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Textile art and art quilts are very popular and require different products. Terial Magic Spray was designed by the founder of Terial Arts in the United States. Put simply, it is a stabiliser in a bottle for fabrics.


Terial Magic comes in two different-size spray bottles in Australia — 8oz or 24oz. To use it, you simply take your chosen fabric, place in a bowl and wet with the spray. The bowl helps to keep the spray contained. The fabric needs to be wetted evenly and it is suggested that you squeeze the fabric while wetting to transfer the moisture.

The fabric then needs to be placed somewhere to dry until damp. At this stage it will already be stiff, but it stiffens even more after ironing. If the fabric dries out too much before ironing, a spray of water will help. For normal-weight cotton patchwork fabric, the result is a single layer of fabric that is as stiff as heavy paper. I did also try a voile. It did stiffen, but not as much as the heavier cotton. Once stiffened you can then play.


I prepared a background grey square with the Terial Spray, then added raw-edge appliqué shapes using a fusible web. The fusible had no issues sticking to the stiffened background. The magic happened when I came to stitching.

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I completed several types of machine embroidery stitches, including free motion and an incredibly dense Satin Stitch, and the background fabric did not pucker or distort. I did try using a hoop but found it was not necessary as there was no discernible difference between the hooped and non-hooped embroidery.


Normally you would have needed to place a stabiliser under the embroidery to support the background fabric. Generally, this then needs to be removed.

If using a “paper” style of stabiliser, it needs to be pulled out and stitches can be affected. Not to mention the time involved. I was amazed at the result with the Terial Spray. The sample in the photo still has the Terial Spray in it, however I did try another sample and then washed the Terial Spray out.

The natural organic substance used in this spray is water-soluble and I easily washed out about 95 per cent of the spray. I felt my sample was a little stiffer than when I started, but back to an almost normal fabric handle and it quilted up fine. However, in the blurb it does talk about the spray keeping fraying in check.

This is correct when the spray is in the fabric, but as soon as it is washed, the fabric frays as per normal. I do not see this as a major issue as you simply need to cut the fabric bigger than required if you know you want to wash the spray out. I allowed a good 1in on my background square for the sample.


Other uses for Terial Magic Spray are to stabilise your fabric to put through an electronic cutting machine. However, this is more for craft than patchwork. It stiffens the fabric, giving a firm handle to it for the cutting. Great for 3D-finished items or scrapbooking embellishments.

The stiffness of the fibres does stop fraying in this instance. However, if you ever wet or wash the item, this feature is lost. The stiffness would also allow you to use fabric, instead of paper, for origami projects. Or, fabric stiffened with Terial Magic will run through your printer without the need to fuse Freezer Paper behind it.

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However, just using this spray is not enough to permanently keep the ink in the fabric. You would need to use another product to set the ink. This spray just stiffens the fabric for feeding through the printer.

Another use is to take the stretch out of knit fabrics. This can be beneficial if you wish to piece a variety of different fabrics together, or to give stability to the knit before completing automated machine embroidery.


I am sure there are other uses for Terial Magic as well, but I am a patchworker, not an artist. Just remember that the product does wash out. I did not find any marks or spots caused by the spray on any of my samples, no white powder when ironed, or gumming on my needle while stitching.

It does not have a strong smell and the only thing was a slightly sticky feeling on my hands before washing them, after preparing the fabric. I would suggest making extra samples for testing your machine set-up. I was able to free motion easily with an 80 needle on a single layer of fabric.

However, when stitching on the fusible appliqué sample I needed to upgrade my needle to a 90 embroidery to get through the thickness of the multiple fabrics and the stiffer background.

As to how far it will go … the jury is out. The 8oz bottle says it will prepare one yard of fabric, but the 24oz bottle says it will cover four to five yards of fabric. I double sprayed my voile to add more weight. I think different fabrics and applications will decide the amount you use.

There is plenty of fun in one bottle. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with this product — variety is the spice of life.

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