The addition of the right interfacing can help reinforce your fabric and provide a better base for embroidery.
Adding a layer of fusible interfacing to the back of fabric before embroidering can help prevent puckering, particularly with lighter weight cotton fabrics.
Interfacing supports fabric like stabilizer supports thread. The key is to use interfacing that is both fusible and lightweight. It should add support without affecting the drape of the fabric. I am a big fan of Pellon ShapeFlex 101 (no affiliation).
SF101, is a 100% cotton interfacing. It works well with most any base fabric, even quilting cottons, and is particularly nice for applique. It is machine washable and dryable making it perfect for quilts and quilted projects, and comes in white and black for light or dark fabrics.
Here are some of the benefits of using SF101:
- An improvement in overall stitch quality.
- Interfaced applique holds up better to wear and tear over time.
- Edge stitches are typically cleaner and more uniform.
- Interfacing applique prevents darker background fabrics from showing through lighter colors.
Interfacing helps to support the fabric but is not a replacement for stabilizers. Stabilizers are still necessary in embroidery to support stitching.