As the foundation for your stitches, stabilizers play an important role in machine embroidery. These tips will help! There are so many variables with machine embroidery that advice is welcome, no matter how experienced that we are.
Stabilizers May Need to be Preshrunk
Have you ever used a polymesh stabilizer and it looks great right out of the hoop but you get puckers after you iron it? Non-wovens can shrink from 1/8” to 1/4“. Even the slightest shrinkage can cause puckering. See how to pre-shrink your poly mesh with this blog and video link.
Stabilizers Must be Matched to Fabric Type
It doesn’t matter what stabilizer you use, if the fabric is too light to support the stitching, your embroidery will not turn out well. The fabric needs to support the stitch count no matter what stabilizer you use.
Stitch Count Matters when Choosing Stabilizers
A higher stitch count requires a sturdier stabilizer. Depending upon how many stitches your design includes, you will need a light, medium, or heavy weight stabilizer. Just what constitutes a light, medium, or heavy weight stabilizer? See the chart here and watch the video here.
Splice Edges for Larger Hoops
As hoops get larger and larger, you may not have the right size of stabilizer on hand. I fused Steam-A-Seam Lite along the outside edges of my stabilizer and fused two strips of stabilizer scraps on top. It worked fine since the seams were outside of my design area. I have also seen where some run a strip of school glue along the edges, overlap scraps, and fuse together with a hot iron.
Keep Track of Your Successes (and Failures)
Every discovery is a learning experience. Whether you use notecards, a notebook, or binder, or an embroidery journal, it helps to document what works for you as well as what doesn’t. Think of it as a recipe book, so you'll have correct recipes for future projects. Keeping track of fabrics, stabilizers, and even thread colors can be useful if you want to replicate the same results later.
Sew Inspired by Bonnie