Fonts 101: Pro Tips for Success

Font tips with

Are your fonts stitching out a little fuzzy? Lettering looking like blobs? These pro tips will help make them stitch out great!

Just because you have a machine embroidery alphabet design doesn’t mean it will stitch out perfectly as planned. Here are some of the things that I have learned along the way.

Use the Right Needle

While most monograms or heavy satin-stitched fonts look just fine when stitched with a regular-sized needle, smaller fonts look so much better if you stitch them using a smaller needle, like a 70/10 or 65/9.

Larger needles leave larger holes that are not only unsightly but can alter the font, particularly if you are stitching heirloom designs on a fine-weight fabric like fawn or batiste.

Stitch With a Lighter Weight Thread­

Typical machine embroidery thread is 40 weight. For stitching smaller, more delicate fonts, especially those that are in a cursive style, a lighter weight thread will make a big difference. Consider using a 60 weight thread for fine alphabets and fonts.

Detail will be enhanced with smaller thread weights stitched with smaller needle sizes. Otherwise, your delicate script font may look, more like an ink blot.

Use a Topper

We know that using a heat-away or water-soluble topper is essential when stitching on towels and plush fabrics like Minky and fleece, but did you know that a topper can also make your fonts stand out on less dense or fabric without a nap?

Toppers can help define delicate fonts and help when using light-weight fabrics. I always use a topper when embroidering on heirloom linens for crisp details. Even t-shirt knits benefit from using a topper.

Toppers also make it quite a bit easier to trim jump stitches, especially when there is a lot of text in the project. In cases where a water-soluble topper is used and you do not want to wash the item to remove the topper, you can use this tip for easily erasing water-soluble topper.

Use a topper with designs that feature delicate as well as bold fonts. The topper will not hurt thicker fonts and will help thinner fonts.

What tips do you have for machine embroidery with fonts and alphabets?

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie
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  • Debbie Henry - April 13, 2023

    Heat-away is perfect for towels, you are right! It gives embroidery a little bit of loft above the fibers. Great tip, Glenda!

  • Debbie Henry - April 13, 2023

    Glad it helped, Dolores!

  • Glenda Marsh - April 11, 2023

    I prefer a heat away topper especially with towels. It won’t eventually wash away. I agree 60wt, a micro thread, is the best for those small/tiny fonts. Thanks for the tips!!

  • Dolores Mitchell - April 10, 2023

    Thank you for the tip on the smaller needle for the smaller fonts. The information you shared was great!

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