Stabilizer Scraps: Save Them or Pitch Them?

What to do with stabilizer scraps with

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Stabilizers are an essential part of machine embroidery. We all have plenty of fabric scraps but do you keep your stabilizer scraps? If so, what do you do with them?  Whether you're embroidering the latest new project or test sewing a new set of designs, stabilizer scraps seem to multiply just like fabric scraps do..

It’s an interesting discussion, one that I recently read on social media. The results may surprise you. Of all who participated in the discussion (just under 100), about 95% said they not only saved their stabilizer scraps, they also used them.

Here are a few of the ways that stabilizer scraps came in handy:

Stitched Together

More than half of those that reused their stabilizer scraps (52%) stitched them together so that they could be hooped again. Some zig zagged and some straight stitched pieces together. Several even used wash-away thread to consolidate water-soluble stabilizer scraps.

Stuck Together

Instead of stitching pieces together, some embroiderers used adhesives. Most used glue sticks while others sprayed and some even used water-soluble quilters tape to keep edges secure.


Those who did not want to stitch or glue simply overlapped several pieces across the width of the hoop.

Extra Stabilization

By their very nature, scrap pieces were often used as extra stabilization with existing stabilizer. Sometimes they patched a tear. Other times, they gave added stability to highly stitched areas such as applique. Adhesive backed stabilizers, both water-soluble and otherwise, work particularly well. Otherwise, tape or adhesives helped keep pieces in place.

Stabilizer Window

A fair amount of those who responded were fond of the stabilizer window technique. This is particularly useful when stitching several of the same, or similarly sized, designs. After embroidery, leave stabilizer in the hoop and carefully cut away the embroidered item close to stitching. Cover the remaining “window” with a new piece of stabilizer and embroider the next piece. Sticky-backed stabilizers work particularly well to cover the window.

Fabric Stiffener

Water-soluble stabilizer scraps make great fabric stiffener. Get a tutorial here.

Do you save your stabilizer scraps? What do you do with them?

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Debbie Henry - September 26, 2022

    Great idea, Sandra!

  • Debbie Henry - September 26, 2022

    Indeed, Dee!

  • Dee Landree - September 20, 2022

    I save all kinds and store in a tote flat if possible. I like to slide a piece under the hoop to help most of the time and I also use glue stick to help hold it at times if needed. Got to save where we can in todays economy

  • Sandra jean siegfried - September 19, 2022

    Not only do i save stabilizer, store it flat in a box, layer to use.

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