Stitching for the Pool and Beach

If you are planning any fun in the sun this summer, these tips and tricks will help your machine embroidery hold up to sun, sand, salt, and chlorine.

Memorial Day weekend, we honor those who paid the ultimate price so that the rest of us can live the lives we do today. It is also the unofficial kick off to summer and that can mean plenty of time at the pool or at the beach. With a little bit of care, your embroidered beachwear will stand up to the challenge.

Use Quality Materials


Picture of 12 machine embroidered fish on a baby quilt by Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Fabrics must be able to withstand frequent laundering, so choosing quality quilting cottons and cotton towels will pay off in the long run.

GlitterFlex is the same material used by many commercial embroiderers on athletic gear, so it is washable as well as durable. You can use GlitterFlex on beach towels, with some adjustment. Bonnie normally doesn't advise using GlitterFlex on napped fabrics without using a base cotton fabric. If using a large area of GlitterFlex in an open applique type design, she recommends fusing it to a cotton fabric first creating a new applique fabric prior to applying to the towel.

The Merry Mermaid Towel project  used GlitterFlex directly on the towel as it didn’t have much of a nap and the embroidery design has enough small detail to hold the GlitterFlex in place so it won't tear.  

Make Practical Beach Bags

Bags made of plastic mesh (aka plastic window screen) are great . To prevent mold and mildew, air flow is important when dealing with wet suits and towels. Plus, you want to be able to shake out excess sand.

The Right Thread Counts

Polyester threads won’t fade in the sun, launder well, and aren’t affected by chlorine. You can stitch with other threads, but they are not as durable and will not hold up as well.

What tips do you have for stitching beach and pool accessories?

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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