The Proper Way to Layer Woven Stabilizers

Occasionally, you may need to use two layers of stabilizer when embroidering designs. Is there a right way to do that? Yes, there is, and I will show you how! 

Recently, I talked about matching up the proper stabilizers to embroidery designs in this blog.  In a pinch, you may need two layers of a lighter stabilizer as a substitute for using one layer of a heavier stabilizer.

With woven stabilizers like polymesh, there will be a little bit of stretch. In addition, your fabric will stretch on the bias and we want to control that to prevent puckering.

When you're stitching your design, it's pushing and pulling on the bias as well as the straightaway. When you layer stabilizers, you want to put them at a 45 degree angle. That gives you a straight-of-grain line going right through the bias. Your stabilizer now has maximum control against stretching and distortion of the embroidery.


For demonstration purposes, I drew a line both vertically and horizontally on the stabilizer. Right angles are pretty easy. I can see that everything is a straight line on my edges.


If I'm at a 45 degree angle, I will see that all my edges have a point sticking out that's kind of a quick visual on how you can tell that you've got your two pieces of stabilizer at a 45 degree angle.

Hoop both layers of stabilizer and embroider. You can also hoop one layer of stabilizer and float the second under the hoop. Be sure to baste the layers in the hoop using the basting feature on your embroidery machine.

See the video here.

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  • Bonnie Welsh - August 05, 2018

    I only drew the lines for demonstration purposes. I don’t normally draw lines on my stabilizer either. =)

  • Thank you for the info! - August 04, 2018

    I do get confused, when you should use double layers, I never drew the lines as you did, I always use the center lines on my hoops. But its a great idea to do so.

  • Bonnie Welsh - August 02, 2018

    Freda—I’d try either two layers of medium tear away (at 45 degree angles) or one layer of heavy weight tear away stabilizer on the back. Then I would add a wash away on the top. I would also baste all layers together in the hoop (including the towel of course) prior to stitching as that helps hold everything in place. =)

  • Freda Smith - August 02, 2018

    What is best stabilizer for thick towels with dense fonts. Thank you

  • Bonnie Welsh - August 01, 2018

    Bev—You’re most welcome. =)

  • Bev. - August 01, 2018

    Thank you. I always turned each piece in opposite directions, but now see the 45 degree might be better.

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