Fabric stabilizers

By | May 26, 2016

Fabric stabilizers are used under the fabric to stabilize the stitch out.

There are many options, some work better than others. Below are a few examples of what I used.

Inexpensive stabilizers

I have found that using an inexpensive stabilizer for experimental stitch outs is a good idea.  This is especially true when digitize your own designs.  Embroidery digitizing can be a hard task at times and you will make lots of mistakes.  I found that an inexpensive stabilizer can be great to use when refining designs.  It doesn’t break the bank.  One inexpensive stabilizer I have used is.

Stabilizers for Terry Robes

For Christmas I embroidered several terry cloth robes for my friends. For these robes I used a wash away stabilizer on the top and a soft cutaway on the bottom. I have found other stabilizer types, especially tear away, tend to scratch.

The wash away stabilizer keeps the terry loops from catching.  I try to economize on the wash away though, it’s expensive.  You can economize by cutting a square just large enough for the basting stitch on your embroidery machine. In my experience the bottom stabilizer is the only one the needs tight hooping. The top stabilizer can just be laid down and held down with a basting stitch. When the basting stitch is being stitched out I hold the stabilizer down with a point turner.  I like plastic point turners because if the sewing machine stabs it no damage is done to the turner or machine.  Don’t use your fingers!

Previously I would use a temporary adhesive to keep the water soluble stabilizer in place but I found that is gets my hoops all messy. It has its place for certain things just not my terry robe project.

Stabilizers for Home Decor

One of my projects was to apply a Celtic knot pattern to a curtain. For this project I found the tear away stabilizer to be good. The Celtic knot was satin stitch with a lot of space between the features. I could tear way the stabilizer pretty easily between these features. The result was that you could no see any evidence that stabilizer used. I also found that the curtain would lay nicely.

I don’t have a recommendation for a tear away stabilizer though.  I have used several and don’t know which one is better.  I have had some that break away before the stitchout is done and others that are so hard to tear away that the stitches get compromised.  If any of you have a recommendation I would like to know.


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