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Embroidery Stabilizers

Contributor ,

he number of embroidery stabilizers that are available today can be daunting. There are a large number of fabric types and a huge selection of embroidery designs, so it figures that there would be a large variety of different stabilizers.

There are four basic types of embroidery stabilizers: Cutaway, Tearaway, Water Soluble and Heat Removable. Cutaway stabilizers are permanently attached to the fabric you are embroidering, while the others are removed once you are done sewing. These stabilizers come in a variety of sizes that make it easier to use in your embroidery hoop. Fusible stabilizers are adhered to fabric by heating them with an iron, and sticky stabilizers use an adhesive to bind to the fabric.

All of these types of embroidery stabilizers have their purposes, and within these groups there are subtypes for different fabrics and uses.

Cutaway Stabilizers

Cutaway stabilizers are needed when you are working with knits or synthetic materials, or with very thin fabric, or when you are creating a dense piece of embroidery. You will want to use cutaway stabilizers if you donít want to lose your stitches in a knitted sweater, or even a piece of upholstery. A heavy cutaway is also needed when you create the type of emblems or patches that are designed to be sewn onto garments at a later time. You will want to use a lighter weight cutaway for less dense pieces and heavier cutaway stabilizers for denser embroidery.

Tearaway Stabilizers

Tearaway stabilizers are so named because you will tear

them off after you are done embroidering your project. Some tearaway stabilizers are easier to remove than others, so knowing your product is important. It is often easier to layer thinner tearaway stabilizers and to remove them one layer at a time than it is to use one thick layer. This type of stabilizer is used on stable fabrics, such as denim or towels.

Water Soluble Stabilizers

Water soluble stabilizers are useful on sheer, delicate fabrics like silk or lace. These embroidery stabilizers will dissolve in water, so if you need continued support for your embroidery itís important to know that they will not stand up to being washed. They are often used in the hoop or as a topping (on top of the embroidery). When used as a topping water soluble stabilizers will help you to not lose your stitches on high pile, textured, or knit fabrics.

Heat Removable Stabilizers

Ideal for fabrics that can t get wet such as satin, velvet, or wool, these stabilizers will come off completely when exposed to the heat of your iron. Heat removable (or heat away) stabilizers are also useful as a topping.

Keep your stabilizers organized, you could find that you have a large variety of similar looking products. Keep them stored in marked, sealed bags and they will last longer and work better. You can actually write on the stabilizer itself in many cases. Also, keep detailed notes and samples when you find combinations of stabilizers, thread, and fabric that work best for you.

Anne Carlson


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Red Rock Threads
Anne Carlson writes about embroidery stabilzers for Red Rock Threads


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