How to Choose
When selecting a stabilizer for your embroidery project, you should consider the following variables:
- How dense is my stitching design?
- What is the end use of my project?
- How is my project fabric laundered?
- How long will this embroidery project be used?
- Is my embroider area difficult to hoop?
- Does my fabric have a nap or pile?
Generally speaking, lightweight stabilizers are used for lightweight fabrics with fewer stitches in the embroidery design. Heavyweight stabilizers are used with high stitch count embroidery designs on medium to heavyweight fabrics. Test swatches are always recommended as the heavier the stabilizer, the more fabric drape and integrity will be affected.Choose adhesive spray such as or an adhesive stabilizer if your project is not easily hooped.
As with anything, the more you practice embroidery and the more you know about the products, the easier it will be to choose the stabilizer best for your projects.
As a general rule, if a fabric stretches, use a cut-away stabilizer. These stabilizers are permanent, resist stretching, and remain on your fabric for the life of the project. The area of stabilizer that remains under the stitches after trimming offers continued support to the embroidery design through laundering and wearing. Cut-aways eliminate pulled or sagging stitches, and are excellent stabilizers to use on knits, dense embroidery designs and open weave fabrics.
Note from Nancy: Trim stabilizers about 1/4″ from the design. Trimming too closely may cause the design to pucker at the edges. Leaving too much stabilizer causes an indentation on the right side of the fabric around the design.
- Translucent textured nonwoven (lightweight)—Semitransparent stabilizer resists stretching, eliminates show-through, and is comfortable next to skin.
- (lightweight)—This stabilizer is applied with a low temperature iron, and it ensures fabric will not shift while embroidering.