Machine embroidery fasteners can be difficult to understand when you are new to the craft. In addition, there are so many types of stabilizers that it can be difficult to accurately select a stabilizer to use on an embroidery digitizing machine.
Fortunately, if you’re just starting, you only need a few different types of fasteners for various projects.
What Exactly Is A Stabilizer For Machine Embroidery?
A stabilizer is a synthetic material that provides additional support to the fabric you are embroidering. It comes in different weights. In general, stronger weight anchors are used in heavier fabrics.
A portion of the stabilizer is intended to remain on the finished (cut) product.
Second stabilizer (potable) Temp. Remove it (as much as possible) from your final product.
Water-soluble stabilizers now a days are also available. So when you’re done sewing your embroidery design, just wet the stabilizer, and it’s gone!
Why Is A Stabilizer Needed For Machine Embroidery?
According to Deborah Jones in Machine Embroidery on Difficult Fabrics, the purpose of a stabilizer is to “provide a base for the embroidery stitches.” And you can never embroider without it. Machine embroidery puts a lot of pressure on the fabric. Many embroidery designs consist of thousands of stitches, which means there are many holes in the fabric. Without fasteners, the fabric may not be able to withstand all that abuse.
The fabric also tends to stretch and wrinkle when you embroider on it. But when you glue the fabric with a stabilizer, you reduce the number of folds and wrinkles. Stabilizer can also make embroidering more accessible, especially if you are working with fabrics or clothing that are difficult to touch.
It is possible to press the stabilizer instead of the embroidered item. Then tape the piece to the staples to hold it in place while you embroider.
Do You Have To Use A Stabilizer When Embroidering?
Well, no, you don’t have to. But your finished embroidery may wrinkle, especially if you’re trying to embroider with a stretchy or sheer fabric. If you are embroidering on very stiff fabric, you can embroider without a stabilizer. But I don’t recommend it.
What Is The Most Common Stabilizer Needed For Machine Embroidery?
If you are new to machine embroidery, understanding all the different types of stabilizers can be a little overwhelming. But luckily, you only need a few different types. The following attachment types are the most essential attachment types in machine embroidery.
Tear away stabilizer
Fusible poly mesh stabilizer
Water soluble stabilizer
Water soluble topper
Tear Away Stabilizer For Machine Embroidery
The tear stabilizer is actually the stabilizer that you remove from the embroidery area. After sewing it, tear it into pieces and throw it away.
It is used in many different types of fabrics. However, as a general rule, if the item you are embroidering will not be used, you can often eliminate the tear as the only stabilizing factor.
When To Use Tear Away Stabilizer
In general, if you are embroidering with a fairly strong fabric, you can use a peelable stabilizer. For example, a tear will suffice if you are embroidering a name on a durable fabric such as a handbag Towel embroidery is another case where ripping the same stabilizer works well.
However, for most garments, tear-resistant fasteners do not provide enough support. These elements must be installed using trim (or Rip) anchors.
How To Use Tear Away Stabilizer
You can use tear stabilizers in two ways. You can attach the removable support to the frame of your embroidery machine (the hoop), or you can frame the backing and attach the piece to the support (the float).
Where And How To Buy Tear Away Stabilizer
You can buy standard tear-away stabilizers in large rolls from almost any embroidery supplier, and they are very cheap. But you may need to use a brush with temporary adhesive spray to secure the fabric or clothing to the clamp.
It contains some special detachable stabilizers that provide distinct advantages over standard detachable stabilizers. You will notice that when using the common release stabilizer, you may want to use a temporary adhesive to attach the fabric or garment to the stabilizer.
But relying on temporary adhesives to attach fabric or clothing to fasteners can leave a sticky mess. As a result, your embroidery frame has gotten messy and needs to be cleaned frequently. Glue and tear irons help you avoid this mess. I prefer to use a dense back stabilizer.
Iron On Tear Away Stabilizer
The iron-on tear-away stabilizer is self-explanatory. You can iron the stabilizer onto the garment, then wrap the garment and stabilizer and begin embroidering. When finished, remove the excess stabilizer. Since you are ironing the garment for sewing, there is no need to use a temporary adhesive spray.
Adhesive Backed Tear-Away Stabilizer
Removable rear stabilizers are my favorite form of stabilizer for two reasons:
I can avoid the temporary adhesive spray.
I can hang my fabrics or clothes on hangers. For most of my embroidery digitizing projects, I just glue a piece of ripstop adhesive swatch (shiny side up) around the inside edge of the needlepoint hoop.
I peeled off the paper to reveal the sticky surface.
Once the sticky surface is exposed, I “float” the fabric or garment over the tear and embroider! Learn more about adhesive fasteners.