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How To Embroider and Hoop Towels

 This article is brought to you by Lizzsews.

Embroidering on towels is one of my all-time favourites! And I’m sure you’ll love it too!

What embroidery design should I use on a towel?

The best embroidery designs for towels are the denser ones. For example, my Dancer shadow design and skier shadow design.

Dense designs tend to give a better overall look because they don’t sink into the towel.

You might be able to find some nice designs at Creative Fabrica too.


For a towel, you should use a sharp needle size, 75/11. I suggest using a Schmetz embroidery needle.

If you are more of an advanced embroiderer, you can try ordering a bunch of needles on somewhere like Amazon and just simply see if they're good or not! If you're new to machine embroidery I suggest using some well-branded needles, so you won't run into any problems.

Recommended read:
Why Your Machine Embroidery Needle Keeps Breaking

Set of towels that are embroidered and say grandma and grandpa with little bird designs underneath


Speaking of designs sinking in, that leads us straight into stabilizers! For towels, you have two different options.

First, you can use a cutaway stabilizer on the back and a wash away on the top.

Or second, you can use a wash-away stabilizer on both the top and bottom.

I've done both ways, in the first method, make sure that you cut away the stabilizer nicely. In the second method because you won't have any stabilizer leftover on the towel.

Either way, you're going to have one layer of stabilizer as the backing, and one layer of wash away as the topping.

Recommended read: Guide to the three main machine embroidery stabilizers


There are also two different methods of hooping.

First, you can float the towel. This means that you are going to hoop your bottom stabilizer (wash away or cutaway, for floating I suggest cutaway.)
And use an adhesive spray to put the towel and wash away stabilizer on top.

Recommended read: How to float towels
Second, you are going to have everything inside the hoop.

In this method, you are going to want to make sure that your hoop is pretty loose (before hooping, once you have finished hooping you want it to be tight), have the bottom of the hoop on your table or surface.
After you have the bottom of your hoop ready, you are going to place the wash away or cutaway stabilizer on top of the bottom hoop (you can tape or pin your wash away to your hoop here.)

Baby yoda design from lizzsews etsy shop being stitched out on a towel using wash away stabilizer
This is an example of a towel being hooped with method two. Baby Yoda embroidery design from above.

After you have the wash away or cutaway stabilizer placed or taped, you're going to place your towel and a layer of wash away on top.

Last step!

You are now going to put the top of your hoop on the top, and push it down. While pushing it down I suggest that you hold it very tightly and have the top hoop start pushing down from the back.

Remember: When hooping, never pull the material, and never tighten the hoop after hooping. If the hoop is too loose. Undo what you have done, tighten the hoop, and try again.

Having trouble with your machine? Troubleshoot!

Now you're a master at embroidering towels! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think! And don't forget to subscribe to get notified for our next blog post!


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