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What does stabilizer do for embroidery

This article is brought to you by Lizzsews.


Stabilizers are essential in machine embroidery, they prevent puckering and stretching; they support the fabric. Essentially it is stabilizing your fabric to embroider.

The stabilizer goes underneath the fabric you are embroidering. There are some stabilizers that will go on top of certain types of fabric, this is called a topper. 

A bottom or backing stabilizer is always needed, but a stabilizer topper is only needed for certain blanks.

Recommended read: What are blanks

An example of a topper is wash away or water-soluble stabilizer. Wash away stabilizer is to be used on top of towels, fleece, or other thick materials, it ensures that the needle doesn't break, a hole isn't ripped in the fabric, and the design doesn't sink in.

The three main types of stabilizers are cutaway, tearaway, and wash away. 

Recommended read: Guide to three main machine embroidery stabilizers

Hockey player silhouette embroidery design

Machine embroidery stabilizers support the fabric whilst embroidering. They support the fabric by preventing puckering, stretching of the fabric, and minimizing birds' nests. There can be toppers that prevent needle breakage, ripped holes, and designs from sinking in. The three main stabilizers: cut away, tear away, and wash away. Cutaway: a backing to be cut away after the design is stitched. Tearaway: a backing to be torn away after the design is stitched. Washaway, a topper or backing, most commonly used as a topper, excess cutaway and the rest to be 'washed' away after the design is stitched. Stabilizers also improve the finished result of a stitch out or design and give a professional-looking finish.

Tender touch - a specialty stabilizer that is placed on top of the backing stabilizer after a design is stitched out. It can be used to reduce scratching for designs on the inside of garments, and designs on baby blankets.


Recommended read: How to hoop fabric for machine embroidery 
Recommended read: What is FSL


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