Understanding Stabilizers

In machine embroidery a stabilizer is a hooped material that is used to provide stability to the fabric being embroidered. The proper stabilizer will prevent stretching and puckering and give you lovely results from your embroidery projects. Here is a pic of the same design with and without stabilizer.



Quite a difference!


The type of stabilizer you should use is determined by the type of fabric you are embroidering on (stretchy, thin, toweling, cotton, knit, etc.) and on the relative density in your design.

There are quite a few types of stabilizers. It can be kind of overwhelming! But don’t worry – once you start examining the types of stabilizers you will find that they can be broken down into just a few categories based on how they are removed from the back of the design. These are:

Tear Away – tears easily

Cut Away – must be cut with scissors

No Show Nylon Mesh – a Cut Away stabilizer that is stable and soft to the touch – perfect for garments

Wash Away – dissolves with water

The variation within these types is due to the type of adhesives that are used.

There are:

No Adhesive

Pressure Sensitive

Iron On

Wet n Stick