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Embroidery Tips & Techniques

What to do before you Hoop!

What do we need to do before we hoop?  What decisions do we need to make so our embroidery projects last over time through washing and drying?  Let’s take a look at several things before we hit the go button on our embroidery machines.

The Embroiderer’s Compass is the solution to figuring out the top stabilizers, needles and techniques recommended by embroidery expert, Deborah Jones for great looking finished projects!

 Needles are an important part of the equation for successful embroidery projects!  Select a needle type and blade size based on the fabric and weight.  The ballpoints are for knit fabrics and the sharps are for woven fabrics to achieve best stitch results.  For the beautiful, embroidered hanky pictured above, use a small 65/9 sharp needle.

Which White Stuff do I need?

First, let’s look at what not to use.  Paper towels, coffee filters, adding machine tape and dressmaker’s interfacing are not substitutes for high-quality stabilizers.  So, what do we use?

What makes a stabilizer high-quality?  An even distribution of materials, such as, polyester fibers, cellulose, and binding agents makes a high-quality stabilizer.  DIME stabilizers also contain silicone which lubricates the needle.

So how do we know which stabilizer to use for what project as there are many options?  Again, refer to the Embroiderer’s Compass for recommendations according to the type of fabric you are using.For example, here is a sweatshirt and a design with many stitches, featured in the above photo.  The Exquisite Medium Wt. Cutaway is the preferred stabilizer as it great for larger designs with heavier stitch counts.  Even after wearing and laundering many times, the look of the sweatshirt is still fabulous.

Another example is this sheer handkerchief with no stabilizer show through.  The Exquisite Sew ‘N Heat is the stabilizer of choice.  It is hooped with the hanky and then mostly tore away.  The iron on the recommended temperature will remove the remaining stabilizer.  The sheer handkerchief looks great with no stabilizer being seen.

Before you start embroidering your next project, be sure to ask what stabilizer, needle and hooping methods to use so your finished project will last over time with great looking results.  And if you don’t have the Embroiderer’s Compass, click here.