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Tips on stabalisers

What type stabilizer to use



People often ask "which is the best stabilizer or backing to use". Most of the time it will come down to personal preference. Personally I tend to use tear-away as a backing for the majority of my projects, with soluble film as a topping for projects such as baby blankets, woolens and fleecy dressing gowns.

Different fabrics and projects require different types of stabilizers. As a rule of thumb, lightweight fabrics require lightweight stabilizers, while heavier fabrics require a thicker stabilizer.

There are many types of stabilizers available to buy online and in craft stores. These are just a few of the most commonly used and readily available.


Tear away


This stabilizer, as its name implies, is simple torn away from the reverse of your embroidery project. Leaving no residue, This is by far the most popular type of stabilizer available, and is used for many different projects making it very versatile to use.


Iron on


This stabilizer is ironed onto the fabric on the reverse side of your project. Giving fabrics with a high level of elasticity or woven fabrics a higher level of firmness for your embroidery. This helps to prevent puckering and pulling on material.

After completing your project, this can be peeled back and cut away if desired


Water soluble film


This is a fantastic stabilizer to use on towels, fleecy or woolly materials. Placed on the top of your project it helps in stopping the stitches from disappearing into the material.

After you complete your project, simply wash the item and all the residue should dissolve and disappear, leaving a neat stitched out project.


Cut away


Again, as the name implies, this stabilizer needs to be cut away from your finished project.

Generally this stabilizer is thicker and ideal for projects on difficult fabrics that may have designs with very small fonts or lettering details.

After finishing your project, cut around the design as close as possible, leaving about quarter of an inch to safely cut away and not damage your project for a neat finish to your project.



Heat away


This stabilizer is very similar to the water soluble one as it leaves no signs of the stabilizer on your finished project. This can be used on items you might not be able to get wet.

This stabilizer disintegrates once you iron or apply enough heat to it


Self adhesive


This type of stabilizer is commonly used for in the hoop projects and projects that are hard to frame and need to be floated.

With this stabilizer you simple frame it, peel of and discard the top sheet leaving you with a sticky stabilizer to place your project onto.

After you have completed your embroidery, simply peel away. you may need to dampen the remaining stabilizer left on your project with a damp sponge to remove it completly.


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