The Basics
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Stabilizer Tips - Lesson 1
- for our customers who live too far away
to take lessons from a dealer.
You should use NON-WOVEN stabilizers in most applications, whether it be tearaway
or cutaway.  Non-wovens will not stretch in any direction.

Once you've selected the design and fabric you want to use, the next step is selecting
the stabilizer that will give a successful stitchout.

TEST!  Stitch a test on identical fabric before running an actual project.
If stability is needed, after fabrics have been washed, to control shrinkage and
prevent sagging of the embroidery, then a cutaway backing may be needed.  If
stability is needed only during the stitch out process, a tear away stabilizer can
be used.
The embroidery process requires that the fabric be placed into a movable hoop system
under a stationary sewing machine head.  In order for the stitches to "register" or be
placed exactly where the design dictates, the fabric needs to be fairly rigid in the hoop.  
You might think of it as "drum-tight" hooping.  But be careful not to confuse this with
"stretched tight", because this practice is the common cause of puckering and holes.
Want to practice using a
stabilizer first, without
buying the entire roll?
15 Stabilizer Samples - 7.5"x7.5" squares
Click the photo!

15 samples of our most
popular selling stabilizers.

Light, medium, heavy
tearaway - Heavy soft
tearaway - Tear & Wash -
Medium, Heavy, NoShow &
Fusible NoShow Cutaway,
WSS topping, Hydro-Stick
Tearaway, Peel N Stick,
Fuse and Tear, Sew and
Wash, Fuse and Stick.
FREE Shipping!!
$3.00
How do you know what to use?
How do you decide the stabilizer weight?  
A general rule of thumb: Cutaways are used on knits, sweaters, sweatshirts...any
item that has a stretch in it.  Tearaway is used on woven fabric, such as linen,
cotton, towels, etc.

Weight of the backing depends completely on the design and fabric makeup.
Fabric
Needle
Backing
Topping
Canvas, Heavy Denim
such as blue jeans
Sharp
size 16 or 18
If you are able to hoop this fabric:
hoop with 1 layer of light tearaway and
slide 1 layer of light tearaway underneath the hoop

If it's simply too thick to hoop:
Hoop 1 layer of Peel and Stick
or
1 layer of Light Sticky Back Sheets.  
Then, score the paper backing with a pin and remove.  Adhere the
fabric to the sticky surface.
Cotton quilt fabric,
Dress shirts
Sharp
size 11 or 12
Hoop with 1 layer of medium tearaway
or light tearaway
or 1 layer of Hydrostick tearaway

**Hooping will leave "hoop burn" on Cotton Sateen fabrics. Hoop 1
sheet of Light Sticky Back Sheets, score the paper covering the
sticky surface and remove.  Adhere your fabric to the hoop.
 
Corduroy
Sharp
size 12 or 14
**Hooping will leave "hoop burn" on corduroy. Hoop 1 sheet of
Light Sticky Back Sheets, score the paper covering the sticky
surface and remove.  Adhere your fabric to the hoop.  Then slide 1
layer of light tearaway underneath the hoop.
The nap on Corduroy will poke through
the design after 1 or 2 washings.
Place 1 layer of Fabric Solvy or Tear and
Wash on top of your hooped fabric
Denim, such as a shirt
or dress
Sharp
size 12 or 14
Hoop with 1 layer of Medium Tearaway
or
2 layers of Light Tearaway
 
Denim with Lycra
Sharp
size 12 or 14
Hoop with 1 layer of Medium Cutaway and slide
with 1 layer of Light Cutaway underneath the hoop
or
Hoop with 1 layer of Heavy Cutaway
 
Golf shirt or T-shirts
Ball
size 11 or 12
Spray backing to be used with 505 or KK100 to adhere it to the fabric
Hoop with 1 layer of No-Show Stabilizer and
or
LCM PolyMesh soft and sheer
Optional:  Add 1 layer of Light WSS by
the yard on top of the hoop
Soft leather
Leather needle
**Hooping will leave "hoop burn" on soft leather.  Hoop 1 layer of
LCM Light Sticky back sheets
or
1 layer of Peel and Stick
or
1 layer of medium cutaway, sprayed with KK100 or 505 and
adhere the leather to your hoop
 
Lingerie/Silks
Ball
size 10 or 11
Hoop with 2 layers of Tear and Wash
or
hoop with 2 layers of light tearaway
 
Quilted fabric
Sharp
size 11, 12 or 14
Hoop with 1 layer of Medium Tearaway
or
1 layer of Fuse and Tear
 
Sweater or
Sweatshirt Knits
Ball
size 12 or 14
Hoop with 1 layer of Heavy Tearaway square
or
2 layers of Medium Tearaway
1 layer LCM Light WSS by the yard on
top
or
Fabric Solvy or Tear and Wash on top
Terry Cloth
Ball
size 12 or 14
Hoop with 1 layer of Gunold Light Tearaway and slide 1 layer of
Gunold Light Tearaway under the hoop
or
hoop with 1 layer of Medium Tearaway
1 layer of LCM Light WSS by the yard
or
Fabric Solvy
or  Tear and Wash
Counter
Stabilizer
Instructions.pdf
To view and print this
lesson, you must have
Adobe® Reader® installed.
Download
Test Cloth by the yard
A white woven fabric
with sizing to make it
crisp.  Perfect to test
designs before sewing
on the actual garment.  
13" wide, sold by the yard
50¢ a yard!
We love this stuff!   Do
you have "outline drift"
when a design is sewn on
a garment?  Test Stitch!
Hoop test cloth with one
layer of light or medium
tearaway, and test stitch
the design.
If the design
stitches perfectly, you know
your garment is hooped with
the wrong stabilizer.  If the
design has "outline drift", the
design is the problem!
Sometimes you just need to jump in and get started.  Knowing which weight of
stabilizer you should use will come with practice!  

Check our chart at the bottom of this page for recommended stabilizers per fabric
Sometimes it happens that you stitch a design on a garment, only to see "outline
drift".  Is it the design that is the problem?  Or the Stabilizer?  

If you have outline drift and don't know whether it's from improper stabilizing or a