Words of embroidery wisdom from Debbie Cleek:
With all the stabilizers available selecting the proper stabilizer can be confusing. Many of stabilizers come in black and white, adhesive and non-adhesive, heavy and light weight. As your embroidery skills grow and you experiment with new techniques so will your stabilizer collection. The stabilizers listed below are great ones to get you started and you will find they are stabilizers that you will not want be without.
Cut-Away Soft – This stabilizer is good for heavy duty projects and great for sweatshirts. It is a cut-way stabilizer which means the excess stabilizer around the outside of the design will be cut away while the stabilizer will remain behind the design to support it through many washings. When using this stabilizer, you can hoop it with the item to be stitched or hoop the stabilizer by itself and float the item on top of the stabilizer.
No-Show Mesh - This stabilizer is perfect for baby’s items and linens; items that will be laundered but do not require a heavy stabilizer. This is a permanent stabilizer that will not wash out when laundered. After embroidering, trim the excess stabilizer leaving approximately ¼” around the outer edge of the design. This stabilizer will be soft and gentle on a baby’s skin. It is also light enough so it will not leave a stabilizer shadow on your linens and home décor items.
Tear-Away Firm - This is great stabilizer to use for denim, canvas, corduroy, and other heavier fabrics. It also works great for craft projects like embroidered note cards. This stabilizer provides just enough support for the stitching to help prevent puckering, tunneling and distortion with designs of all stitch counts. It also tears away easily after stitching making it the perfect choice for stitched note and greeting cards. After stitching, the excess is torn away. The stabilizer left behind will soften and wash away after multiple washings.
Hydro Melt Topping - This is a must have stabilizer when embroidering anything with a nap such as towels, fleece blankets and velvets. This stabilizer holds the nap down and prevents it from poking through the stitching. When stitching heavier knits it also prevents the stitching from sinking down into the knit. It is very easy to use, simply hoop your item as would normally and layer a piece of this stabilizer on top to cover the design area. When your design is finished, tear away the excess from the outside edge of the design, the remainder washes away when laundered.
Press -Away Topping - This stabilizer is perfect for times when you need to use a wash away stabilizer but cannot get the item wet. It works just like Hydro Melt with the exception of the need to wash it away. Hoop your item as you would normally and layer a piece of this stabilizer on top to cover the design area. When your design is finished, tear away the excess from the outside edge of the design, the remainder is removed by pressing with a medium to hot iron. This is also great for red work and open work designs like Sashiko. You can press away the stabilizer and not have the time delay of rinsing and drying the piece before continuing with your project.