Machine Embroidery Tips: Which Type of Stabilizer Do I Use for my Embroidery?

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What is stabilizer? Stabilizer is a material used to stabilize fabric so it doesn't slip or pucker in the embroidery hoop.

Embroidery tutorial explaining the different types of stabilizers that can be used for machine embroidery. In this tutorial, I'm featuring (non-fusible) tear away stabilizer, cut away stabilizer, and wash away stabilizer.

So, if you need to figure out which stabilizer to use, let me help you understand how and why each stabilizer may be a good or bad choice, depending on your fabric choice, desired outcome, and type of project.

I'm using Embroidery Software for Mac:

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embroidering on stabilizer how to different stabilizers tear away wash away heat away cut away non-fusible stabilizers how to choose stabilizers

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    Popular Comments:

Two Bluebirds . 2019-05-28
Thank you so much for this! Very useful information. God bless
121 2 . Reply
jane parsons . 2019-04-28
thank you
121 2 . Reply
Diana Englebrick . 2019-04-07
Most of the you tube I see they say don't use the temp spray it will gum up your machine. I even heard that from Baby Lock when I bought my Destiny 11.
121 2 . Reply
Belinda Smith . 2019-03-05
I did bead embroidery on a chiffon scarf. What type of stabilizer should I have used on the backing. I realized the bead stitches could have used a stabilizer after I had sewn a 5 ft hip scarf to be worn over a skirt. Now I am going to fuse a lining over it to secure all the stitches. The intricate design is on the bottom edge of the scarf and would flip over as I walked. So I'm covering the stiches. Any stabilizer suggestions for the next time?
121 2 . Reply
odalys fernandez . 2018-10-23
Thank you so muchhhhh!!!. I just received a brother se 400 as a gift from a friend of mine.and I've been looking in you tube videos and x my opinion you are the best.please can u do a video regarding a pes and how download from computer to the machine.thank u again x your time and x share your knowledge with us
121 2 . Reply
Ghulam Zakriya . 2018-09-09
Hello. Which one can I use on baby blanket please ??
121 2 . Reply
Esmeralda Robles . 2018-07-12
can i put a stabilizer on top of my embroidery design and underneath it>?
121 2 . Reply
Phyllis Chambliss . 2018-06-24
Thank you for sharing that help me a lot.
121 2 . Reply
Denise Osborne . 2018-02-24
Thank you for this video. I love how streamlined your information is.
121 2 . Reply
Heather Soule . 2017-12-30
thank you ! first time user here! you made this look so much easier than what people have been saying ! not so worried about trying my new machine now !!
121 2 . Reply
Nicole Leighton . 2017-12-29
Where can I find a demo on embroidering felted balls?
121 2 . Reply
kimt2au . 2017-12-16
Why do you spray the fabric rather than applying the adhesive to the stabilizer? If it was on the stabilizer then surely you would get adhesive on a smaller amount of fabric. Do you find that having your implements and hoops around when you spray the adhesive you get a build up of overspray that needs to be cleaned off?
121 2 . Reply
Nat IH . 2017-11-29
I'm still confused. What kind of stabilizer would I use for a t-shirt? Cut away? And a knit needle?
121 2 . Reply
Ivanna Pavliuk . 2017-11-28
Can you use temporary adhesive with water solubale stabilizers?
121 2 . Reply
Visnee . 2017-11-08
This is great thank you. What kind of stabilizer would be needed when embroidering felt?
121 2 . Reply
Darlene Nelson . 2017-08-14
Thank you it's nice to rewatch this and get it reinforced in my mind😊
121 2 . Reply
Amanda Haynes . 2017-03-24
What stabilizer do you use for rain coats?
121 2 . Reply
Janet McKinney . 2017-03-21
what would be better for onesies?
121 2 . Reply
NGinuity . 2016-11-27
Do you need to use a stabilizer for naugahyde? (Vinyl that mimics thin leather)
121 2 . Reply
Tonya Polo nieto . 2016-09-21
What kind of stabilizer would I use for tulle?
121 2 . Reply
Xiyuan Liu . 2016-04-26
The information is so helpful! Do you know what would be the best stabilizer to use when embroidering on gauze? (Yes, I mean gauze for medical use)
121 2 . Reply
Deanna O'dell . 2016-04-11
Thank you so much!!!! I was totally lost and you have cleared up the stabilizer issue and made it so EASY!!!!
121 2 . Reply
cathydurham10 . 2016-03-02
Does the adhesive spray gum up the needles?
121 2 . Reply
Ellen Roddy . 2016-01-30
Nice to know. Have you ever done a sweatshirt on the SE400?
121 2 . Reply
94 Crates . 2016-01-29
I dont get how this soft material stablizes anything
121 2 . Reply
Suchi Sunder . 2016-01-21
Thank you, your demonstration was very useful, it was clear and easy to understand! Thank you
121 2 . Reply
Airmaiden63 . 2015-12-06
I have to say I freaked out when you spayed the adhesive right over work area and ruler!! I would suggest a box to spray in and keep over spray away from gumming up your work area
121 2 . Reply
Indian Digitizer . 2015-10-12
Very good video - simple and to the point.
121 2 . Reply
Nancy Hall . 2015-05-08
I am just starting to learn embroidery & was looking to find info to help, I have so much to learn,, but so  thankful for your video,, it help clear up a lot of questions I already had before I start on my first piece, I never knew about using a spray on it 1st , so this has helped a lot in just 1 video,, as I am wanting to use embroidery in quilting, what stabilizer would you recommend to be best for that,,Thanks so much for your video & I subscribed so I can keep learning,
121 2 . Reply
rlmorrison46 . 2015-04-22
Thank you so much for your tutorials. I am new to the embroidery world and wow does is there a lot to learn....this stabilizer for that fabric YIKES...lol, thats ok, just like everything else, its a learning process and i learned from your videos, thank you.
121 2 . Reply
Alfreda sims . 2015-03-31
thank you that was so helpful
121 2 . Reply
Bebs 06 . 2015-02-13
Hi Bonnie what stabilizer i have to use if i want to embroider in cardstock that are heavy weight? Thanks for the video
121 2 . Reply
Rebecca Brooks . 2014-12-08
thanks so much for taking the time to make and post this video.  I've been overwhelmed with all the products out there and didnt know where to start. Now I have a better understanding.    
121 2 . Reply
Cheryl Peters . 2014-11-19
You know what I used for cutaway stabilizer, was a used fabric sheet and it worked great.
121 2 . Reply
Bonnie Konjevich . 2014-11-19
Madiera's Cotton Fx is another... makes 5 for me now.  PELLON probably has its own version but need to investigate it..  Love how you explain.  Tks!
121 2 . Reply
April Scott . 2014-10-30
Can I use any kind of adhesive like Quilt Basting Spray one?
121 2 . Reply
Meg B . 2014-08-12
Thanks for he tutorial. I am just beginning and looking for all the info I can absorb before my machine arrives. Your voice is very pleasant to listen to as well and your calm methodology makes for a great experience.
121 2 . Reply
Zerlene Woodward . 2014-07-31
thank you for the tut...on Stabilizers......appreciate!
121 2 . Reply
Namilea LOTI . 2014-06-13
what if I don't have the adhesive? Will it still stabilize the fabric if it's not fused?
121 2 . Reply
Kelsey Neystel . 2014-05-18
What kind of stabilizer would you suggest using on towels?
121 2 . Reply
Marjorie Colao-Pullman . 2014-03-26
thank you this was helpful :)
121 2 . Reply
R.E. McDonald . 2014-01-24
Thank you for your videos, they are very helpful! I just received my Brother SE400 and am afraid I might outgrow it quickly, but can't afford to go higher!! Anyway, one question. Today while trying out the embroidery I did not use the temp adhesive, I just laid the fabric over the stabilizer and then hooped. It seemed to work fine, but am I supposed to use the temp adhesive? Thanks!
121 2 . Reply
Vicky Lambert . 2014-01-06
Bonnie, thanks a million!  I'm brand new to embroidering on my new Brother PE770.  Happy Retirement to me!  I found this video today and thanks to you, I'm now going to cancel my $25 class that I signed up for at Cr. D. in San Antonio!  I was actually using small pieces of stabilizers to save money...now I know why I shouldn't!  I tried my first towel on Christmas Eve and cried!  LOL. 
121 2 . Reply
MrsPhenomenalCreations#13 . 2013-12-31
I love your tutorials. I'm new to embroidery and your tutorials are very helpful... thank you
121 2 . Reply
Odessa Shekar . 2013-12-06
Try Terial Magic! Sprays on, stabilizes even in embroidery machines, and rinses out. No traditional backing needed or left in finished product.
121 2 . Reply
Sharon Ford . 2013-11-24
Do you need to cover the whole piece with stabilizer sense you're only stitching a small area , Do you use any of the stabilizer that you cutaway for another project.Thanks  
121 2 . Reply
Pauline Saens . 2013-10-21
Thank you for the information. I always had questions which one to use now I know.
121 2 . Reply
Knots & Kneedles . 2013-10-16
I assume you mean rubber backed curtains? I have not tried to embroider on any rubber backed fabric, so I can't tell you what stabilizer to use, or if you need one at all, since it is a thicker fabric. I don't understand your question about the special foot. If you are using an embroidery machine, you would be using your embroidery attachment, embroidery hoop, and embroidery foot that came with your machine. If you are talking about free motion embroidery, you would use a quilting foot.
121 2 . Reply
Familystore Ross . 2013-10-16
please help me , i have sunblock rubber backed curtails i want to add design what stabizer would you use . also do need to use any special foot or needle
121 2 . Reply
Knots & Kneedles . 2013-10-08
I don't have a definitive answer for this. I generally have mine between 3 and 4 on a Brother SE 400, but there are many factors that affect sewing on knits fabric. Your needle (ballpoint is suggested) thread, type of machine, and how well your fabric is hooped. Knits should not be stretched in the hoop so it is important to use an adhesive type stabilizer or temporary spray adhesive (this helps to keep the fabric from stretching and moving during embroidery. I hope this helps you. :)
121 2 . Reply