What is embroidery stabilizer? Also known as embroidery backing it does just exactly what the name implies: stabilizes the fabric. Think of embroidery as constructing a building-you must have the proper foundation in order to construct successfully. Stabilizer is your foundation. Generally stabilizer is placed underneath the fabric to be embroidered and hooped together with the fabric. The stabilizer keeps the fabric from puckering, shifting or stretching during your stitching. It is also like a good foundation in that it remains with the project to add stability. After washing and wearing, your stitches will remain in place. Without stabilizer your embroidery project will have puckers, holes in the fabric and will not align properly. This results in gaps between the fills and the outline of the design.
Stabilizers are generally made from polyester fibers, cellulose and other binders. The combination and ratio determine the types and feels. The McDougal branded stabilizers are made with a non-directional process, which means they are equally strong in all directions. They are non-woven material made in a process where the fibers are smoothed into a single consistent layer. Basically it doesn’t matter which direction you cut or hoop your stabilizer since there is no grain to the stabilizer. For tearaway stabilizers this means that your stabilizer will tear evenly in all directions.
For those of you who would like to learn more about the different types of stabilizers and when to use what types we offer a class called Stabilizer 101 being offered on February 8. . Click here for more information or to register for Stabilizer 101.