Recommended stabilizers and where to use them:

*Note-The size and density of the design will affect the weight and quantity of stabilizer you should use. Check out the links above for guidance.  Factors such as your embroidery machine, needle type, garment quality, thread choice, and how the garment is hooped all go into how the design will stitch out.  It is always a good idea to stitch out a sample on scrap or similar fabric first to help in your selection.
Finding the right combination of thread, fabric and stabilizer to create the perfect embroidery can be time consuming. Tossing in variables such as the designs density or lack of, the garments thread count, how tight your bobbin was wound, and the needle type can all contribute to how the end result looks and if you are happy with it!

Stabilizing the item to be embroidered with the correct stabilizer is the first step to perfect embroidery. You want the item to remain beautiful through everyday wear and tear. Especially after all your hard work and creativity!

General tips for successful embroidery….
Have good lighting in your sewing room. Ott Lights and/or natural lights will help you when selecting colors of threads and to make better fabric choices. The lights are pleasing, do not get hot and don't distort color values.
If there is time (make time--you may regret it if you don't take this step), launder or dry clean your item before you apply the embroidery. "Prepping" a new garment will take care of any shrinkage that may occur.
Use a good quality embroidery worthy needle.  (See "NEEDLES"). But more importantly the size that is best for the weight of your garment. Change your needle often (about every 15 hours of actual embroidery time). Don't wait on skipped stitches to remind you!


        Embroidery - Has a universal point (not sharp, not ball) and has a teflon-coated eye. This helps to keep the thread from heating up and shredding during the embroidery. Sizes range from 10/70 to 14/90.

        Metafil - Very similar needle to the embroidery but with a ball point which will prevent skipped stitches as well as help protect the fibers of delicate stretch fabrics.

        Metallica - A must for metallic threads! Has a longer Teflon coated eye which helps cut down on thread breakage.

        Microtex - This needle has a very sharp, fine point. Perfect for embroidery on fine cottons, silks, micro-fibers and wovens.

        Titanium - This needle is dipped in titanium, which makes it three times stronger than regular embroidery needles. Use when stitching out heavy designs or when stitching on thick fabric such as denim or canvas. This needle is also especially nice on lightweight fabrics because the smaller tip will not create large holes. Available in 11 or 14 sizes.

        Leather - Use when embroidering on leather or leather like materials. The elongated scarf penetrates without leaving large holes.

Use a well wound bobbin - not wrapped too tight and certainly not a messy loose bobbin. Make sure your bobbin case is clean and the bobbin inserted correctly. If the bobbin is inserted upside down, the machine will not stitch correctly.
Make sure your embroidery thread is in a position to feed through the machine freely. If the machine has to "pull" the thread from the spool it will create extra drag and distort the tension. If using a metallic thread try to position the thread to feed vertically. Using a thread stand behind your machine is the ideal solution for all types of embroidery threads. Using this system creates less twist and you will have minimal thread breakage.
When hooping, try to achieve "tight as a drum" tension on the fabric or garment. Using the correct stabilizer will aid with this. Have a "designated hooping area". Clutter forces you to hoop on your lap or ironing board which results in less than perfect tension on your fabric or garment.
Finger-tighten the embroidery hoops tension screws. It is not necessary to use a screwdriver and doing so usually damages or strips the threads on the screw.
Have the necessary tools  (see "NOTIONS") for a successful embroidery session. Sharp snips and scissors, fresh marking pens and pencils, good thread color choices. Don't sacrifice your creative recipe by using less than perfect ingredients!