Stabilizer 101

Disclaimer: The following are stabilizers that I (Rosemary) use. There are GOBS of stabilizers out there and lots of different brands, types, shapes, sizes, colors, weights, etc…. These are the ones I like to buy so I’m posting about them!

For those of you who have been doing embroidery forever, you might find this post boring! But, for those of you who are looking to get in to embroidery or are just starting out and learning, then this post is for you. As I’ve said before, I taught myself machine embroidery and “figured” stabilizers out mostly with trial and error (and messing up a time or two). I get lots of questions about stabilizer and see it a lot on Facebook, so here goes!!

#1. Sticky Back Stabilizer. I’m not going to elaborate too much on this one since I just did a post on this stabilizer and it’s use with Fast Frames ~ Basically it is used for any item you can’t hoop. Examples would be: backpacks, lunch boxes, ribbon, market totes, etc. Some people use it for everything but I only use it for the mentioned items – basically things that you a) can’t hoop and b) you do not want stabilizer left on when you’re done (it peels away). You typically hoop the sticky with the paper still on (or stick it to your fast frames) and then stick your item to the sticky (score the paper and peel it away) and pin it in place. Again, see the fast frames post for more details. I buy mine from This is a commercial roll and very affordable.

#2. Medium Cutaway ~ This is Sulky Brand (Medium Cutaway) Cutaway Plus. I usually buy it with 50% off coupons from Joann. I like the commercial cutaway from, but I sometimes use Sulky for Applique Cafe samples (with a layer of commercial underneath) because it’s a brighter white and makes a good white background for my sample pictures. I’ve used Sulky since I first started doing embroidery so that’s also why I like to keep it around! I also like Sulky because I can buy it locally from Hancocks or Joann and I can usually buy it with a coupon or on sale!

#3. Medium Cutaway ~ this is the commercial roll from It’s very affordable and this size is great for your 5×7 or 9×9 hoop (see this post on the 9×9 hoop). I buy the 2.2 oz and it is medium cutaway. You won’t believe the great prices on the commercial stabilizer!!

#4. Medium Cutaway ~ Precut Squares from I believe these are 2.5 oz and I also have the 2.2 oz which is a little lighter. These are great for your 4×4 hoop! They also sell other sizes and weights in precut. Just search “precut” for all of the precut stabilizer options (no show mesh, light tearaway, etc.) As you can see below, 250 pieces for $16.95 – great price! That’s like 7 cents a shirt ~ 250 shirts!!

MORE ON CUTAWAY ~ I use cutaway on all of my tshirts. I am a “hooper” so I hoop all shirts and use medium cutaway. (See this post on hooping). Basically you would use cutaway on anything you don’t mind leaving stabilizer on, because you do “cut it away” from around the applique or monogram! You would not use cutaway on a bib or towel, because you would not want it left on there when you’re done! I find that cutaway gives you great support too.

#5. Iron on Tearaway Stabilizer ~ It is what it says.. You iron it on, then tear it away once you’re done! I use iron on tearaway on towels, blankets, plush items, lovies, bibs, burp cloths, etc. It’s basically like paper and once side is shiny. You iron on the paper side and it sticks to your item. When you’re done, you just pull it off. I don’t use it a whole lot, so I usually buy this Sulky brand from Joann with my 50% off coupon.

#6. Solvy ~ Solvy is the stuff that is a “topper” stabilizer for plush items such as towels, blankets, terry bibs, minky dot anything, etc. When I use iron on tearaway, it’s typically something I’d need Solvy for too. It acts as a topper so that your monogram (thread) will not sink in to the item. I learned this by monogramming a plush baby blanket and did not use anything on top. The monogram got lost down in the fluff! It feels sort of like a textured saran wrap. Solvy is water soluble too and the instructions state that it can be removed by submerging in water. However, like the tearaway I just peel/pull it off when I’m done. Like the tearaway, I don’t use a ton of it so I typically buy a roll or two of Sulky brand with my 50% off Joann coupon. You can use solvy several different ways – you can hoop it with your item or you can lay it on top of your embroidery area and pin it in place.

I monogrammed several towels today so here are a few pictures using the iron on tearaway and Solvy. First I’m doing a kitchen towel. I don’t want stabilizer left on the back of the towel when I’m done so I’m using an iron on tearaway stabilizer. I cut a piece the size of my hoop and iron it on the back where the monogram will go.

This kitchen towel is pretty flat (not fluffy), but it was a tad bumpy and “waffle weave” so I decided a layer of solvy would not hurt! As you can see the monogram is sewing on top of the solvy. I hooped the solvy too.

Now I’m doing a bath hand towel, so again I’m using the iron on tearaway because I do not want stabilizer left on the back of my towel. I iron it on the back the size of my hoop over the area that will be monogrammed.

If I were to monogram this without solvy, the thread would get lost and buried down in the loops.

As you can see below the monogram is sewing on top of the solvy, therefore on top of the loops of the towel. Note: I like to use a fill stitch monogram when doing towels versus a satin stitch. That’s just my personal preference!

Other than Heat N Bond Lite (see this post) and Sulky KK5000 Spray Adhesive (see Hooping 101 post ~ I use it to stick my cutaway to my shirt before hooping) and a lint brush, these are the only “products” I typically use. I post last week about needles and other than scissors, measuring tape and my iron, that’s about it! I can do another post soon on embroidery thread and bobbins! FYI – I use Fil-Tec’s Magnetic Core Bobbins from You can buy a box of 100 for like $28.00. 100 bobbins lasts me a long time!

I hope this helps those of you who are thinking about embroidery or just starting out. Like I said, there are TONS of stabilizers out there and there are several that I simply don’t use. You kind of have to figure out what you need and like and stick with them. The commercial stabilizers are priced so great so I buy them on the stabilizers I use the most. I also did a post last week on Comfort Cover  (see the post here). It’s not really a stabilizer, but more an “extra” thing you can add to your finished product!

If you have any other post ideas for “beginners”, please let me know!


  1. I just wanted you to know I really appreciate these posts you’ve been doing! I’m not super new to machine embroidery, but it’s always helpful to read other people’s personal preferences. Plus I’ve learned new things reading through your tutorials! Again, thanks for taking the time to do them!

    • Magda Moreno says

      Thank you Rosmary for the excellent tutorial than you sharing….I have a question I try to get a embroidery machine(I have mine 1 needle but is taking time when you have to change thread that why I’m thinking on a bigger one )I know you have one but a want to know its is good one and how long you have it with you….I will really appreciate for your time

  2. Thank you so much for your post! I got my machine last july and am totally teaching myself everything about it. Instructions didn’t come with how to hoop, stablizers, thread and needles so THANK YOU!!!! 🙂

  3. Bernadette Hermon says


    when making iron on appliques with the embroidery machine what type of stabilizer do you use to make the applique. Do you make your applique directly on the stabilizer and cut away or tear away the stabilizer, how do you avoid have the pieces of stabilizer from showing around the edge.

    thanks so much 🙂

    • I have never done iron on appliques, but there is a stabilizer called Stiffy (Sulky) that I think you hoop, do the applique on and then tear it away. I have a pack of it but I’ve never used it!

  4. Love this and have been looking for a new magnet bobbin supplier! Perfect!
    Is there a certain brand you use?

  5. I’m a newbie to embroidery & appliqué. Bought a Brother single needle for Christmas & have been following your blog for weeks trying to learn the ‘tried & true’ methods. Thank you for taking the time to share your proven procedures with others. The Applique This and That FB page is awesome as well; what a great group of ladies!

    I can see that appliqué & font files can quickly get out of hand. Could you share your method for organizing the digital files?

    Many Thanks!

    • I have a folder on my computer that contains all of my design files. Inside are tons of subfolders where I used to save each design in it’s own file. I also have a file for Embroidery Boutique designs, and inside that folder are subfolders (Easter, Christmas, etc. all from EB). There are tons of ways to organize your designs, but maybe by digitizer?

    • Brie'n Miller says

      Me too!! I am glad to see I am not the only newbie 🙂 Enjoy your new Brother! I got mine for Christmas too! I have just started learning how to use all the bells and whistles 🙂 Happy Sewing!

  6. This may be such a juvenile question…but what is the difference between a fill stitch monogram and a satin stitch monogram? 🙂

  7. This post is worth its weight in gold….thanks so much for answering so many questions and being so specific!

  8. Hi Rosemary!

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your method of using HNBL for applique b/c I had a hard time getting the spray adhesive to completly wash away (after washing it attracted the lint and these yucky, dirty little balls were all over the top of my design and the surrounding fabric). I would like to try to use the medium cutaway on the back (I have been using the iron on tear away) but I’m worried about having the same issue with the spray adhesive. So, do you have that problem? Do you spray lightly?? Do you recommend spraying the stablizer rather than the fabric? Do you wash your designs before adhering the gentle backing or not? Any insight would be appreciated 🙂

    I definately think your blog is the best place for beginners such as myself, thank you!

    • I spray the stabilizer away from the shirt – usually on the floor or in a box. I don’t use it on fabric but if I did – same thing, in a box away from the shirt. I don’t prewash anything!

    • I would hoop sticky stabilizer and stick the swimsuit to it, and I would also use solvy on top!

  9. Elizabeth Gisclair says

    My question is about the sticky back stabilizer. After reading this blog plus the fast frames. I am guessing it would be only good for people with the multi needle machine. I have the Brother 2500d. Just want to be sure I am understanding this right.

    Thanks for all the info. I have been doing embroidery for about 3 years just as a hobby but recently a children’s boutique has asked me to do things and I want it to look as professional as possible. So I appreciate all the advice.


    • Anyone can use sticky back – if you have a regular machine you can hoop it, then score the paper side to reveal the sticky and stick anything to it to monogram or applique. It’s good for monogramming ribbon, lunchboxes, backpacks – anything you can’t hoop!

      • Can you use a basting spray instead of a sticky back stabilizer?

        • I am not familiar w/ basting spray!? I use temporary spray adhesive a lot. You just want to make sure it’s not going to stick up the machine or gum up your needles.

      • How do you remove the sticky-back stabilizer without it becoming all gummy or distorting the monogrammed ribbon?

        • Very carefully!! I actually monogrammed some ribbon last week and I used a waffle weave tearaway and I hooped it AND the ribbon, monogrammed it and it was a little easier to pull away. Just make sure the ribbon is straight in the hoop. I used a big enough piece of tearaway to fit the whole hoop.

  10. Have you ever used the Coats Polyester Astra bobbins? I have been using Nebs but I’m already putting in an order at so I wanted to just orders some that they carry. I know that you use the Fil-Tec magnetic bobbins but will those work in a regular Viking-Hus embroidery machine? Thanks!

  11. I use the tearaway stablilizer but have little white fringe when i tear it away. Tried the water soluble , but but it tore away. Any suggestions?

  12. Hi. I’m very new to embroidery and I have only purchased the tear away so far. Could you please tell me why you like the cut away better than the tear away for clothing? I looked at the cut away but was afraid it would leave rough edges that would scratch. Thanks for any advice.

  13. Nikki Reeves says

    How do you know which size bobbins to get for your machine? Mine is a janome 350e. By the way I Love your designs and have actually learned a few things tonight thanks! I hope to better my business with them.

  14. First of all, thank you for these wonderful posts!! I have recently started monogramming and your posts have been infinitely helpful! I have a question about iron on vs the sticky stabilizer. I have not used iron on yet, and wondered if you would mind sharing why you prefer it for towels, burps, etc over the sticky back.
    Thanks again!

    • I think for a couple of reasons – it peels off easier especially on towels. And, I hoop towels and burp cloths so the iron on is better for hooping. If I weren’t hooping them, then I’d use sticky!

      • Thank you!!

      • I used iron on for the first time on towels and it won’t peel off, I made theses towels for gifts , how can I get that backing off?
        I need it for Xmas ,thanks

        • Gave the wrong email for my question, how to get the iron on backing off my towels, it won’t peel off, stuck like cement

          • I’m so sorry I’m just checking comments Vivian. Did you have any luck? That is weird that it would stick so badly!?!? It did say iron on tearaway??

        • Lisa L Belanger says

          Vivian, I just thought I’d share with you what I did with the iron-on tearaway for it to come off. After you’re done, iron it again to heat it up and it should peel away with no problem. If it cools off before you’re able to remove it all, just heat it up again until you get it all off. Also, what I did when I ironed it on at the beginning, I left the edges of the iron on stabilizer free so I could grab it when I was done with my project. I hope this helps you. Good Luck!

  15. Rosemary,

    I have a customer who has brought me a patch that used to have the iron on stabilizer on the back so she could just iron it on a dress and later (once the holiday had passed) she would remove it. I am unfamiliar with this method but am trying to be kind and help her. Do you know what they had on it or have I been totally confusing? All I have ever used is iron-on tear away. I would appreciate any advice or wisdom!!

    • Maybe she was using something like Heat N Bond Lite or Wonder Under? You can use it to fuse fabric together. But, not sure how easy it is to remove?

      • Thanks so much Rosemary. No words can thank you enough for all that you have taught me (thru your blog, applique this n that, ect)!!! Thank you for always being so kind and happily helpful!

  16. Thank you so much for these tutorials and help posts…I live 2 hours away from a dealer and they seldom give classes. I have been able to take your instructions and produce successful products…Rosemary you are on my hero list!

  17. What do you recommend using to clean the gunk off of the needles after using sticky back? Thank you for this blog and I look forward to the conference.

    • I would probably just use alcohol and a qtip or cotton ball. What kind of sticky back are you using? Some is probably sticker than others. I use the commercial from and it’s not too sticky at all.

  18. Since Joann has stopped stocking the 17″ x 5yd rolls of Sulky tear easy stabilizer, I started doing some research on other options. After reading your comments about only using cutaway on your tee’s, I was sondering about how you deal with the cutaway “shadow” from the back showing through on your white shirts. I don’t have access to the Monag brand shirts and currently only use commercial off the shelf (Old Navy (w/coupon), Cherokee & Garanimals) brands. Your finished product always looks fantastic and was wondering if I should invest in some pre-cut squares.

  19. Rachel Rieves says

    Do you ever use iron on medium cutaway on t-shirts?

    • I think I tried it once, but I was not too good at getting it to stick! I use Sulky KK2000 spray adhesive to stick the medium cutaway to my shirt so I can hoop.

  20. I don’t usually make comments, but wanted to thank you for this post. I was going to go buy an expensive book for beginners and thought I would “Google” one more time. I have you now in my FAVS to see what you have going on. I truly appreciate it. I just got my first EXPENSIVE machine and learned on a Brother P-150 I bought used. I think I am now on to my new addictive hobby, hahaha and you are there to help. Thanks again!!!

  21. I have to monogram a straw (vinyl ) hat. What are your recommendations on doing that? Questioning backing and assuming ws for top. Help!!! 😉 Thanks in advance for any help!!

    • I would say sticky stabilizer and stick the hat to it? I would recommend you ask on the Applique This & That page on Facebook if you are on there – I’ve seen LOTS of monogrammed hats on there lately. I haven’t tried one so I’m not 100% sure what to use!

      • Once again…. Thank you so much Rosemary!! and… it was great to meet you at the conference.

        • To follow up on the straw hat monogram. I went to the applique this and that on FB as you suggested. They said to use sticky back w/o WS topping. First hat I tried was a test and I followed their instructions and wasn’t pleased with how the stitching looked. The next hat I followed their instructions and added the WS topping and the stitching looked much better. Thought I would share my experience incase you, or anyone does any hats.

  22. beck finch says

    How often do you change your needles?

  23. Rosemary,

    Thanks for all of your helpful hints. Can you tell me if when you use the cutaway stabilizer if you can see thru it? I have had a problem with a couple of shirts I’ve done and you can see the shadow around the design.

    Thanks again.

    • It depends on the thickness of the shirt and also of the cutaway! It’s not something that has ever bothered me, but I think it’s personal preference!

  24. When you embroider a shirt, do you use the iron on stabilizer as well as the cutaway? I have been using the iron on but am terrified of ripping a stitch and putting a hole in my just finished shirt! Also, do you iron the comfort cover over the remnants of the cutaway stabilizer? Thanks so much!

    • I only use cutaway and trim around the design when I’m done. Yes I use Comfort Cover on the back, cutting a circle piece larger than the finished design (w/ stabilizer).

      • Hi Rosemary – a quick follow-up question regarding the removal of the stabilizer. I used to use tear away, but I’ve switched to cut away when I embroider onesies and shirts. I definitely like the results better. Now – do you only cut around the outside of your design when removing the stabilizer, or do you trim away the stabilizer on the inside of the design as well? Thanks so much for your help – I’m definitely learning a lot! 🙂

        • I only trim around the design, not inside!

          • When you trim around the design, how closely do you trim? Basically how much stabilizer to you leave around the design? Thanks!

          • I use Gingher 4″ curved embroidery scissors so I trim pretty closely. With the Heat N Bond Lite on the fabric it makes trimming easier!

          • Thanks for the reply. I believe you are referring to the actual appliqued fabric. So I don’t think I was not specific enough. I’m curious about how much of the stabilizer you leave on the back of the shirt. When you trim the cutaway, how much do you leave?

          • OH! I trim closely around the applique on the back side as well. Like a circle around the whole design, not around each and ever nook and cranny!

  25. Hi,

    I was curious if you have ever monogrammed a mesh backpack or anything mesh. I believe I have used just about every other material besides a seemingly medium sized hole mesh. Do you have any suggestions? I see many sites that sell monogrammed mesh bags but I can’t figure out how to do it and make it look good.


    • I have never monogrammed on mesh!? I would think you’d use a tearaway or sticky stabilizer, but you’d want to be sure you could get it all off after you’re done.

  26. Heather B says

    Hoping you can help, I just found your blog tonight! I am about to throw my Brother out the window. I am new, and a self learned. I tried monogramming on a target cotton tshirt tonight for my sister. When i finished the first letter, it was clear my tension was too tight because I had little holes all the way around the letter. But then, something happened, and my machine jammed. The shirt was stuck under-where the bobbin is. I literally had to cut it out to get it off my machine. I have other items with similar fabric, but I have no clue what went wrong. The underside of the shirt had tons of excess thread, after I cut the shirt out. Any thought? Suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • I would change bobbins and rethread the machine. What kind of stabilizer are you using? Check out my post on hooping in Helpful Posts – make sure you are not stretching the shirt when you hoop. Also, you might change out your needle. Email me if you want –

    • I am also new to all this and have a Brother machine. I have had this happen several times as well. I have started using a midweight stabilizer on lighter knit fabrics and really haven’t had any problems. The ladies at our local sewing shop said party of the issue is that my machine is an entry level with lots of internal parts that are plastic and it causes issues with the bobbin and that it isn’t anything I”m doing. Not sure what machine you have but it could be the same reason.

  27. Heather B says

    I should clarify, I have other items she wants me to monogram with the same light weight cotton fabric. Since I am not sure what I did wrong, I am nervous to try anything else!

  28. Using Sulky/Solvy water soluble on top of fabric to keep embroidery stitches up out of fabric Which SIDE of stabilizer goes down on fabric “rough or smooth”?

  29. i am having problems with my tshirts getting holes around the letters etc. with and applique , any suggestion s….so frustrated :-/

  30. Hey! found you through a recommendation on Facebook. I’m very new to sewing and learning to applique- I’m getting my very 1st sewing machine/ embroider in a few days (frown. They were out of stock.) from my local Viking store.
    I really appreciate all your helpful info. I can’t wait to come back and learn!

  31. Lauren Broadbridge says

    Okay so I’m a newbie and have the sulky cut away stabilizer and am trying to figure out what I can use to adhere to it. I have a adhesive that I used to put fabric onto canvas but it gets pretty sticky so I was just curious if that would work!

  32. I have a question about some leftover stabilizer? Can/do you piece it together?
    I have so much leftover from other projects. I hate to throw it out, but didn’t know what to
    with it?

    • I guess if the piece was big enough you could keep it for a smaller project? Not sure about piecing it together (if it was cutaway I might not). I would use Solvy again and I’ve heard of patching sticky stabilizer for a new project.

  33. Embroidering on linen towels. I am using my ff and sticky back. Do you have a tip for removing the backing from it any easier than I am? Doing a swirl frame with monogram inside and it’s a challenge getting the backing off. Thanks for any suggestions!

  34. Cynthia Brown says

    .I needed to know if anyone has any problems peeling of the stabilizer that you iron on the back of the towels after you have finished embroidering your towel? I don’t know if I ironed on it too long or what, but it is NOT peeling off of the back of the towel too easily.

  35. Hi, I have bee struggling with my appliqué shirts. Can you give me step by step instructions on how you get such a profession finished look? I usually put 1 or 2 iron on cut away stablizers on the inside of the shirt, then 1 iron stab. on the back of the fabric that I am using for my appliqué, spray on to help hold the fabric down while stitching. I am over doing this? How do you do appliqués?

    • I use medium cutaway as my stabilizer and I use Heat N Bond Lite on my fabric. If you check out Helpful Posts, there are several posts on how-to.

  36. Carlye Pleasant says

    I’m so excited to have found your blog. I have a home business and most of my sales are appliqués. I own a12 needle happy voyager so there are things that are a little different but overall this is great help. I can’t find the particular brand HNBL Would you recommend another brand that is as effective?

    • Heat N Bond Lite is made by Therm-o-web. I highly recommend it!! Wonder Under by Pellon is also similar but is not as easy to work with.

  37. I am having trouble with my fabric pulling/tearing away on my appliqués. I appliquéd on a shirt or fleece material with a quilt fabric and it pulls up sometimes. It’s almost like the embroidery is tearing the fabric. What am I doing wrong?

  38. I have a Brother 650 which is a 6 needle embroidery machine. I am having trouble with my bobbin thread coming to the top of my applique. I have spoken to my person who sells and repairs Brother products. He says the tensions need adjusting, which I have done. This problem goes from needle to needle at times. Example: On one project #2 needle may pull the bobbin thread to the top but the others will not. On the next project #6 needle may do this. Could this be a problem with stablizer? I have been told that it could be. Or is this a problem in cleaning maintaince as I read in your recent blog about 6 needle machines. Thanks in advanced for your help.

    • Are you doing a tension test and getting all the tensions correct? I assume you are using prewound bobbins too? That shouldn’t happen on a 650!

  39. I am having trouble with the bobbin thread coming to the top of my stitches. Is this a stablizer problem or a tension problem? I have already had mataince done on the machine but it still does this. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Are you using prewound bobbins? Sounds like a tension problem – the top tension might be too tight. I recommend prewound bobbins too which are more consistent than wind-your-own.

  40. Kelly Mungle says

    I love reading your blog and getting helpful hints… but I have been looking for a software for my mac. I have monogram wizard, that can only be used on a PC, but my PC is on its last leg, and we are mainly a mac house. So, just seeing if you would recommend a software that should be purchased for fonts I have on my mac, or if you knew if MW would ever be able to switch over? I have added several fonts, but transfer them to my machine and then work with them.. Any help is appreciated! Thanks! Kelly

  41. This was very informative. I used the water soluble solvy stabilizer and did not like dissolving it with water. I love the tear away technique that you mentioned here. Must nicer outcome!

    Like all the other compliments, I appreciate all you post. Love reading your blog.

    Have a good day.

  42. What is the sticky back stabilizer that you use from sewing called(for the fast frames)? Cap backing? Do you get yours by the roll or precut?

  43. I am wondering if you pre-shrink your cutaway? I had recently done a couple of shirts for my girls that were prewashed and the applique fabric was also prewashed. I used wonder-under between the applique fabrics and the shirt and had a layer of cutaway under the shirt us well as a layer of soft n stay for the final contact on the skin. When I washed them afterwards it seemed as if the stabilizer shrunk, making the applique bulge out on the front. What I am really more concerned about is I have a couple of shirts to make that aren’t for us/family, so I haven’t preshrunk them but all of my fabric stash is prewashed. What is going to happen? Will the shirt and stabilizers shrink at different rates once they are washed, or do you provide directions such as cold water wash and line dry? I can make great looking appliques but I want them to last through their washing and wearings. Any advice?

    • I don’t prewash anything! I would suggest hanging to dry if you are concerned with doing stuff for other people. Usually a quick iron over the shirt when it comes out of the dryer helps IF it comes out a bit wrinkled. I did a post showing a laundered shirt – will see if I can find it!

  44. Thanks for all the helpful guidance on this subject! I am a complete newbie to machine embroidery and am slowly trying to figure things out. Here is my question: I have monogrammed on sheets and also on a broadcloth-type fabric (with two layers of tearaway stabilizer beneath) and things turn out pretty good (not great – some puckers – but okay). But when i take the same monogram design and apply it to a t-shirt (again, with two layers of tearaway stabilizer beneath), it looks bad! I think the best word is that it looks skimpy – you can see each and every stitch. I haven’t changed any settings though. What should I be doing different when monogramming on a t-shirt than when monogramming on sheets or a broadcloth fabric?

  45. I love reading your posts! What kind of stabilizer would you recommend for use with monogramming fleece jackets? I’m wondering if I should use a layer of solvy or not. Thoughts?

  46. Have you ever had any trouble with Solvy remaining after you wash the clothing item? I have a blanket that is still sticky. I’ve washed it several times, but it won’t seem to budge. Any ideas?

  47. Hi I’m new to embroidery. The main thing I want to do is monogram sweatshirts and make pocket T’s for my teenage daughters. Can you tell me what exactly you use to do those as far as the stabilizers? I understand you use medium cut away on the back but do you use something on top and always spray the cut away with Sulky? Also the fabric on the pocket t is just cotton. It seems to really wrinkle up after washed. What can I do to help prevent it? I enjoy your site. So glad I found it. I also have Sew What Pro and love it. I’m still learning what all I can do with it…

    • You CAN use solvy (or water soluble) on top if you want to, but it’s not necessary for sweatshirts and tshirts. I use it sometimes if the tshirt is thin or has spandex in it. I have only made 1 pocket tee so I’m not too efficient in those! 🙂 I spray the cutaway w/ sulky spray just to keep it in place so I can hoop it.

      • Thank you. What about a bag that has vinyl on the inside of it?I had to order the Sulky as no one around here has it.

  48. I am new to embroidery/applique. I just purchased a Quattro 3. I am confused on the stabilizers. I purchased a tearaway due to the sales agent raving over it. I have found that my machine is not producing good quality work–holes around the embroidery/applique, skipping stitches, fabric pulls away, bobbin stitches showing on top. I have had some nesting but only once. I have re-threaded, changed bobbin and needles. When I spoke to another sales agent at my local sewing store they said it had do with my stabilizer.
    One sales agent said she uses Solvy on everything and does not hoop anything because she uses the sticky stabilizer.
    I then was told by another agent that it was a waste to use Solvy on all items.
    They did say that I need to double up on any pattern that was more than 10,000 stitches.

    My question is you are using a commercial machine. Can I use the commercial grade stabilizer with my machine?

    I am heading over to read your hooping 101 I do believe that is another issue I have.

  49. My questions is regarding t shirts also. Do you use tricot or some type of fusible mesh to stablize the knit 1st then attach the stablizer or will the cut away secure it enough? I bought no show mesh and french tricot and they both lift with the 1st washing.
    What do you use to cover the stitches on the back to prevent scratching?
    Thank you for all your helpful informantion.

    • I use medium cutaway on tshirts and sticky stabilizer to keep it in place while I hoop. I use solvy on top sometimes if I’m doing a monogram. The stuff on the back is called Comfort Cover ( or Floriani Dreamweave is another brand.

  50. Question for you: When you are embroidery a white design like a snowman and you don’t want to see the material you are sewing on. What stabilizer do you use?

    Thanks 🙂

    • You could use medium cutaway underneath your white fabric, or you could also just double up the white fabric. If doubling up, I use HNBL on both AND the bottom to fuse it to the shirt.

  51. Do u use the cut away stabilizer for like thin material tshirts, onesie etc.? I’m new and getting frustraited there’s so much i have to teach myself

    • I normally do use medium cutaway on thin shirts, etc. I’ve started using polymesh a little more – it’s a thinner cutaway. I also use water soluble on top if I’m doing a monogram (name or initials)!

  52. Cheryl Horlick says

    When you do an applique on the hoodie of a hoodie sweatshirt, do you still use polymesh/cutaway? Since it can been seen when the hoodie isn’t on the head, it looks terrible. But, I think you need the cutaway to stabilize it for washing. Could you possible cut out the center of some of the stabilizer in the design so it doesn’t look so white?

    • I might use tearaway and solvy on top, which would both come out. However, you are going to see the bobbin thread, but it might look a little better!?

  53. I wanted to say “Thank you” I just purchased my first embroidery machine, and I had 5 rolls of stabilizer, and had no clue which one to use on what kind of fabric. Now if I could just get a class to teach me the harder stuff for my PE-770 I’d be a real happy camper. Thank you again for helping me to understand this part of the process.

  54. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS!! I didn’t have any difficulty when I first began embroidering but the more I do, which includes new textures of course, the less I feel like I know. I really appreciate you telling what brands and types you use and why you prefer it. I’m going to have to try some of these to see if it helps me on my venture. You’re awesome!

  55. HV 1555 Sticky Back 14″x25 Yards
    Is this the sticky back stabilizer you use from I searched for sticky stabilizer and that’s the only one that came up. I didn’t want to buy the wrong thing!

  56. Hi Rosemary! I am having such issues with light colored shirts and embroidering on them. The backing always shows through no matter if I used fusible no-show mesh or not. I am also using the dream weave to iron over the embroidery to make it was perfectly. What, if any, tips do you have for me on how to stabilize whites!!!!!!!!!!!!! Help!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. Hi im very knew too it all and im have trouble with my material still having a stickey residue after i remove the stabalizer. i tryed washing it and that only took alittle off. HELP!!!!

  58. Hello! I just happened to stumble upon your blog and already in Love. I’ve only been doing this for a few months. I’m looking to embroider my son’s backpack with our last name. I have read around and I know I need a sticky back stabilizer. I have a single needle hoop embroidery machine. I saw your post about the sticky back stabilizer. Is there one locally at Joann’s or something that you could recommend that isn’t too stick (as you talked about) and also will work well? I really appreciate the help. Thank you!!!


  59. So do you have any idea why stopped selling the cutaway stabilizer. They no longer offer it on their website. Do you know anywhere else we can purchase the CM22a 2.2oz?

    • Heather, they recently redid their website, so I would call either the West Point or Atlanta store to order it. I was in the WP store Friday and they still have all the same stabilizers. I’m guessing everything is just not on the site yet!

  60. So I’m kind of an embroidery newbie and have these really cool sorority letters I started making, intending them to be patches. I realized too late that the fabric is really thin and that stabilizer would have helped. Is there any way you know if to make the patches stiffer and/or more patch-like at this point?

  61. Thank you so much for all this information! You definitely have done your homework! I do have a question though…when embroidering 1″ or smaller fonts have you ever used two layers of solvy for the top of the fabric and one layer of stabalizer for underneath the fabric? Do you find it gives the stiches better support? I’ve been experimenting myself to see what works best for knits. Thank you!

    • It really depends on the shirt fabric. Some shirts are thicker cotton. Some have spandex in them or are stretchy – it might not hurt to try using 2 layers but I’ve only ever used 1.

  62. I have a question on embroidery on a swimsuit. The swimsuit is seersucker and is very thin. I am not sure what kind of stabilizer to use on this project. It isn’t spandex at all more like cotton. I was think cutaway mesh but I am not sure. What are your thoughts?

  63. Just found this. Thanak you so much. I just bought an embroidery machine last week trying to read up on everything and I will be revisiting this blog to read all your posts. This one on stabilizers was very very helpful!! I haven’t done a project yet but hope to get all the supplies so I can do one soon!!

  64. Hi, I’m new to sewing but I would like to try to embroider a book bag. Do you think that a tear away stabilizer will work with adhesive spray (if needed)?

  65. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am
    satisfied that you shared this useful information with us.
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  66. Thank you So much