What can an embroiderer, be it a beginner or an experienced âstitch wolfâ, say about machine embroidery stabilizers? Well, quite a lot! Starting from questions about their choice, moving onto tips on their use, words of caution against particular types of stabilizers or even their brands… The list can go on and on! Thatâs why we give these machine embroidery heroes such a generous share of limelight both in our blog and our Embroidery Library.
First we approached the theme in general terms in the article about machine embroidery topping and backings. Then, we turned to specific items, like âGetting to know Madeira Embroidery Stabilizersâ, âTemporary Adhesive Spray for embroideryâ, âCoverUP permanent topping for machine embroideryâ etc.
Now, after the series âChoosing fabric for machine embroideryâ has stirred so much of your interest, weâve realized that not only the way one uses stabilizers matters, but the process of choosing stabilizers for machine embroidery itself is quite important as well. Thus, the present series of articles âChoosing stabilizers for machine embroideryâ came to be. It dwells on the way the delicate process should be done and hopefully, after reading it, the issue will be a lot easier to resolve.
The series âChoosing stabilizers for machine embroideryâ comes in two parts. The first part (the one youâre reading) sums up all approaches to stabilizer classifications in a comprehensive embroidery âdatabaseâ. The information will help you create practical system of knowledge. The second part of the series will deal with the principles of the knowledge application. Youâll know what aspects of embroidery process should be taken into account when stabilizers are chosen and how exactly these aspects play their part. And, as always, practical tips and examples will go along each piece of theoretical information.
Note: All brands and manufacturersâ names, mentioned in the text, are used only as examples for better comprehension of the theme. We do not give any commercial advice or reference on the matter to our readers. Should you choose to use any other brand of stabilizers, by all means, please, do.
Now, that weâve cleared it out, letâs get down to the discussion, which will go in the following order:
1. What is âmachine embroidery stabilizerâ? How is it different from any other types of stabilizers?
2. Machine embroidery stabilizers classifications:
– Classification of stabilizers according to their placement (topping, backing),
– Classification of stabilizers according to their structure (woven, non-woven),
– Classification of stabilizers according to their color (basic: black, white, transparent, semi-transparent, and multicolored),
– Classification of stabilizers according to the way theyâre adhered to the fabric (non-adhesive and adhesive: fusible and self-adhesive ones),
– Classification of stabilizers according the way theyâre removed from the fabric (wash-away, heat-away, tear-away, cut-away),
– Classification of stabilizers according to their weight and sickness.
What is âmachine embroidery stabilizerâ? How is it different from any other types of stabilizers?
Stabilizers for quilting, hand embroidery, sewing, machine embroidery, interfacings, printing paperâ¦ What are these things? Is there any difference between them? If thereâs, what a machine embroiderer should be making of all of it? Can we swap them and use one type instead of another? Interested in answers to the questions? Ok, then, letâs read on!
So, all of the mentioned things (stabilizers, interfacing etc.) are used for needle-work of some type or another. Basically, all of them help the fabric withstand various manipulations an artist wants to make. Like in cases when you need to enhance the fabricâs drape, hand or ability to take needle punching, heavy stitching or prevent it from fraying or stretching etc.
The main difference between them is that interfacings have a more permanent character than stabilizers. This means that the structure, characteristics and properties of interfacings, in comparison to stabilizers, are more fabric-like. Interfacings canât be torn away. You can only cut them with the help of scissors. Also interfacings (even the most light-weight ones) are generally more durable than stabilizers. Such âcapacityâ of interfacings makes them perfect for projects when fabric enhancement should be there permanently. Stabilizers (toppings, backings etc.), on the other hand, are used mainly as temporary measure.
Example with interfacing: When sewing shirtsâ collars and cuffs, you need them to keep their form. Thus youâll use some type of interfacing between the layers of the collar (cuff) fabric. This interfacing makes the pieces stiffer for as long as the garment is used. In quilting youâll also need to use interfacing as youâll need to enhance the endurance of the fabric throughout all the period of its use.
Example with stabilizers: Machine embroidery on terrycloth towels requires the use of a special kind of stabilizer (solvable topping) to prevent stitches sink into the pile of the fabric. This stabilizer matters only during the work, when stitches are being applied. Afterwards, itâs removed and only the embroidered dÃ©cor remains.
Now, the biggest confusion between interfacing and stabilizers is caused by the spheres of their use. From the examples above one might think that interfacings are used only in sewing and quilting and stabilizers are used only in various types of embroidery. That is not entirely true. Sometimes itâs possible (and required even) to use some type of interfacing for machine embroidery. At other times itâs impossible to sew without machine embroidery stabilizers.
Examples of using interfacings in machine embroidery:
- Machine embroidery of jersey knit baby-ware items (onesies, t-shirts, etc.) If a design that you want to machine embroider on the item isnât light (anything that isnât linework, Red Work, etc.) then youâll need to use permanent light-weight interfacing to cover the stitches of the back of the embroidery. This type of interfacing is usually called âcover-the-stitchâ or âcover the backâ and is basically a light-weight semitransparent fusible woven fabric (e.g. Gunold Cover the Back, Sulky Tender Touch Madeira, etc.) Itâs applied after the embroidery is done on the back of the ground fabric to prevent any irritation the stitches might cause to the skin.
- Machine embroidery of natural leather. We spoke in detail about particularities of machine embroidery on natural leather in the fourth part of the series âChoosing a fabric for machine embroideryâ. So, as you remember, natural leather, being a non-woven type of fabric, requires an additional layer of woven stabilizers or interfacing to be able to support embroidery stitches.
- Machine embroidery of appliquÃ© designs becomes ten times easier and quicker if appliquÃ© pieces are attached to the ground fabric with a fusible type of interfacing (fusible mesh or netting). Of course, instead of this, you can use some temporary spray adhesive or any type of machine embroidery fusible stabilizer.
Example of using stabilizers in sewing: Similarly, sewing (just like embroidery) light weight fabrics might be tricky stitch-placing-wise. Thus, when sewing on lightweight fabrics (like chiffon or crepe) sometimes a tear-away stabilizer (backing) is used. It provides additional stability to the fabric during sewing (afterwards the stabilizer is removed).
So what machine embroiderers should do with all the above-mentioned information?
Well, they should know that stabilizers and interfacings are not similar things but sometimes both categories can be of use in machine embroidery. As a rule, machine embroidery will require the use of stabilizers. Interfacings in machine embroidery are used only in special cases. The same goes for sewing, quilting and other types of fabric crafts. As weâre dealing with machine embroidery, in this post weâll be dwelling on choosing stabilizers for machine embroidery only. Weâll describe how exactly different stabilizers are chosen for various embroidery projects and analyze factors of the projects that play a role in the choice-making.
To be able to choose the right stabilizer for the project, one needs to know more about the nature of these machine embroidery âhelpersâ. So, to put you in the know weâve summed up all the possible classification of machine embroidery stabilizers. These classifications are based on various approaches to the notion of fabric stabilization. Such an all-inclusive layout of the issue helps create a comprehensive system of all types and kinds of stabilizers used in machine embroidery. And having a system always helps in choosing the right stabilizer for each particular embroidery project, donât you agree? If yes, then, without further ado, letâs move further into the theme.
Machine embroidery stabilizers classifications:
Classification of stabilizers according to their placement: toppings and backings
Backings are applied to the back of the fabric. They are used to make the fabric stiffer, sturdier, less âfluidâ and stretchy and more resilient to heavy stitching and multiple needle punching. Absolutely any type of machine embroidery stabilizers (sometimes also interfacings) can be used as backings. Choosing the right type of backing for each particular project will depend on properties of the fabric, design type (density of stitches, technique itâs done with, etc.) and the cut of the to-be-embroidered item itself.
Toppings are applied on the face side of the fabric. They are used on delicate, textured and porous fabrics to prevent stitches from sinking into the âtextureâ. When choosing stabilizers for topping one needs to remember that the stabilizer will need to be completely removed from the fabric afterward. Thus, only soluble stabilizers are used as toppings.
Note: In some cases, the role of the topping can be expanded. For example, it can be used not only to prevent stitches from sinking into the fabric textured surface but also to enhance the colorization of the insufficient fill-stitching. Usually, such a thing happens when machine embroidery is done on patterned (not solid) fabrics and the design isnât dense enough to cover the background. Thus a specialty type of stabilizer is used as a topping, like a Coverup by Hoop-it-all or similar. Weâll be talking about the case in detail in the section with stabilizers color classification.
Classification of stabilizers according to their structure: woven and non-woven
Woven stabilizers for machine embroidery
In this category, we include woven interfacings of various levels of density and weight and some heat-away embroidery stabilizers (e.g. Madeira Termogarza, Gunold Thermogaze, etc.) Depending on the type of the weave of such stabilizers, they can stretch in two or more directions (vertically, horizontally, etc.)
Tip: When all you have on hands are such stretchy stabilizers and your embroidery project requires extra âstableâ stabilization, you can use multiple layers of the available ones. When using them, however, arrange their layering so that their stretch directions would overlap each other in a crisscross manner. This way you will achieve maximum stability.
Note: More detailed information about what machine embroiderer should know about weave types is available in the second part of the series âChoosing a fabric for machine embroideryâ.
Non-woven stabilizers for machine embroidery
This category includes all the rest types of stabilizers and its variety is really great. All tear-away stabilizers, wash-away, and heat-away films, vinyl films, some specialty stabilizers for making patches, puffy foams for 3D embroidery, fleece for embroidery in trapunto techniqueâ¦ All these are examples of non-woven machine embroidery stabilizers.
Classification of stabilizers according to their color (basic: black, white, transparent, semi-transparent, and multicolored)
All tear-away and cut-away machine embroidery stabilizers can be found in two basic colors (black and white). These two colors are used most of all. Wash-away and heat-away films represent the âtransparentâ or color-less category of stabilizers. The median âsemi-transparentâ category of stabilizers is represented by light-weight interfacings (e.g. Soft nâ Sheer by Gunold, No-show Polymesh by World Weidner, etc.) They are used when denser designs are embroidered on sheer or light-weight fabrics to help them withstand the toil of stitching without being visible or adding bulk to the fabric. Such interfacings can be found in semi-transparent black and white variations.
The category of multicolored machine embroidery stabilizers is presented by various vinyl films and puffy foams for 3D embroidery (e.g. Puffy Foam by Sulky or Gunold etc.) Usually, all of the mentioned stabilizers are used on the top side of the fabric.
Example: Sometimes, when you machine embroider light-colored designs (e.g. white flowers) on a dark fabric, the background can remain âseeableâ through the white fill-stitches of the design. It can happen not only with white but with all lights (yellow, beige, etc.) Thus, in order to achieve a nice color-coverage without making the design overly dense, an embroiderer can apply a white colored vinyl film on the dark fabric. Then embroidering will yield better results. One of such vinyl stabilizers is Coverup by Hoop-it-all. Itâs quite a noteworthy novelty for every machine embroiderer thereâs and if you want to learn more about it, you can click the link to read an entire article dedicated to it.
Besides vinyl stabilizers, however, there are also many colored sewing interfacings, interlinings and other âauxiliaryâ materials used by machine embroiderers in their work.
Example: Weâve already mentioned that sometimes, interfacings and interlinings (fusible ones) are used in machine embroidery on natural leather. So, sometimes, to give the backside of the leather a bit nicer look, colored variations of such materials are used. More info on how to machine embroider on natural leather is available in our article on non-woven fabrics (available here).
By auxiliary materials we mean various technical textiles used as machine embroidery stabilizers. One of the most common examples of such is spunbond â non-woven technical textile, used as lining for bags or bag mock-ups etc.
Note: Spunbond canât always replace proper machine embroidery stabilizers. The material wasnât created for the cause and only is used as an inexpensive substitute for the proper embroidery backing.
Classification of stabilizers according to the way they’ve adhered to the fabric: non-adhesive and adhesive (fusible and self-adhesive ones)
Letâs start with adhesive machine embroidery stabilizers. These types of stabilizers have a layer of the adhesive agent on one of their sides. The adhesive layer is either activated by heat (with fusible stabilizers) or is covered by protective paper (self-adhesive ones).
Fusible machine embroidery stabilizers can be of two types:
- tear-away backings with a layer of glue on one of their sides,
- âcover-the-stitchâ fusible protective interfacings (e.g. Cover the Back by Gunold, Tender Touch Sulky, etc.)
The glue layer of such stabilizers either covers the surface of the fabric in a manner of thin-film or evenly spread dots. To activate the glue layer youâll need to apply heat (a.k.a. iron the stabilizer to the back of the fabric). This is another name of stabilizers of the category â iron-on ones. Usually, iron-on stabilizers are used as backings for elastic fabrics as they prevent them from stretching during the hooping process.
Self-adhesive machine embroidery stabilizers have their adhesive layer covered by protective paper (e.g. Filmoplast by Gunold, Filmoplast by H54 Vlieseline, Sulky Sticky by Sulky, Starlite sticky by Starlite etc.) When working with such stabilizers all you need to do is to remove their protective layer and smooth the fabric onto the revealed âstickyâ surface. The revealed sticky base has structure and properties, similar to those of medium-weight tear-away stabilizers (which is basically non-woven cellulose-based fabric). That is why sometimes these self-adhesive stabilizers are also called âsticky papersâ. They are really helpful for âfloatingâ (in cases, when regular hooping canât be applied either because the fabric is too delicate or thick, or just to save time).
What is âfloatingâ? Itâs a method of âavoidingâ regular hooping when a fabric is bonded (with the help of various techniques: pins, sticky tape, basting, temporary spray adhesive, etc.) to a hooped stabilizer. Floating with self-adhesive stabilizers is recommended for items that canât be hooped and also canât be bonded otherwise.
Example: machine embroidery of a silk blouse. Silk is a really delicate fabric. It doesnât like being hooped as its fibers might get damaged. Also, excessive needle punching isnât advised because holes from the needles just wonât close. So, machine embroidery of a silk blouse will have you floating the garment on a self-adhesive type of stabilizers.
Note: With silk you might want to stay away from temporary spray adhesives as they could leave stains on the delicate fabric.
Thereâre several things that machine embroiderers should take into account when working with self-adhesive stabilizers:
- Some of them have such a âstrongâ adhesive agent, that after itâs bonded to the fabric, the stabilizer is really difficult to remove. Thus, test embroidery is always a good call.
- Read the label really carefully, as some of such stabilizers are also water-soluble (e.g. Soluflix by Vlieseline, Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy, Madeira Avalon Fix etc.) If you work with wash-away ones, itâll help you get a clean back-side result.
- Be mindful when using self-adhesive stabilizers for machine embroidery of dense designs. The sticky base of such stabilizers is similar (in its structure and properties) to a medium-weight tear-away stabilizer. Its weight is just about 1, 5 oz (40 Ð³/Ð¼2). Thus such stabilizers might not provide enough support for the fabric. In such cases, another layer of backing should be applied on the back of the fabric (before attaching it to the self-adhesive stabilizer). Else, the additional backing can also be applied on the back of the self-adhesive stabilizer itself (after itâs been hooped). However, such âdoubleâ stabilization should be applied mindfully as in the end the embroidery result might acquire the so-called âcardboardâ feel.
Non-adhesive embroidery stabilizers are all the rest toppings and backings (both tear-away and cut-away). These stabilizers are adhered (bonded) to the fabric with the help of additional agents (hoops, pins, basting, temporary spray adhesive etc.)
Adhesive machine embroidery stabilizers vs. non-adhesive ones + temporary sprays
Just earlier we mentioned that non-adhesive stabilizers are frequently bonded to fabrics with the help of temporary spray adhesive. On that account, we think itâs important to point out all the pros and cons of the abovementioned pair (adhesive stabilizers vs. combo of non-adhesive ones and sticky sprays). Learning the fine points of working with the ether of them can help make better decisions on choosing stabilizers for machine embroidery.
Cons of working with adhesive stabilizers: The biggest advantage of such stabilizers is that their coat of glue is spread evenly throughout the surface. Such uniform glue coverage guaranties that each area of the stabilizers will bond to fabric equally well. In comparison, temporary spray adhesives, as theyâre applied manually, might not provide adequate coverage throughout the entire area of their application.
Pros of working with adhesive stabilizers: Sometimes their adhesive agent gums up the needle and the bobbin case of embroidery machines.
Cons of a combination of non-adhesive stabilizers and temporary spray adhesives: One of the biggest cons is the sheer convenience and variety of uses such combos provide. One can of temporary spray adhesive lasts for a long time and can turn quite a lot of types of non-adhesive backings into adhesive ones. Think of working with stabilizers of various levels of weight, density, elasticity, etc.
Pros of the combo: Weâve mentioned it before â the manual application doesnât always provide even coverage of the surface. Thus, it might happen so, that stabilizers, adhered to fabric with temporary spray, donât bond well throughout.
As you can see either of the pair has its advantages and disadvantages in its use. Thus, when choosing a stabilizer for an embroidery project, one should take into account both the cons and pros of the pair.
Classification of stabilizers according the way theyâre removed from the fabric (wash-away, heat-away, tear-away, cut-away)
1 â Cut-away stabilizers can be removed from the fabric only partially (by scissors). Thus, for obvious reasons, theyâre used only as backings. They are the permanent, most solid and trust-worthy type of stabilizers, which usually yield top-most results. Cut-aways can be woven and non-woven in their fiber structure.
2 â Tear-away stabilizers are torn away after embroidery is applied. All tear-aways are non-woven materials. They resemble paper in their texture, thus sometimes thereâs a strong tendency to swap the two things.
Note: if youâre looking for professional results, donât let yourself be lured by the cheaper option. Despite the fact that both tear-away machine embroidery stabilizers and, say, printing paper is made from cellulose fibers, thereâs a huge difference in the quality of their compositions. Composition of machine embroidery stabilizers includes (aside from cellulose) such extras as fibers of polyester and viscose. These additional components provide stabilizers with fabric-like flexibility (which helps to withstand pressure from hoops, stretching, etc.)
Whatâs more, the above mentioned additional fibers are shorter in length than those of regular paper. The shorter the fibers, the lesser the mess when they’ve torn away. Have you ever torn away your backing from the fabric and youâre just stuck there with stabilizer shreds in the embroidery stitches? Well, thatâs because the fibers of the stabilizer are too long. They compensate for the poor, paper-like quality of the material. The high-quality tear-away machine embroidery stabilizers can be torn away in any direction because the fibers are short, flexible and properly arranged.
So, you see, proper machine embroidery tear-away stabilizers can both withstand the pressure and be easily removed.
Remember: When you work with tear-away stabilizers a lot, donât forget to clean bobbin-case more often. Such stabilizers tend to shed cellulose fibers under the pressure of needle punching. Cellulose fibers infiltrate the bobbin case of your embroidery machine, clogging it. If not taken care of, the clogged bobbin case might cause your machine operational problems.
3 â Water-soluble stabilizers (wash-away stabilizers) can be of several types:
- water-soluble film,
- water-soluble net,
- water-soluble non-woven (paper-like) stabilizer,
- water-soluble self-adhesive non-woven (paper-like) stabilizer etc.
All of these stabilizers are temporary ones (i.e. are used only during the embroidery process). After the embroidery is done, they are removed by water. Temperature of water, on this matter, may vary. Usually, the warmer the water, the quicker the stabilizer dissolves.
Now how exactly do you remove wash-away stabilizers? That will depend on the sickness (weight) of the stabilizer. The lightest of them are removed with the help of wet cloth/sponge. No washing needed, just rub gently the wet sponge against the covered by stabilizer area. The heaviest of water-soluble stabilizers might need several washes to be completely removed. If you donât wash it away completely, it will stick to the fabric. When wet, such fabric will have a characteristic âgelatinousâ feel to it. When dry, such fabric will feel like it was starched. At times, depending on project, such âpersistenceâ of a wash-away stabilizer is really a good thing.
Example 1: Machine embroidery of tutu-skirts will need water-soluble stabilizer of a heavier type for two reasons. First â such stabilizer will help the net hold the stitches of the design. Second â after the embroidery is done and the skirt is washed, the starchy effect will help the fabric hold it form.
Example 2: Machine embroidery of FSL Designs and water-soluble stabilizers of heavier types is a match made in heaven. This is especially true for designs which should hold their form (e.g. our Free Machine Embroidery Design Lace Angel). The residue that wash-away stabilizer leaves, will starch the design and make it more fixed.
Where water-soluble stabilizers are use? In general they are used in projects where stabilization should not be seen or is needed only for the duration of stitching. Basically thereâre three major categories of such projects:
- Lace machine embroidery designs (FSL, Richelieu, etc.). Water-soluble stabilizers are used here as a base. Usually for such projects youâll need one layer of a heavy-weight wash-away or several layers of a light-weight one.
- Machine embroidery of textured fabrics. Water-soluble stabilizers are used as a topping. The more textured is the fabric, the heavier is the topping. Medium to light-weight wash-away film is what used in most cases. Heavy-weight wash-away is never used for the cause.
- Machine embroidery of transparent fabrics and projects, where the back side of the embroidery should be clean. Water-soluble stabilizer in both cases is used as a backing. When making your choice on the kind of the wash-away, take into account the density and type of the design and the fabric.
Example: What stabilizer is good for machine embroidery of tulle or Dress net fabrics? Letâs analyzeâ¦ First of all here we want the back side of the embroidery to be clean. This means that either wash-away or heat-away backing is needed. Now letâs think about the fabric fiber composition. Polyester tulle doesnât like ironing. This leaves us with a wash-away option. Tulle is quite stretchy, so it needs not only to be stabilized, but also to be fixed so that its fibers wouldnât move under the pressure. Basting will not keep tulle still. This means that you will need other type of adhesion. Wit you can only use temporary spray adhesive with heavy-weight wash-away types (e.g. Sulky Ultra Solvy and the like). If you apply spray to lighter wash-aways they will dissolve. However, thereâre self-adhesive wash-away stabilizers (e.g. Soluflix by Vlieseline, Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy, Madeira Avalon Fix, etc.)
Machine embroidery on tulle, lace and other net-like fabrics may require two layers of water-soluble stabilizers: topping and backing.
Tip: Donât throw away the left-over bits of your wash-away. Make use of the âstarchyâ effect that it leaves and create your own starch spray. Just dilute the bits in water and bottle it up. Then, when needed, spray the liquid on the fabric.
4 â Heat-away stabilizers provide temporary support (just like wash-away ones), but instead of water they are removed by heat (a.k.a ironing). Use: Heat-aways can be used both as toppings, backings and base (in exactly same with wash-aways projects). Main difference between the two is that heat-aways can be used with non-washable fabrics. When ironed, such stabilizers turn into ashes, which afterwards can be easily brushed away.
Note: You never use steam, when removing heat-away stabilizers.
Thereâre two main types of heat-aways: transparent films (Sulky Heat-Away Clear Film, Madeira Super Film, Gunold Thermofilm) and woven fabric-like material (Termogarza, Gunold Thermogaze).
Tip: When embroidering terry-cloth towels, especially those with the long nap, opt for wash-away toppings instead of heat-away ones. The reason for this is purely that of convenience. You see, the âashâ that sometimes heat-away leaves after itâs been ironed may be difficult to get rid of with all the long nap of the terry cloth. So, to avoid all the brushing, just opt for a wash-away film.
Classification of stabilizers according to their weight and sickness
You will need to know weight and sickness of stabilizers in order to match them to the needs of your project. Also, without knowing the numbers (yes, weight an sickness are measured in numbers), you wonât be able to purchase the right one in the first place.
So, letâs get our numbers straight. Weight of machine embroidery stabilizers is measured in ounces per square yard (just like with fabrics). Sickness of machine embroidery stabilizers is measured in microns. Weight (or density) is important for all non-film stabilizers (tear-away/cut-away). Sickness is important for films (wash-away/heat-away). Weight numbers for machine embroidery stabilizers will go from 1 â 3,6 oz (30 â 120 g/m2).
When we speak about stabilizersâ weight, we divide all of them into three main categories: light-weight, medium-weight and heavy-weight ones.
Note: Same weight number in stabilizers of different categories means different things. Thus, you canât swap one type of backing for another just because theyâre both of the same weight.
Further weâll provide examples of stabilizers of different weights existing in the market. In this section of our post we speak exclusively about the category of stabilizersâ weight. That is why this classification wonât include any references to their adhesive abilities.
Light-weight machine embroidery stabilizers â 1-2 oz (30-60 g/m2)
Tear-away: Gunold Quick Tear 2015, 2018; Gunold Stiffy 1650,1751, Gunold Soft nâ Sheer 2040 etc.
Cut-away: Gunold Totally Stable 2075 etc.
Water-soluble (20 – 30 micron): Sulky Solvy, Gunold Solvy, Madeira Avalon Film, Madeira Avalon Fix, etc.
Also this category includes all stabilizers of the âover-the-backâ types: Gunold Cover the Back, Sulky Tender Touch, Floriani etc. Weight of these backings is close to the upmost figure of the category, but they still count as light-weight. Same rule applies to Filmoplast.
Medium-weight machine embroidery stabilizers â 2-2,5 oz (60-80 g/m2)
Tear-away: Gunold Quick Tear 2018, Gunold Stiffy 1640, 1860; Stickvlies/314 Stick-and-Tear/314 by Vliezeline, Soluvlies Vilene Vliezeline, etc.
Cut-away: Gunold Totally Stable 2085, Gunold AllStich 30, Sulky Cut-Away Plus, Sulky Soft nâ Sheer Extra, etc.
Water-soluble (40 micron): Solufix Vliezeline Vilene, Sulky Super Solvy, Sulky Fabri Solvy, Sulky Paper Solvy, Gunold Super Solvy, Gunold Fabri Solvy, Madeira Avalon Plus, etc.
Heavy-weight machine embroidery stabilizers â 2,5 – 3,6 oz (80-120 g/m2)
Tear-away: Gunold Quick Tear 2025, 9802; Gunold Stiffy 1995, etc.
Cut-away: Gunold Totally Stable 2095, Gunold AllStitch 30 HD, Sulky Fuse-nâ-Stitch, etc.
Water-soluble (80 – 90 micron): Sulky Ultra Solvy, Gunold Ultra Solvy, Madeira Avalon Ultra etc.
All the above-mentioned examples illustrate their categories best. Besides them, however, thereâre quite many other worthy representatives of the category. But, if youâve just entered machine embroidery world and want to learn all the ropes from the beginning, start with the given lot and then move on to the ones that suit you more.
Tip: If you want to avoid spending a lot on the expensive brands, you can try the so-called âstarterâs kitsâ. Almost all household names offer such kits so that new customer can get to know their products. Some of the names for you to look up ihn the Net are: Madeira Starterâs set, Floriani Fabulous Five, Gutterman Sulky Stabilizer starter set, Sulky Sulky stabilizer starter kit. The kits include sets of 5 to 12 most commonly used types of stabilizers. Get them, learn from them and then make up your mind on the rest.
Toppings, backings, woven, non-woven, tear-away, heat-awayâ¦ Thereâs a lot to take in, isnât it? A beginner might get overwhelmed with all the new information. And what about its application in practice? Where should be each type used after all? How stabilizers of various types and weights behave in different projects? Is there any general rule that says which stabilizer should you choose each and every time? Questions, questions, questionsâ¦ Want to know answers to them all? Well, then all you need to do is to read our next post on the topic âChoosing stabilizer for machine embroidery. Part 2â
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Author: Ludmila Konovalova
My name is Lyudmila Konovalova, and I lead Royal Present Embroidery. Embroidery for me is more than a profession; it is a legacy of my Ukrainian and Bulgarian heritage, where every woman in my family was a virtuoso in cross-stitch and smooth stitching. This art, passed down through generations, is part of my soul and a symbol of national pride.