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Embroidery stabilizer guide: Tips on how to choose the correct backing for machine embroidery

If you recognize something regarding machine embroidery, you’ve in all probability detected the term “backing” or stabilizer. choosing the correct backing may be difficult, thus we have a tendency to took it upon ourselves to answer all the common queries.

We have a tendency to get on this subject. whether or not you would like a fast refresher on which sort of backing to use for your current embroidery project (or it’s your initial time running across the subject), this guide can answer all of your questions about backing.

What is backing anyway?

We’ll answer this question with an issue. does one own Associate in Nursing adorned polo? Take a glance at the within of the shirt. beneath the embroidery, you’ll realize a chunk of white material (or black). That’s backing. Backing could be a sheet of fabric.

That’s hooped and adorned in conjunction with the material you’re embroidering. This material acts as a stabilizer, supporting the material and stitches throughout the embroidery method. once hooping, a sheet of stabilizer is placed behind the garment to stay the material from puckering or moving whereas it’s being adorned .

When ought to I exploit backing?

Because it acts because the foundation for your embroidery, backing is a vital piece required for many machine embroidery comes. However, you can’t simply use any backing. the acceptable backing to use depends on what item you’ll be embroidering and also know about T-shirt printing.

What variety of backing ought to I use?

Here’s the final rule of thumb embroiderers follow once choosing backing: The heavier or thicker the material you’re embroidering, the lighter the backing ought to be. The lighter or diluting the material you’re embroidering, the heavier the backing ought to be.

However, you ought to confine mind the subsequent vital factors as well:

  • Stability of fabric: elastic or loose materials, like knits, need significant backing. On the opposite hand, stable and tight plain-woven materials would like a light-weight or medium backing.
  • Stitch density: the upper the sew density, the additional support the material has to stick around. Therefore, styles with high sew densities need heavier backing.
  • Wash-ability: If the material are washed often, use a heavier backing. The backing can step by step become softer when several washes.

What size backing is taken into account light-weight and/or heavy?

Typically, backing is on the market in numerous sizes, starting from one ounce to three.5 ounces. These square measure the 3 classes every size falls under:

  • Lightweight: one to one.5 ounces
  • Medium-weight: a pair of to a pair of.75 ounces
  • Heavyweight: three to three.5 ounces

Are there any comes that don’t need backing?

Every embroidery project needs some style of stabilizer. There square measure only a few instances wherever you won’t would like backing, like once embroidering stuffed animals. Some stuffed animals may be bought pre-made for machine embroidery, and can not need backing.

What colors square measure available?

Backing is on the market in black and white. Of the two, white is that the commonest as a result of it works well with numerous colors and can not be seen through the material. However, some embroiderers use black backing on darker clothes, particularly if there’s any likelihood the backing may be seen or bleed through, like on pique knit shirts. No-show backing is additionally Associate in Nursing possibility. As its name suggests, this sheer backing won’t show through cloth.

How much am I able to expect to pay on backing?

Backing is on the market in pre-cut sheets or in massive reels. Pre-cut sheets of backing square measure offered in numerous dimensions, however square measure most convenient for smaller styles like the everyday left-chest emblem. massive reels square measure used for stitching massive styles and also check out best T-shirt printing machines.

Pre-cut sheets sometimes are available packs of a hundred to two hundred and can value anyplace from $5 to $20 looking on the kind of backing it’s and the way several sheets it brings. confine mind: shopping for in bulk will scale back this value. Most suppliers can give sample packs of every variety of backing, thus make sure to fire samples to check however every variety of backing works on your comes.

The four main varieties of backing and what they’re used for:


Cut-away backing is employed for permanent support, because it provides the foremost stability. It comes in light-weight to significant weights and is heat set liquified. It offers the sharpest embroidery on extremely elaborated styles, together with little written material. Cut-away backing remains for good mounted to the material, and also the excess is cut away with scissors, that is however cut-away backing has attained its name.

It is offered in one oz. (light) to three.75 oz. (heavy). Cut-away is best used on materials that stretch (such as knits) and materials that may be worn and washed often, because it prevents the planning from stretching. it’s additionally used on loosely plain-woven and unstructured caps. choose a light-weight cut-away for light-stitch-density styles and a heavyweight cut-away for dense styles.


Less stable than cut-away backing, tear-away backing is employed for light-weight support. It’s offered in light-weight to significant weight additionally carries an adhesive version. Like cut-away, tear-away backing is faithful its name. As its name hints, it’s removed by tearing it removed from the garment. Tear-away backing is usually used on firmly plain-woven, natural-fiber materials that don’t stretch.

Such as terry textile, robes, blankets, animal skin and additional. additionally to being appropriate for terribly robust and stable materials, tear-away is additionally used once you don’t wish the backing to indicate on the opposite aspect of the planning, like back of towels, caps and luggage. once your cloth needs robust support, you’ll use many layers of light-weight to medium-weight tear-away.

Poly Mesh/No Show

Poly mesh or no-show backing could be a light-weight plain-woven cut-away that’s soft, skinny and robust. it’s designed to supply extra stability to knit shirts. this kind of stabilizer doesn’t show through polish clothes.

Hence its name. it’s used on polos and T-shirts that may carry styles with an occasional sew count. For best results, we have a tendency to suggest combining a no-show backing with a tear-away backing. No-show backing may be removed with water or heat.


Aqua-top topping could be a soluble film used on the highest of Associate in Nursing embroidery style to forestall stitches from sinking into rough-textured materials. it’s used for temporary support on delicate, mesh-like and difficult-to-mark materials like pique, fleece, terry textile or corduroy.

Topping is additionally extremely counseled once embroidering towels, because it permits the stitches to face out the maximum amount as potential. once mistreatment topping, it’s still necessary to use backing on the rear of the material to stabilize the garment. Topping could also be removed by tearing it away, spraying water on that, or a mix of each ways.


Foam is employed to feature dimension to written material or styles on caps for a 3D impact. it’s offered in an exceedingly form of colors in sheets up to three millimeters thick. the froth sheet is ordered on prime of the specified space then seamed over with a column fill that uses short stitches to chop the froth.

The excess foam can have to be compelled to be force away. Some stray items of froth that stay may be removed by applying a hot blow dryer over the realm. Poly mesh backing

While extraordinarily skinny, poly mesh backing is exceptionally robust thanks to the fibers it consists of. This backing is employed for adding most stability if you don’t wish to handle the massiveness of a heavyweight cut-away. Poly mesh is nice for the newer school clothes, as they’re terribly skinny and have heaps of runniness to the material.


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