Loosely Woven Fabrics

If I had one item that I would have liked to really have been knowledgeable about from day one, it had to be working with loosely woven fabrics. As some of you know, I have a site that sells pashminas and they have become quite popular.  I am even selling them here as a blank for you to have a unique and appreciated gift. 

What is difficult about loosely woven fabrics?  Let me count the ways:

  • Will not take a dense or large design
  • Pulls fabric thread when stitching out
  • Snags happen easily
  • Loose fabric tends to wrinkle easily

 Here are a few tips that I use when monogramming loose weave fabrics.  Your situation may be different, but these work for me.

I first start with a GOOD tear away adhesive.  I have tried multiple brands and have found that the AnnTheGran tearaway adhesive is the best.  If you have success with other brands, that is fine.  However, this stabilizer has never failed me and that is something I do not take lightly.


 I place my paper in the frame and score (with a pin) the area to be monogrammed.  I do that so that not too much adhesive is attached to the fabric.  I know that many embroiderers peel back the entire paper and attach to the inside frame.  That does allow for a more stable sewing area because you can make that stabilizer very firm.  It is a trade off only you can decide upon.


 Next, I place my fabric on the adhesive.  I have already made a mark where the center of the monogram will be placed. 




Since this monogram is being placed in a corner of the pashmina, a little adjustment might have to be made for better placement.  For instance, I usually place the monogram 5 or 6" from the two edges.  However, some monograms are so slanted or have so much in the way of ornate design that they can appear to be off center when they are not.  

The letters "M" and "W" are particularly frequent offenders. 





   After pressing my pashmina with my brayer, (I really mean business about this being cemented down), I place a piece of tear away adhesive on the top of the fabric to cover the monogram area.  

Next, I even place a baste stitch around the monogram area.  Too many steps?  Think again, too many ruined projects will convince you (it sure did me!).


 After the sewing, the finished project is firmly in place.  I carefully remove the stabilizer, top and bottom and my pashmina is a beautifully completed monogrammed gift.

I sell these for a multitude of different uses including - wearing as a shawl, a winter scarf, a lap blanket, a beach cover up, an accent for a sofa or chair, a Christmas tree skirt and my personal favorite, placed at the foot of the bed for cold winter toes.

 Here is the finished project -


 I also do a small presentation for my clients.  The small 2" by 3" plastic envelope can be purchased at WalMart in the beading section of crafts.


 I put a business card and a small FSL for my client to see my other work.  The tag from the pashmina is affixed to the back of the business card because the tag can be difficult and/or harmful to remove from the shawl.  Then I add a page describing how to care for and something about their new scarf.

 Incidentally, if you have that annoying problem of stray and/or clipped threads, here is how I resolved that issue.  I use the lint remover that has adhesive sheets and tear them off when they are full.

I even put small pieces of the stabilizer on it as well.

Congratulations to both Eileen Roche (Editor and Publisher, Designs in Machine Embroidery) and Deborah Jones (Owner, MyEmbroideryMentor.com) both friends here at AnnTheGran, for making Stitches Magazine's Top 56 Power List.  The list describes top persons who are ". . influencing the direction the decorating industry will take in 2011 and beyond."  You can get the magazine at no charge at:  www.stitches.com.  The magazine is mainly for small businesses which encompass the multimedia decoration fields.

If you are thinking about starting an embroidery business after the first of the year, please consider my spreadsheet to help you know what to charge and if you are or can make any money at this craft.  In addition, I have started a business group at LinkIn for sharing information and support of small business embroiderers. 

Note:  Due to computer difficulties, my last blog was sent out several days later than usual.  If you missed my "Remake of a Sweatshirt" I hope you catch it now. 

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good . . . New Year!


Comments (1) -

Thank you for the tips.

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