August 10, 2012
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There are differences in tear-away stabilizer besides their weight. I find that most embroiderers are very familiar with "firm" or "crisp" tear-away. But a wonderfully supportive tear-away is "soft" tear-away.
Crisp or firm tear-away is made from short fibers, which allows it to be torn away easily. That's important when you are doing light stitch counts designs, because it doesn't stress the stitches when it's removed.
Cut-away stabilizer is made up of long fibers, which gives it more strength and ability to support high-stitch count embroidery on unstable materials. Soft tear-away is made up of a combination of long and short fibers, so in a way, it's a cross between crisp tear-away and cutaway.
It is a bit harder to tear, and tears with a fuzzy edge. If you tear it before it is stitched, it doesn't tear in a straight line. Crisp tear-away tears fairly straight and with a fairly clean edge, like paper.
When you want to use a tear-away, but are embroidering on a somewhat unstable material, it can be risky to use a crisp tear-away.
However, because the sweatshirt has some body and isn't very lightweight, a soft tear-away might be very suitable. Be sure to test for your purposes, but if your design isn't highly detailed, it might work well.
For example, if you are putting a long name across the front of a sweatshirt, it will provide adequate support.
There are lots of other ways to use soft tearway. Check it out.
And for more information about stabilizers, check out my new 30 minute DVD, Stabilizing for Embroidery, brought to you by Designs in Machine Embroidery.
See it here...