EMB 101: Embroidering on Fleece

Fall is the perfect time of year to make a warm blanket, throw, or neck scarf and fleece is a wonderful fabric for machine embroidery. It is soft, warm, wears well, and launders well. Here are some tips for embroidering on fleece.

Use Quality Fleece

There are many varieties of fleece on the market. The best kind is anti-pill fleece or premium fleece. It will wear without getting fuzz balls on the nap. Other varieties include chenille, Minky, or ultra cuddle fabric. Better quality fleece is slightly more expensive but is well worth the investment. 

Use the Right Stabilizer

Fleece can be hard to hoop. It is also susceptible to hoop burn, which makes it a great candidate for adhesive backed water-soluble stabilizer like this one from Ann the Gran (join Ann's Club and get it for half off!).

If the fleece is fairly plush, a water-soluble topping will help keep stitching from sinking into the nap.

When stitching is complete, remove excess water-soluble stabilizer and topping, soak to remove any that remain, launder, and dry on low heat. The fleece will respond beautifully.

Use Open Designs

Appliques, monograms, or designs with satin stitching work well but embroidery designs with heavy fill areas don't stitch well on fleece. Adjustments are usually required to decrease top tension so that thread floats on top more than pulling tightly from the back.

Use the Correct Thread

Polyester 40 wt. threads stitch very well on fleece and do not fade with frequent washing and drying. Thread similar in color to the fleece will provide a subtle, tone-on-tone effect while contrasting thread colors will stand out against the fleece.

Follow these guidelines and you can successfully embroider designs on fleece!

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