The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Do you really know your Stabilizers? Don't forget your Halloween Freebie❣

There are a lot of blogs, notes and information about Stabilizers, just Google that word and you will be whelmed (or overwhelmed) by all of the information. Not all of it is accurate; not all of it is useful, and not all of it will work for you and your project.

Let me count the ways stabilizers are affected by 'interesting' elements:

  • Depending on your physical location, humidity will play an unfortunate game with you. Too much humidity and a stabilizer will wilt, dissolve or become flimsy. (Just like your hair!!) Too little humidity and it will dry, become brittle or difficult to handle. (Just like your hair!!) - hmmm. . .
  • Depending on the manufacturer, the quality can/will be affected. As an example, tear away is just pressed paper (or similar) and that can be too fragile (been there, done that) for good stabilizing.
  • Depending on the weight, your project can pucker, slip (design) or even slip out of the hoop. (See my blog for this one.) I have always maintained that it is nearly impossible to over stabilize, but under stabilizing is a real problem. When I am in doubt, I do add some tear away and have it float under the hoop. I feel that after a few stitches it is nearly as good as hooped stabilizer. And if you are having puckering, that is a good method to stop further puckers.

Those are only SOME of the issues. An embroiderer can likely find another problem that no one has thought about.

Here are some more unique stabilizers and their behaviors.

Water Soluble Adhesive Stabilizers:

IMHO, AnnTheGran has the best of the best adhesive stabilizers. (Don’t tell anyone, but with an AnnTheGran Club membership, Ann’s stabilizers are 50% off making them the best value on the Internet.)

Adhesives are ‘must haves’ for items like a cuff monogram, collars, hoopless embroidery, stretchy fabrics and jerseys to name a few. And the added benefit of water-soluble action it is an amazing time-saving answer to multiple issues.

Iron-on Stabilizer:

Iron-on stabilizer is the first cousin to wash away. It ‘goes where no man has gone before.’ Iron-on is usually soft and non-woven. It absolutely won’t allow any shifting, sliding, or puckering because it has become ‘one’ with the fabric.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for time length with the iron AND time to allow the adhesion to fully take effect. Remove the iron-on after completion of the project.

A particularly good use of this stabilizer is to create buttonholes. Everything gets a solid foundation and good alignment.  

Cut Away Stabilizer:

Cutaway is perfect for all heavy stitch counts and any fabric requiring extra stability. It is the workhorse of embroidery. Again, IMHO, it is difficult to over stabilize a project. Weight notwithstanding, it is a permanent part of your project. Some places where it is needed are for children’s clothing, anything that will be washed in its normal life, outerwear and designs with details. (It does a good job of holding details in place.)

Use in combination with a good adhesive that is made for sewing/embroidery. 505 Spray Temporary Spray Adhesive has many very beneficial characteristics.


Temporary, repositionable, fabric adhesive used to temporarily bond fabric.

Odorless, colorless, no mist, does not gum sewing needles.

Use for machine applique, quilting, basting, holding fabric to stabilizers in machine embroidery and hemming.

Check out the stabilizers here at AnnTheGran and find other great tips for how to use stabilizers. These are just a few of the types of stabilizers.

If you have a question about something, not necessarily stabilizers, please do place your query in the comment section below. There is no such thing as a ‘dumb’ question. We have all had to learn from our peers – who love to share their methods.

If you LOVE getting ‘tips and tricks,’ check out my blog on “Hidden Tips and Tricks.” You may just love it!

If you downloaded the original design, you may have found a small glitch. I believe it is now fixed, redownload this, the name is slightly different so you won't be over-riding your original design. I apologize, life is just like that sometimes.

May you be blessed in ways you have not yet imagined. 


frank is my bff a The Avid (415.6KB)

Comments (1) -

If you already downloaded the original design, please download the design that is currently showing.

The new design was posted at 11:00 am Pacific Time on 10/22/17. I apologize for the inconvenience.

The original design had a minor glitch that is fixed in the above zip file.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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