April 13, 2018
One of the newest trends in machine embroidery seems to be using scuba fabric when stitching quilted designs. It's not the swimming or diving suit fabric, but a finely spun polyester that is used most often for form-fitting apparel.
The advantage is that it is extremely soft and drapes well. It also comes 60-inches wide. Because it has a loft of it's own, it really highlights detail embroidery. Embroiderers just add a layer of low-loft batting to the back and float the fabric in the hoop when stitching.
It almost doesn't make sense as an embroidery base because it has a four-way stretch, but the results are stunning. Here are some designs that would work quite well:
Flowers and Circles
Here are some tips I have discovered thus far:
- It seems that the more detail in the embroidery design, the better.
- Any kind of embroidery, whether it is redwork, outlines, quilting, qpplique, or even fill stitches, all seem to sew well on scuba fabric.
- No stretch needle is required, a 75/11 is most often used.
- Stabilizer is a soft
cutaway (not mesh) in the hoop.
- To prevent accidental snagging, some embroider using a water-soluble topper.
- Many prefer a Pon Te Am scuba knit which has a soft sheen.
- Scuba fabric comes in a variety of solid colors (and many prints that probably wouldn't work too well for embroidery).
- Even multi-colored embroidery can be stitched all in one color if you want a tone-on-tone effect.
Stay tuned - I'm going to order some and give it a try!