Scuba Fabric: The New Trend in Embroidered Quilting

Scuba Fabric: The New Trend in Embroidered Quilting

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:

Rose Vine Outline

Celtic Swirls 

Sunflower Quilt Square

Flower Motif  

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!

Debbie SewBlest

Comments (1) -

There is a lot of great information here.

I never heard of this fabric but you can bet I am going to check it out very soon.

I can't wait to see your projects for this. I am delighted to find something exciting to try!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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