Tips for Embroidering on Vinyl

With so many in-the-hoop (ITH) projects out there, like ITH Cell Phone Pockets, you can see why stitching on vinyl has become quite popular. These tips will help ensure success when embroidering vinyl projects.

Use a slightly larger hoop.

Normally, we use the smallest hoop that we can for the design we are embroidering. When stitching on vinyl, a slightly larger hoop provides extra space to maneuver and allows plenty of room to secure your extra vinyl outside of the stitching area.

Float vinyl in the hoop.

Don't hoop vinyl, which could stretch and damage it. Instead, hoop two layers of a light cut-away or a fabric-type water-soluble stabilizer and float the vinyl in the hoop. Make sure the vinyl is laying flat against the stablilzer by using a temporary spray adhesive or glue stick.

Don’t pin.

Pin marks in vinyl are permanent so use tape or SewTite magnets. To keep excess vinyl out of the stitching field, roll up the sides and use Wonder Clips to secure the vinyl to stabilizer edges.

Use a small needle.

Use the smallest machine embroidery needle that you can as larger needles will leave bigger holes in the vinyl. Test on a scrap to see what gives you the best result.

If fusing heat transfer vinyl...

Use more of a fabric-type vinyl like GlitterFlex. Sticky vinyl can be hard for your machine to stitch. When fusing, use a pressing sheet and a small iron that fits in the hoop. Don’t touch the vinyl with a hot iron. Test on a scrap first to determine pressing times.

Debbie SewBlest

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