Selecting the Right Backing

The keys to selecting Machine Embroidery Backing


Fabric stretch is ultimately the most important factor when choosing the proper stabilizer. Simply put, the embroidery backing has to be secure enough to prevent shifting or movement during the embroidery process. 

How well you hoop your fabric has an impact on the finished product. Poor registration of stitches can occur from loosely hooped or insecurely hooped pieces. A secure grip on thick or slippery materials can be gained by using high-impact hoops. Fabric tension inside the hoop can be checked by pushing your finger across the fabric. Your tension may be too loose, if wrinkles appear.

Purchasing a few full or half-sized rolls of embroidery stabilizer is the most economical way to get started. This gives the customer flexibility of having inventory that can be used for nearly any or all designs. We also have a wide array of appealing pre-cut sizes that properly fit numerous hoop dimensions.

Generally speaking, a large detailed design with filled embroidery areas on an unstable knit might use a heavier stabilizer than a small design on a stable woven fabric

Cut Away Backing
Cut away backings are required to provide a stable foundation for delicate and stretchy fabrics both during the stitching process and afterward. Some fabrics are so stretchy they can force themselves down the throat plate. A cut away backing not helps retain the design’s shape after repeated washings, and assists with maintaining the crispness of the design's details. Having a cut away stabilizer that passes washable and dry-cleaning tests is critical. Cut away backings are normally stronger than tear away. Softness, ease of cutting, and stability are all important features, but not always synonymous.

Tear Away Backing
Tear away backing is the most popular type of embroidery backing. Designs can normally be completed safely, quickly, and more cheaply compared to using a cut away. All it takes is to cut one expensive garment, the advantage of utilizing a tear away will be quite apparent! Most tear away backings have a density between 1.5  and 3.0 oz. A stable tear away backing should be able to absorb repeated perforations and tear easily and cleanly in all directions. Pulling a tough tear stabilizer too hard or too quickly on a delicate long-stitch design can needlessly cause deformation. Using two light layers pulled off one at a time can help you with avoiding these problems.

This is a tear away backing with a pressure sensitive coating and easy to use release liner.  Peel-N-Stick is a good choice when embroidering hard-to-hoop areas (cuffs, collars), high stretch fabrics, and for eliminating hoop marks that occurs with certain materials such as suede and denim. Typically Peel-N-Stick is used by hooping the backing with the release paper facing upward. A quality Peel-N-Stick product should not have a gummy adhesive that can potentially gum up the needle.

Hat Backing
Most tear away hat backings are in the 2 to 3 oz density range. Hat backing is used to improve the crispness of lettering and columns.  An extra fold of backing is sometimes used to get a firm setting on rotating cap frames to prevent slippage.

Puffy Foam
Puffy foam is a lofty material used to generate a 3-dimensional look; often on hats. We suggest testing puffy foam, or at least confirm that it is washable and dry-cleanable.

Black Backings
Black backings are used for dark garments such as black sweatshirts or black leather jackets. Black takes away the distraction of using a white stabilizer in a dark garment. We offer tear away and cut away alternatives in black.

Typically toppings are used to prevent stitches from sinking into high-profile fabric such as corduroy or terry cloth.  These products are composed of polyethylene or water-soluble plastic.  Please test prior to using that you are satisfied with how it dissolves.