Embroidery is fun. It brings out the creative in you and can be a rewarding hobby. Each time you finish a masterpiece, there is a certain feeling of contentment and pride. I started embroidering when I was in grade school – that was when school projects would require nimble hands to do some stitching and sewing. I began to like embroidery that even during hot summer days, I would look for a shady place and open my little box containing my needles, threads in various colors and fabrics.
I moved on from hand embroidery to the more delicate, and challenging, embroidery using my grandma’s embroidery machine. I was able to do a lot of stuff – from pillow cases, table tops, curtains, ornaments for garments, and many more. But there are always fabrics that are difficult to do. I searched around and found some nice tips on embroidering tricky fabrics from the blog, Stitchpunk. According to the blog, there is no need to avoid tricky fabrics but one must know how to deal with these tricky types to come up with fantastic projects. The site listed several difficult-to-embroider fabrics and how to deal with them . Here’s a few:
This lovely, sheer fabric can give the design a beautiful floating effect. Because of its delicate texture, you should always remember to:
- Choose a design with minimal seams, as they may be visible through the textile.
- Use the smallest gauge needle available to make the smallest holes possible.
- The best stabilizer to use with polyester or nylon organza is heavy-weight, water-soluble stabilizer.
- Lighter designs allow the fabric to drape better, and the organza can also be reversible when stitching designs with matching thread in the top and bobbin.
For outdoor project, the sturdy waterproof nylon can be annoyingly slippery, shifting in your hoop and adding puckers to your fabric. Try these tips to prevent it:
-Spray your stabilizer with temporary spray adhesive and smooth your nylon over it.
- To keep the nylon from pulling away from the sides of the hoop, add Wonder Tape to the sides of the inner hoop, but not to the corners.
- Finally add pieces of rubber shelf mat to the bottom sides of the inner hoop, on top of the Wonder Tape. Your hoop won’t be going anywhere now!
- Sturdier sport nylon is able to handle light to medium fill designs. If working with ripstop nylon, use designs that have light fills.
- Medium weight cutaway stabilizer with work best with most types of Nylon.
This light and flexible fabric is great for everything from workout clothes or ballerina princesses, but its stretchy properties can make it very pucker prone. Check out these tips to make your design come out wrinkle free:
- Try using a ball-point needle. Ball-point needles have points that are more rounded than embroidery or sewing needles, so they’ll push the fibers to the side when forming the stitches.
- Choose a design that has open areas with simple fills. If you choose a complex design with layering, shading, or highlighting, chances are it’ll be not only too heavy, but also get misshapen.
- When hooping, it’s best to stretch the spandex so it replicates the level of stretch the garment will have while it’s worn. I know, this is often counter to the rule ” don’t tug on your hooped fabric”, but in this case, it’s needed.
- Don’t over stretch the fabric, or your design will pucker once the fabric is relaxed.
- As spandex is often used for garments, we recommend a No Show Mesh cutaway stabilizer, as it hides well behind the sleek, form-fitting material but gives enough strength for your stitches.
There are different kinds of silk, including Charmeuse, Shantung, and Dupioni silk. To get the best results, follow these steps when embroidering silk:
-Use a 75/11 sharp needle. Needles with a rounded tip (embroidery, ballpoint, stretch) are likely to tear the delicate fabric and leave visible perforations.
-Light silk like charmeuse calls for a very light design such as toile, scribbles or redwork. You don’t want anything with fills or heavy satins.
-On light silk, you can use tear-away stabilizer, as cutaway stabilizer would show behind the translucent fabric.
-On medium weight silk like Dupioni, you can use light to medium designs, but make sure your design will allow your fabric to drape a bit.
-Shantung or decorator silk is of a medium-to-heavy weight, and is able to handle medium-to-complex designs.
-For Dupioni or Shantung, you can use medium weight cutaway stabilizer. Lightly spray it with temporary adhesive and smooth the silk over the stabilizer before tightly hooping them together.