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Machine Embroidery, Step by Step (II)

These are the final steps of any embroidery project.

Machine Embroidery, Step by Step


This chapter of our Ultimate Machine Embroidery Guide is a checklist with all the steps you must take to complete an embroidery project. It’s a great topic, so we have decided to divide it into two articles.

The post you are reading is the second part. Here, we’ll explain the last steps of the process. If you’d like to read the first part of this post, you can find it here.

You will find a lot of links to useful resources on these posts. We hope that you find them valuable and inspiring!

On this article:

Set up the embroidery thread
Set up the fabric
Transfer the digitized embroidery design to your machine
Stitch out your design
Remove the machine embroidery stabilizer


Set up the embroidery thread


embroidery thread


To start working with your machine, you need to add some embroidery thread. Different types of threads can be used for embroidery. The most popular ones are polyester thread, rayon thread, and cotton thread.


Polyester thread


This type of thread is the most affordable option. It is perfect for beginners: it provides excellent results for an affordable price. It’s durable, easy to wash, and hard to break.

If you’d like to compare the advantages and disadvantages of polyester thread, you can find a list here.


Rayon thread


Rayon is a synthetic alternative to silk. This material has a delicate touch and aspect that is perfect for whimsical projects.

If you would like to compare the pros and cons of the rayon thread, you can find them listed here.


Cotton thread


Cotton thread is organic, durable, and incredibly fresh. It’s the perfect choice for crafters that want to give their projects a hand-embroidered aspect. You can find it in different colors and prices.

To see and compare the pros and cons of cotton thread, you can follow this link. 


Set up the fabric


embroidery fabric


It’s time to place your cloth inside an embroidery hoop. Unlike it happens with hand embroidery projects, you need to use the hoop from back to front.

The size of your hoop must easily fit the dimensions of your design. The embroidery needle should not ever touch the hoop, so please make sure your model is big enough.

The smaller the hoop, the more control you’ll have. Bear this in mind when choosing hoops for intricate designs.

This part of the process is also the moment when you should put your stabilizer in place. As we have explained before, a stabilizer is a support element that holds your cloth together while stitching.

Some of these stabilizers remain in their place during the garment’s lifetime. Others can be easily removed at the end of the stitching process. We’ll look at these options later in this article.


Transfer the digitized embroidery design to your machine


embroidery transfer


This transfer will depend on your embroidery machine. Nowadays, it’s common for embroidery machines to have a USB port. You can use that port to plug a USB flash memory with your designs.

Check the instructions of your machine before you make your first transfer. If your device has a screen, you can manage the stitching settings from there. If that’s not the case, you’ll have to coordinate the process through an external embroidery software.

Make sure that you are using files that your machine can read before trying to make the transfer.


Stitch out your design


stitch out machine embroidery


Once your fabric is tight in the hoop, it’s time to start stitching! Place your hoop in the stitching area. Press your foot control and begin pushing the hoop in the right direction.

Even though this process is mostly automatized, you’ll improve your technique by practicing. The more you use your embroidery machine, the more comfortable you will feel controlling its movements.

Don’t stress if some areas of your artwork get warped: this is entirely normal! Our advice is always to test your projects in an independent fabric scrap. That way, you will be able to appreciate if there are any conflicting parts in the process.


Remove the machine embroidery stabilizer


embroidery stabilizer


As we said before, once you are done with stitching, you have to remove the stabilizer. The process will vary depending on the type of stabilizer that you have chosen.


Cut-away stabilizers


Cut-away stabilizers become part of the embroidered garments, but you have to remove the new product. The procedure is simple: with a sharp pair of scissors, cut out the backing around the perimeter of the design.

Bear in mind that you can’t always remove cut-away stabilizers from the empty areas within your design.


Tear-away stabilizers


Tear-away stabilizers are natural to remove. You just have to find or cut out an open area on the edge of the stabilizer. Grab the material through that corner and tear it away. It’s simple!

Please note that you should never use this type of stabilizer on knit fabrics. By tearing away the stabilizer, you could ruin the rest of the material.


Wash-away stabilizers


You can remove wash-away stabilizers by merely applying some water. Check the instructions of the stabilizer before you start removing it: you will find more information about the perfect temperature there.

Remember that you can only use these stabilizers in clothes that you can wash afterward. This step seems quite apparent, but better safe than sorry!


That’s all! If you’d like to read the first part of this post, you can find it here.




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