Machine embroidery is a complicated process that involves various interconnected components. It’s definitely not easy for newbies to get started with the embroidery business, as the number of intricate components can be overwhelming to handle.
Now, here in this blog, we will exclusively be discussing one of the more important components of the machine embroidery business; choosing the right and best fabric for machine embroidery. This is important since the choice of the fabric against the embroidery designs can make all the difference for the final aesthetics of the embroidery.
So, without wasting any time, let’s get started…
Choosing the Right and Best Fabric for Machine Embroidery
There are various intricate aspects that need to be accounted for when choosing the right fabric for any machine embroidery design. To start, the weight of the fabric is one of the most important aspects which needs to be considered before choosing the right fabric. A heavy embroidery design wouldn’t hold on to a light fabric like silk. Similarly, loose fabrics are inherently unsuitable for heavy embroidery, as they can’t hold the threads. Thereby, when working with a heavy embroidery design, you should choose a fabric that can support the weight and hold to the thread. Also, the thread count of the fabric is an important consideration, which refers to the fabric’s weave and is detrimental to allowing needle penetration through it without resistance.
Fabric Properties to Consider for Machine Embroidery
Ok, below are some essential fabric characteristics to consider for machine embroidery. It is to be noted that the list below doesn’t give the entire picture of the fabric properties and characteristics; instead, it only includes characteristics that are crucial for machine embroidery.
- The structure of the fabric
An embroider needs to consider the structure of the fabric to assess the fabric’s density, weight, and thickness. Also, it’s important to evaluate the thread count and thread weave of the fabric, along with the filaments/fibers that are used in the weave.
- Fabric Characteristics
Another important aspect to consider is the characteristics of the fabric. This includes assessing the fibers/filaments used in the fabric and how they may react to stresses like needle punching, stretching, ironing, and others. Also, the embroider needs to consider the shrinkage, elasticity, colorfastness, and wrinkle factors of the fabric
- Fabric Design
Not all fabrics are able to handle all sorts of embroidery designs. Thereby, when choosing the right and best fabric for machine embroidery, you need to assess the weight and density of the design, along with the various other components like the number of stitches, stitch sizes, and others. Some designs digitized with special digitizing techniques like cross-stitch, applique, or others need even more consideration since these designs won’t hold on to all fabrics.
Best Fabrics for Machine Embroidery
Now that we are done looking at some of the important considerations for choosing the right fabric for machine embroidery. Let’s move on and check out some of the best and most widely used fabrics for machine embroidery.
- Natural Fabrics
Natural fabrics are widely used for machine embroidery and are considered ideal for different embroidery designs. The essential characteristic of natural fabrics is the tight weave, which offers embroiders a strong base for embroidery design. Since the fibers in natural fabric run along horizontally and vertically, embroidery machine needles can easily penetrate the fabric for optimal results. Natural fabrics include silk, cotton, wool, and linen, all of which are considered great fabrics for decorative embroidery designs.
- Quilter's Cotton
Quilter’s cotton is another popular fabric that comes in a wide range of colors. The fabric is ideally suited to support open and simple embroidery designs. Quilter’s cotton fabric is ideal to be used for different embroidery projects, like wall hangings, course quilts, placemats, and others.
- Hanky Linen
Hanky Linen is another popular fabric type that is widely used in Australia. It’s a gorgeous and lightweight fabric composed of linen and cotton blend. The hanky cotton fabric can be used for a variety of embroidery designs; however, the key is to use the correct stabilizer to achieve optimal results.
Linen is one of the strongest natural fabrics that come with gorgeous textures. It’s a lightweight fabric that wears exceptionally well and can hold on to most embroidery designs.
The stunning sheen of silk makes it the preferred fabric for machine embroidery. While silk may appear to be a delicate fabric, it offers an excellent base for most embroidery designs.
Terrycloth is yet another popular fabric for machine embroidery and is widely sued to create exquisite customized merchandise gifts. The fabric is extensively used to embroider monograms on robes and towels. The key to achieving the best embroidery on terrycloth is using designs with solid fills water-soluble topping on top of the fabric.
Just like many other components, choosing the right and best fabric for machine embroidery can be challenging, especially if you are just starting. The key is to understand the characteristics of each fabric and how they would hold on to different embroidery designs. The fabrics mentioned above are great to get you started with machine embroidery. These fabrics are known for their strong fibers and ability to hold most embroidery designs. So, you can get started with any one of the fabrics mentioned above and gradually work your way to understand the inherent character of different fabrics and their utility in machine embroidery.