What is a fabric stabilizer?
Fabric stabilizer is a fabric that is used for machine embroidery. It is used as a sustainer on any fabrics during the stitching process to avoid the fabric to wrinkle or stretch. You have to choose the right stabilizer because it will affect the embroidery whether in a good way or in a bad way. Using a stabilizer that is not suitable for the fabrics or for the stitch count of the design can make the design look bad and not good. Fabric stabilizer is a notion and it has been used for a long time.
Types of fabric stabilizer
There are three most common types of stabilizers which are:
A tear-away stabilizer is a stabilizer that is used temporarily and it is used to support the fabric material during the embroidery process. This type of stabilizer is usually used for woven, which is a non-stretch fabric. After the embroidery process was finished, the excess of the stabilizers was removed carefully from the design are to avoid damaging the design.
Next is the wash-away stabilizer. Wash-away stabilizer is an ideal stabilizer when it comes to embroidering any lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, cotton, or silk or fabrics that the design of embroidery will be shown on the back and in front sides of the fabrics. After the embroidery is done, the main part of the excess will be removed first and the other part will be washed simply.
Last but not least, the cut-away stabilizer. The cut-away stabilizer is a stabilizer that is for permanent uses which are the stabilizer that will stay in the design after the embroidery process is done. The part that needs to be removed is the outer perimeter of the embroidery design. This stabilizer is usually used on stretch knits and unstable fabrics. The embroidery design will stay intact with the fabrics even after a few times of laundering.
What are the common products that are using fabric stabilizer?
There are a few products in our daily life that use fabric stabilizers in it. The first is a towel. The towel is a fabric that is a bit difficult to use with the fabric stabilizer because of its thickness and the texture of the fabrics. The thickness of the towel can make the hooping become difficult and the material of the towel can cause the embroidery design to become not very visible. The fabric stabilizer is used on both sides of the towel to help the stitches a bit more visible on the towel’s material. The wash-away stabilizer is usually used on the top side of the towel and it was hooped with the fabrics or using the pins to secure it.
Next are, t-shirts or sweatshirts. To embroider these fabrics, the cut-away stabilizer needs to be applied underneath it. This will avoid the fabrics from stretching and can give a soft and smooth backing. For the cut-away stabilizer that is not fusible, applying the temporary fabric adhesive spray may be helpful to prevent the stabilizer and the fabric from moving.
Last but not least, the sweater knits. For the sweaters, it is best to use a small and uniform in the rib area. When applying the embroidery design on the sweater, the cut-away stabilizer needs to be hooped first. Then, apply the temporary fabric adhesive spray to the stabilizer and place the stabilizer on the sweater.
How to choose the right fabric stabilizer?
To choose the right stabilizers, there are a few important things that need to consider which is:
- Types of fabrics
- The embroidery design
- The back of the appearance
- The feel of the fabric
- The test results
When choosing the stabilizer, the weight of the fabric and the weight of the stabilizer need to be compatible. If the weight of the fabric is heavy, then the weight of the stabilizer should be heavy too. For the embroidery design, the weight of the stabilizers depends on the number of stitches in the design. To acquire the base support for the stitches, use the design that has sufficient underlay.
As for the back appearance of the fabrics, if you don’t want any stabilizer to show up, you can use a water-soluble stabilizer. But you also can tear away the stabilizer if you want most of the stabilizer to be removed. Next, the type and the weight of the stabilizer will affect the feel of the fabrics. So, you have to find the stabilizer that is suitable for the fabrics to maintain the feel of the fabrics. Lastly, test the stabilizer to know if it is suitable for the fabrics. To have quality, the choice of stabilizer matters too, check the best chemical manufacturer in Malaysia, for superior quality fabric stabilizer.