Embroidery Supplies

How to Use Stick and Stitch Stabilizer To Transfer and Embroider a Pattern With Ease

Embroidery Stabilizer

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This article is brought to you by Brown Paper Stitch, my business that makes your wardrobe pawesome by embroidering your pets on clothing.

There are many ways to trans­fer an embroi­dery pat­tern onto a piece of fab­ric. You can, for instance, draw on the mate­r­i­al using a spe­cial pen intend­ed just for embroi­dery. And while I find that use­ful for some projects, there’s a trans­fer method that allows me to turn my design into one big stick­er and press it onto the fabric.

Called embroi­dery sta­bi­liz­er, this stick-on mate­r­i­al is ide­al for large projects with a lot of details. To use, I print my pat­tern on my laser print­er and then adhere it to the fab­ric. Once I’m done, I sim­ply wash the excess pat­tern away with warm water, and it leaves no trace that it was ever there.

So many peo­ple don’t know about this method, and to be hon­est, I did­n’t either—at first. I noticed embroi­der­ers using it a cou­ple of years after I start­ed my stitch­ing. And it was only once I began cre­at­ing cus­tom pet embroi­dery—in which I was draw­ing a sketch for a client—that I con­sid­ered using it. The big advan­tage is that you can cre­ate a pat­tern, or use a down­loaded one, and just print it with­out hav­ing to trans­fer using a pen.

How to Use Embroidery Stabilizer

I use Sulky brand Stick N Stitch sta­bi­liz­er and print my pat­terns on a laser print­er. Once print­ed, I cut out the designs with a stan­dard pair of scis­sors and adhere them to my fab­ric. Once all of my stitch­ing is done, I put the fab­ric under warm water to remove the sta­bi­liz­er and let it dry as normal.


Embroidery Stabilizer Tips

Stick and stitch sta­bi­liz­er is, by far, my pre­ferred method of trans­fer­ring an embroi­dery pat­tern. But, through­out the time I’ve been work­ing with it, I’ve real­ized it has its quirks. Here are some things you should know before try­ing it.

  • The sta­bi­liz­er works best with light-col­ored fab­rics. You’ll have an eas­i­er time see­ing the lines of your design. With dark or black fab­rics, you’ll have to strain to see your marks.
  • The oils on your fin­gers can affect the sta­bi­liz­er. The more you touch the stick and stitch sta­bi­liz­er, the more you’ll degrade it. Once you’re hap­py with the place­ment of the pat­tern, try not to touch the design unless you’re stitch­ing into it. Repeat­ed­ly han­dling a design can make it hard­er to see.
  • Stick and stitch sta­bi­liz­er will “shift”  and com­press your design if you’re not care­ful. This is an easy prob­lem to pre­vent. To stop the sta­bi­liz­er from mov­ing on your fab­ric, add a few stitch­es to each cor­ner of your design.
  • Sta­bi­liz­er is like a glue. Once you’ve washed away the sta­bi­liz­er, it will make your stitch­es appear a bit less “fuzzy” as the sta­bi­liz­er is like glue that locks them into place. If you’re embroi­der­ing on cloth­ing, this is a great advan­tage, as it means your stitch­ing will hold up to washings.