Here are some tips on using stabilizers for machine embroidery!
The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to embroider. Each item requires a unique handling of stabilizer and topper!
Consider the weight of the fabric. We compare most fabric to denim. Denim will not require a stabilizer unless the design is dense nor will most towels, or quilted items but anything lighter will require an addition of body to the fabric to stabilize it or to keep it from puckering.
Consider the embroidery design. If the design is dense, it can cause pucker, so consider what fabrics are appropriate for the design . A very dense design is not going to do well on a stretchy fabric. Stabilizers can only help so much. Compensation is a term used to describe the horizontal pull of the embroidery. The pull shows most when the design is dense and the outline separates from the body of the design. To fix this you can edit the embroidery by pulling the body horizontally and making it about a 1/16″ bigger than the outline. When you embroider the design then shrinks to the right size. Stabilizer may help to hold the embroidery in shape. Under stitching can also help.
Consider the thread you are using and how you will care for the garment after the embroidery is done. Polyester embroidery threads are able to accept bleaching. Rayon threads are more shiny and decorative but not as strong.
Stabilizer choices include toppers, sticky paper, iron-ons, cut aways and tear aways.
No Show fusible cutaway mesh- This stabilizer is great for any knit. Fuse the stabilizer to the back and make the stabilizer patch as large as the hoop. Hoop the knit and stabilizer together, without pulling, for a taunt look. When done, unhoop and pull back excess from the back of the design. Cut the stabilizer away.
Wash away stabilizer are for when you do not want the stabilizer to show on the back side or you are making something 3 -D. I have linked several lace designs that will require a light nylon tulle to be hooped with the wash away so you can make lace.
Fuse and Tear is used as a standard stabilizer for embroidery on any woven that is lighter than denim. One layer will do. Fuse the stabilizer to the back side and hoop both the fabric and stabilizer. Once you embroider you can tear the backing away.
Peel and Stick is used to embroider items that are too small, or to hard to hoop. Peel and Stick also works great to position pin point embroidery. Hoop the stabilizer with the shiny side up. Score the top sheet and pull it off the sticky paper. Position you garment to embroider. Tear away the excess.
Topper– Is used to lay down the nap and can be hooped on the top of the project. Example would be a towel, velvet, a knit, corduroy etc.