How To

Tips for Embroidering on Towels

Tips for Embroidering on Towels

Doing a project on a towel is tricky as is. Here are some tips for best results.

1. Wash and dry your towel beforehand

2. Choose designs with solid stitching

These are better because delicate or thin stitches will get lost in the towel texture! Additionally, solid patterns and stitching are more stable and are better suited to the traditional wear and tear that comes with toweling. If you’re going to be using your towel (rather than simply having it on display) make sure you avoid designs with delicate stitching.


3. Play around with placement, and use what works for you!

For fool-proof placement, centre your design 4 inches above the lower border of your towel. This is the standard placement for larger ones like bath towels or beach towels and will look great when folded.

4. Use an 11 or 14 sized needle

A 14 needle is extra sharp and is great for penetrating fabric without distressing it. These are the sizes that are generally recommended however they are not universal. Instead it is more advisable to use these sizes as a starting point and go wider or narrower from there. Again, it’s about trial and error and using what feels comfortable for you.

5. Use a cut-away stabilizer

Whilst you can basically use any stabilizer for towels, using a cut-away stabilizer will give you maximum support as it is the firmest stabilizer available.


6. But there are alternatives...

If you know that the back of your towel will be on display, some embroiderers prefer to use a tear-away stabilizer. Bits of your cut-away stabilizers will remain with your final project so if you don’t want this a tear-away stabilizer is a better option. 

7. Use a water-soluble topping

It is highly recommended that you use a water-soluble topping. This is to ensure your stitches don’t get lost or sink into your towel. The topping will sit over your design as your machine does the work. It is a clear plastic material which can be easily removed by tearing and then wiping the remnants away with a damp wash cloth.


8. 'Float' your embroidery

Sometimes your towel may be too thick to hoop together with your stabilizer and topping. To remedy this you can ‘float’ your towel above your hoop. 


9. Use a spray-on adhesive

If you attempt floating your material, make sure you have a can of spray-on adhesive on hand! This will help all your layers stay in place and it won’t add any distress on your items. Note: some embroiderers do tend to use pins instead. It is completely up to the person and their own preferences but many people do think that adhesives are quicker and simpler!

10. Use a design template

This will ensure your placement comes out perfectly. There are templates that come with software and some that come with the embroidery machines. If your software or machine does not come with a template you can purchase them or download a basic one from the internet. Your embroidery software will allow you to print out the design with reference marks that you can use as a template.


And a little something extra…

Use the embroidery software features like “Auto-Fabrics” to pre-set your design to the type of towel you are using. Simply select your type of fabric and it will adjust the stitch settings to best sew on that fabric! Just one of the many amazing features in the Hatch Embroidery software.

Applique Instructions

Applique Instructions

Operate Direction Suggestion:

Most people used to a 3-4 step process with embroidery applique in the hoop. For embroidery applique follows these steps:

For one applique it goes from step 1 to step 3. And for the second applique it repeats the same steps. Same for other parts of applique.

Step 1: Stitching outline -- running stitch(guide line)
Set stitching line for all applique parts. As soon as the stitch has gone 1st part you place suitable fabric down the guiding line.

Step 2: Placement stitch(which attaches applique to base fabric)
This is straight stitches to attach applique to base fabric. Then you cut and trim the fabric around the stitching line. Try to trim as close as to the line. No more than 1mm.

Step 3: Tacking stitch
It holds the applique fabric in place better. In some simple designs there's no this step.
*** All above will be covered by step 3 embroidery. So the first 3 steps' stitches will be invisible.

Step 4:
Finishing stitch -- Cover satin stitch, filled stitch, etc.

The color and operation may vary with different file formats or machines.