Skip to Main Content
Order by Dec. 8th to get it in time for the holidays. LEARN MORE.

New to Machine Embroidery? Tips for Success

embroidery icon embroidery

Helpful Hints for Machine Embroidery

  • Read the instruction manual several times and know what your machine can (and can’t) do.
  • Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. The dog motif you download might be a lovely brown, but if you want it lime green instead, it’s OK—you can personalize designs however you want.
  • Most embroidery designs can be resized 20% without compromising quality.
  • Think about design placement before you stitch. There’s nothing attractive about a design centered over the bust point on a garment.
  • Stabilize the fabric before stitching, no matter what the design size or density. Build a stash of various types of stabilizers and make samples using different fabric combinations to see what works and what doesn’t. Generally, a cut-away works well for knits and a tear-away is good for woven fabrics, but that’s not an absolute.
  • ALWAYS test-stitch your design on a sample of similar fabric using the thread and stabilizer you plan for the real deal. You’ll be able to see any adjustments needed. Save the embellished scraps to make a quilt or other small projects, so they don’t go to waste.
  • Use the smallest hoop that will accommodate your design size.
  • Play with various threads— rayon and polyester are used most commonly, but don’t forget about metallics and glow-in-dark novelty threads as well. The same design can look totally different in one thread type from the other.
  • Unless the embroidery is reversible, use a lighter weight thread in the bobbin than the top.  Coats Size 70 Bobbin Thread is ideal for a non-bulky stitch appearance.
  • Select a needle type and size that will allow your embroidery thread to pass through the eye without shredding or breaking.