Fleece blankets, terrycloth towels, polar fleece jackets and plush stuffed animals are great items to embroider and can be profitable items for your business if you know the best way to embroider them. Knowing how to embroider on high-pile fabrics like terrycloth and fleece can be difficult without the knowing proper techniques. If you embroider these incorrectly, your design can get lost in the nap of the fabric.
- Use a topping like Solvy Film or Stitch-n-Heat™: Melt Away Heat Film to hold down the fabric pile while stitching. Solvy is a water soluble topping and will dissolve completely away once laundered, even under the stitches. Stitch-n-Heat will remain under the stitches, even after washing.
- Dense designs with thick columns and lettering work best to tame these fabrics. Also, consider using an underlay fill stitch to hold down the pile under your design. Applique also works great for fill areas to hold back nap, and will provide a smooth area for embroidering.
- Choosing the correct stabilizer is very important. For items like towels where you will easily see the back of them, a tear/wash away backing works well. With these backings, upon washing, the remaining backing will break apart and wash away leaving the embroidery soft and free of stabilizer, yet the stitches remain firmly locked. For stretchy fleece jackets, consider using a medium to heavy weight cut away backing for the best results.
- If your towel or fleece is too think to hoop, you can use the "hoopless floating method" by first hooping a piece of peel and stick backing and then sticking your towel to the backing. If you use this method, only expose a small portion of the sticky backing under the design and leave the wax paper on the rest of it. If you take off the entire wax paper backing, when finished your embroidery, the backing may be extremely difficult to remove.