How to Machine Embroider on Towels!

November 18, 2012 in Tips & Tricks

¬†Embroidered towels make great Christmas gifts! There are a few things you should take care to do when embroidering on towels. Use a 14 or 11 embroidery needle. You’ll need a tear-away or wash-away stabilizer and what is called a topping (click here for topping products). A topping is used on top of the plush fabric you are using and will help keep the terry cloth loops from popping out through your embroidery (you can use a color to best match your thread or a clear topping (that’s my favorite)). This video has great tips on stabilizing towels! A 40-weight Rayon or Polyester embroidery thread is the recommended. Also, if you have a pretty dense design, you’ll probably want to use a heavy, stick tear stabilizer (it might not be a bad idea to test it out on a piece of terry cloth or extra rag or wash cloth that you have around the house). And, of course, most importantly, you’ll need your Baby Lock Embroidery Machine! Also, if you are using a Baby Lock embroidery machine, use Finishing Touch Bobbin Thread 60 wt.…I made that mistake in a crunch time and others do not work as well or at all)!

You’ll want to “float” your project, in other words, don’t try to hoop your towel (it’s too thick), you’ll want to use a self-adhesive tear away stabilizer or tear-away stabilizer with adhesive spray (my favorite is the self-adhesive tear away). You’ll want to be extra careful when your design is finished as you tear away the stabilizer so that the sticky aspect doesn’t pull your towel loops. Tip: you might even “float” a lightweight non-stick, tear away stabilizer underneath your hoop for added stability (this piece does not need to be hooped).

My towel is placed (or “floating”) on top of the sticky stabilizer. When placing my towel, I made sure that all the bulk of the fabric would lie to the left of my machine.

After you’ve “floated” your towel, you’ll want to place a layer of topping on top of the terry, as shown below.

I used a pre-programmed rectangle basting design that is in my Baby Lock Esante Embroidery/Sewing machine to baste my topping on (otherwise, it moves around terribly). Tip: You may have to move your needle to the first stitch point, stop the machine, and then place your topping, otherwise, the foot may drag it. Also, you may want to raise the height of your presser foot if your towel is lofty if necessary.

¬†Then, let the machine roll! After your design is done, keep it in the hoop (this keeps it taught while removing the basted rectangle) and flip it over and remove the bobbin basting stitches from your rectangle. Remove your topping by tearing gently in towards your design. Then, tear-away from your (still-hooped) stabilizer very carefully as to not pull terry loops! You may still yet have some loops pull…you might be able to get away with just snipping those.

Cute! Yay! Done! Easy!

Here is the backside shown below…If you don’t like the look of the backside of the embroidery on the towel, think outside the box…you can sew a pocket over it or something like a patch, like a fabric heart or star…and because of the loftiness of the terri, you might not even be able to see (or just barely see) the stitches on the front side! Perhaps, you could try on your test piece to make sure that it does not bleed through, but, take a permanent marker that is the same color as the towel and lightly color the bobbin thread.

I got this cute font from the nifty (and awesome) embroidery and digitizing program, MasterWorks III.

If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments section!!!!!

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