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What are The Toughest Fabrics For Machine Embroidery?

Choosing the suitable fabric is important when you are just starting out with machine embroidery. Unfortunately, not all materials are the same. Some can withstand the embroidery digitizing process. Some can’t. This article will discuss the most rigid fabrics for machine embroidery and why they’re not a perfect choice for beginners. We’ll also tell you which substances to avoid and why. At least until you get a enough experience to handle them.

What Fabrics Are More Difficult To Machine Embroider?

Satin and Silk

Satin and silk have a luxurious look that can make your machine embroidery stand out. In addition, they come in a wide variety of weights and colors, so you can usually find what works best for your project.

One thing to keep in mind with this material is that it can be slippery and difficult to control. Tying silk or satin to the stabilizer will help prevent the fabric from sliding over the stabilizer.

If you decide to try embroidery on satin (or silk), avoid splendid silks (such as chiffon) because they are more challenging to work with. Instead, stick to a medium-thickness yarn for best results.

Sweater Material

Sweaters can be stretchy and difficult to control. Some Sweaters are sewn so loosely that the stitches can almost go through the fabric. Use a water-soluble topper when embroidering

on a jacket. This will help prevent the design from sticking to the fabric.

Also, stick to smaller patterns in areas of the shirt that don’t stretch as much during wear. Then, when you pin the shirt, you don’t want the seams to come out.

Lycra And Other Spandex-Y Materials

Lycra and other spandex materials are more difficult to work with because they are very stretchy.

The embroidery on the lycra intimidated me until I decided to wear a swimsuit. I’ve found that embroidery works excellent if you use permanent poly mesh attachments, and they stick to smaller designs that don’t stretch too much.

But would you advise a beginner to embroider with lycra or other spandex material? Maybe not.

Cotton Stretch Knits

Like the material used in T-shirts, cotton shirts can be tricky to machine embroider. Although it’s not as soft as lycra and other elastane materials, you still have to deal with the stretch factor. The challenge of embroidering on t-shirt fabric is to keep the fabric from stretching as you embroider.


I hate to put leather on the “difficult” list because it depends on the leather’s weight and how easy it is to work with. Most multi-needle machines can embroider leather-like patterns. But if I were new to machine embroidery, I wouldn’t put leather embroidery at the top of my project list.

Faux Leather or Marine Vinyl

It may seem like an odd material to mention synthetic leather here, but synthetic leather and vinyl are commonly used for basket items. They come in vibrant colors and are thin enough for a home embroidery digitizing machine to cut.

Collect a variety of faux fur sheets and bring many beautiful things to the hangers. There are many items in the barn to craft, even if you are a beginner.

So What Are The Best Fabrics For Machine Embroidery?

As you can see, there are many fabrics suitable for machine embroidery that are easy for beginners to master. Some fabrics, such as towels, felt, and fleece, do not have much stretch and are easy to work with. Woven cotton and linen are also good choices for machine embroidery, especially if they are a little heavier.

Other fabrics, such as satin and silk, can be more difficult to hold but provide a luxurious look. Vest and lycra material can be difficult to work with because it is very stretchy. If you are new to machine embroidery, I recommend avoiding these fabrics. But don’t be afraid to tackle them as you gain experience.

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