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What to know about stabilizers and threads for machine embroidery

by Jean Boyd

 

Yesterday, I introduced you to THE Dream Machine 2, especially the embroidery component of this machine.

When using THE Dream Machine 2 for embroidery, stabilizers are used under the fabric to support the embroidery and eliminate puckered stitches. Usually, the more stitches you have in a design, the heavier the stabilizer should be so the stitches are well supported. There are several different types of stabilizers available. Here’s some information on some of the more common types.

Cut-away stabilizers are non-woven, permanent stabilizers that are cut away after the embroidery is finished. They cannot be completely removed, but are available in a variety of weights to suit the fabric and design you’re using.

Tear-away stabilizers are non-woven and are gently torn from the embroidery after it is stitched. They’re also available in a variety of weights to suit your fabric and design.

Water-soluble stabilizers are temporary and available in several weights. They’ll disappear completely with water. Use this type of stabilizer with washable fabrics where you don’t want any stabilizer to remain.

Heat-soluble stabilizers disintegrate with heat and should only be used on fabrics that are heat-resistant. It’s important not to get water or any liquid on this type of stabilizer, as it could damage the fabric.

For the beginner type of work that I’m doing this week, I’ll be using light-weight cut-away and tear-away stabilizers.

When using THE Dream Machine 2 you’ll almost always be using a light-weight bobbin thread like the one that comes with the machine. I used the Brother bobbin thread for almost all the samples I did this week. I also tried using some prewound bobbins and they worked perfectly with this machine. If you have trouble with a prewound bobbin, Brother includes a Bobbin Center Pin that you can use.

Brother bobbin thread that comes with the machine

Brother bobbin thread that comes with the machine

You might need to use the bobbin center pin if you are using pre-wound bobbins.

You might need to use the bobbin center pin if you are using pre-wound bobbins.

 

For the top threads, you have a wide variety of threads from which to choose: rayon (which has a lovely sheen), polyester, cotton, silk and metallic. Each one serves a special purpose and you’ll get to know more about these threads as you do more embroidery.

A variety of threads that can be used for embroidery

A variety of threads that can be used for embroidery

 

Using an embroidery machine for the first time can be quite challenging, but going a step at a time and reading the manuals, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll learn all the wonderful features of THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother!

I did lots of practicing before I started my first “real” project. Here are some of the samples I did, just by reading the manual and “playing”. I discovered it wasn’t so difficult after all!

My first embroidery samples using THE Dream Machine 2. Can you tell that I like Redwork?

My first embroidery samples using THE Dream Machine 2. Can you tell that I like Redwork?

 

For the next few days I’ll be sharing some basic machine embroidery techniques with you and showing you an easy project to make. I hope you’ll be as excited as I am to see how wonderful THE Dream Machine 2 really is!

 

This is part 2 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 1: Introducing machine embroidery on THE Dream Machine 2 by Brother

Go to part 3: Machine embroidery 101 on THE Dream Machine 2

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