Placing embroidery on a stretch fabric can be very challenging for the beginner or expert embroiderer! The fabric is hard to control and can sometimes be damaged by the hooping and or stitching process. In this lesson, we will learn everything needed for successful embroidery on knits. This kit includes everything you need for stitching. You will want to do a few things in advance to prep the garment for the ultimate results!
Kit Includes:
  • Floriani No Show Nylon Mesh Fusible – 10 yds
  • Floriani Cutaway Medium Fusible – 10 yds
  • Floriani Water Soluble Topping – 10 yds
  • Floriani Perfect Stick – 10 yds

A few optional items you may want to have on hand:  Floriani Template Tearaway, Collins Wonder Tape (1/4”), size 11 embroidery needle, small embroidery snips for trimming, fully wound bobbin

Lets Get Started!

Click on images for larger detailed view. 
1. Pre-wash the garment if at all possible.  Most stretch fabrics contain a percentage of cotton.  Washing will remove the shrinkage and any sizing.  Do not use dryer sheets or fabric softener.
2. Load a fully wound bobbin in your machine.  Removing a T-Shirt or garment from the machine to change the bobbin is tedious.
3. Use a new size 11 embroidery needle for the best results.   
4. Choose a design. 
5. Choose a stabilizer to compliment the design.  Both Floriani Cutaway Medium and No Show Nylon Mesh are fusible and very soft.  If the design is overly dense or has a high stitch count, you should use Floriani Cutaway Medium Fusible as your base material.  If the design is well digitized and an average stitch count (under or around 8,000 stitches) you can use the Floriani No Show Nylon Mesh Fusible.  However, if the garment you are stitching on is light in color and thin such as a polo or T-Shirt, you should use the Mesh because it does not shadow around the outside of the design when worn. 
6. When embroidering on knits, it is always recommended to hoop the garment when stitching.  However, there are times when we simply cannot. The garment could be very small, the design may need to stitch too close to a placket, sleeve or collar, or the garment may be prone to hoop burn.  When this occasion arises, you will need to follow the directions below but instead of hooping the garment; you will place Floriani Perfect Stick in the embroidery frame and stick the stabilized knit piece down to the sticky surface.

7. Placement of the embroidery design should be decided before the garment is hooped and/or on the embroidery machine.  Mark the center of the desired area for the embroidery on the garment using a chalk marker or use Floriani Template Tearaway (optional) for the most accurate positioning of your designs.  This is most helpful on small garments or if you are sticking the garment down to Perfect Stick.  To use Floriani Template Tearaway, simply bring up the design in your embroidery software and then print the image directly onto the Template Tearaway.   The template then sticks to the garment and helps give you an accurate visual for centering the design while you are placing it in the hoop.
8. Cut a piece of the fusible stabilizer of your choice (Floriani Nylon Mesh or Medium Cutaway).  The piece should be at least 2 inches larger than your hoop size. 
9. Using a medium temperature on your iron, press the stabilizer onto the back of the garment.  Be sure to use a press cloth between the stabilizer and surface of the iron.
10. **Tip – If using the Floriani No Show Nylon Mesh Fusible and the design you choose is overly dense, press two layers onto the shirt.  Press one at a 90 degree angle and the second at 45 degrees.  This will give you more support without bulk.
11. Hoop the stabilized garment.  Note that the fusible stabilizer aids greatly in preventing the garment from stretching out of shape while you place it in the hoop.
12. **Tip – Keeping the embroidery frame straight while hooping a sweatshirt or T-Shirt is very challenging.  A great hooping tool is Collins Wonder Tape!  This tape is sticky on both sides and is water soluble.  Cut 4 -  ½” pieces and place them on the underside of the inner embroidery frame. Peel away the release paper and the hoop will now stick to the top of your garment in the exact area that you want placement!
13. Once the garment is in the embroidery frame securely, place a layer of Floriani Water Soluble Topping on the surface.  Secure the corners with tape to prevent movement during the stitching process. 
14. If the design you have chosen to stitch is large in size, heavy in stitch density or poorly digitized, float one layer of Floriani Medium Tearaway (optional) under the hoop for added support. 
15. Place the embroidery frame on the machine, center the design and stitch. 
  **Tip – If using Floriani Template Tearaway, simply lower the needle down into the printed crosshairs of the template for absolute placement accuracy!  Be sure to remove the template before you begin stitching. 
16. Once stitching is completed, remove the hoop from the machine. Trim all jump stitches from around the design on the front and back.
17. Tear away as much topping from around the design as possible, the remainder can be washed away in the laundry or by blotting it with a wet cloth. 

For the back of the embroidery, gently lift up one corner of the cutaway and pull it back to the design.  If you find that it is not releasing from the garment, re-heat it with your iron and pull it back while it is warm.  Trim the cutaway as close as you can to the embroidery design.


**Note if you used Floriani Perfect Stick or Medium Tearaway in addition to the cutaway, gently tear it away before trimming the cutaway.