Machine Embroidery Basics: Know About Underlay


You can produce better embroidery when you understand underlay. How it functions and what are its attributes will help you to know whether one design can fit with the target fabric or not.

What is Underlay: It is the material that acts as the skeleton for any embroidery design. It supports the design like bones support your body. It is the foundation of the design and keeps it stable. It is important for better embroidery. It smoothes the base and removes unwanted ripples. It is also called as underlayer or understitching.

Why To Use An Underlay:

under stitch

There are two basic reasons to use underlay:

• Provides stability to the fabric
• Support the top stitching

In simple words, it is basting the fabric to the stabilizer. In the sewing process, fabric shifts a lot. Using the underlay is helpful in reducing this shift. The machine thread tensions also cause distortion that can be reduced with the use of underlay. Even when your fabric is very unstable, you can make it stable with the use of it.

The crisp of the top stitching remains because of the underlay. It provides the fine edges and prevents the stitches to sink in the fabric.

Underlay Removal:

If you want your design to be the same, don’t remove the underlay. Removing it will only make it stand free and your design may disintegrate. It is said that removing of underlay lowers the thickness of design and stitch count. If you are sewing on the non-fabric items then underlay is not so important. In these items, using it could only produce harm to your final project. How to add the underlay also matters. First learn how to use it because if it isn’t rightly placed, it may affect the design quality.

When Underlay is needed?

In designs like redwork and quilting, underlay is not required. Running stitches are not known to cause fabric distortion. When you use underlay in these designs, you cannot hide it.

When to use more Underlay:

Corduroy or terry cloth like fabrics that are lofty required more underlay. No matter which embroidery machine you are using. When you are using the original design or making your own, adding underlay to your fabric will only make it better and improve your embroidery. For some fabrics, you may need to alter the settings of your embroidery machine. It is a necessary thing which when added only produces better results.


Use of underlay in the embroidery is quite evident. This is the need when you want to produce the better end result but it is also important that you must know when to use it and when not. Sometimes, using the underlay could also produce harm to your design and many times, its sole purpose is to support the top stitching and maintain the design. Optimization of underlay is the time consuming process so it is up to you to decide whether this design or fabric is worthy of your extra time.

Have the Most Beneficial and Perfect Trip to the Fabric Store

fabric image

When you visit the fabric store for the first time, you are unsure where and how to start. All the fabrics look very alike and you become uncertain which one to select for your project. Here given are the tips that will make your fabric store trip highly beneficial. You will learn how to buy the fabric in this article.

Some stores are restricted for fabric only, while some sell other crafts also along with the fabric and display it on one corner.

How They Organize It:

Solid fabric is usually organized by color. A bolt of fabric is 42″ long. When you go for a yard of fabric, in actual you are buying the fabric that has the size of 36×42″.

Look For The Blend:

The blend is also used to categorize the fabric. It is the percentage of the cotton that is present in the cloth. Some fabric are 100% cotton while others could be 65%, 35% etc.
Usually polyester is mixed with the cloth. Higher percentage of fabric means higher price tag. Fabric bolts have the labels that contain washing instructions. Writing them down will be convenient for you to know how to wash the fabric or iron it. Blended fabric works great with Brother Pe770 as it has the ability to do deal with many kinds of fabric.

Check For The Quality: quality

The difference in the quality can also be seen between the two fabrics. Mostly, the 100% cotton fabric is weaved tightly whereas poly-cotton blends are less stiff. Fabric color is hard to distinguish when it is on the shelf with other fabric bolts. When you want a perfect match, remove the bolt from the shelf and take it to the store window. Light matters a lot and natural light is the best to show true colors.

Special Sizes

Fabric stores sell special cut fabric which can be useful when you are in need of the smaller or larger size fabric than of the normally sold bolts.

There are Fabric Quarters – also known as fat quarters – which are 18×22″ pieces of fabric. They are perfect when you have a small project or when you want to use diverse kinds of small fabric in your clothing. Another fabric size is Fabric Eighths – also called fat eights. They have the size of 9×22″. There are many other sizes too that are made for smaller or larger home decor projects. There are bolts that have the size of 36×54″. They are usually used to make curtains.

Buying The Fabric:

When you are sure you have selected the right kind of fabric bolt, take it to the cutting counter. The sales person there will cut the fabric according to the yardage you need. They will cut it for you accurately but before cutting make sure that size is correct; secondly, the piece you are about to get is flawless. There should not be any printing mistakes, holes or ribs. Looking for dirt and stain is also important so you don’t need to wash the fabric before sewing.