Should I ever use a cutaway stabilizer combined with a tearaway?

The answer is yes and no, but first, it is important to understand when and why to choose a cutaway or a tearaway. Cutaway stabilizers are used on knits, stretch fabrics like performance wear, and lightweight woven fabrics. Tearaway is used on heavy woven, stable fabrics. A tearaway stabilizer will usually wash away over time, during the lifetime and regular laundering of the garment.

The answer would be no if the fabric or garment calls for a tearaway stabilizer. Adding a cutaway stabilizer will not help or enhance the design. In fact, it will only add extra bulk that is not needed.

However, the answer could be yes if you’re adding tearaway to a project that requires the use of a cutaway stabilizer. Generally, a light- or medium-weight tearaway stabilizer is all that is needed to achieve the benefit of additional stability. The tearaway stabilizer should always be placed on the very bottom when you hoop, sandwiching the cutaway in between the garment and the tearaway stabilizer. This will make it easier for you first to tear away the bottom stabilizer, and then trim the cutaway.

There are several benefits to combining the two stabilizers on projects that require more stability due to the unstable nature of the fabric you are embroidering. First, the hooping process will be easier since the two will serve to hold the cutaway stabilizer and fabric together when hooping. The design will look crisp and in register. And finally, this technique of combining stabilizers is most helpful when embroidery performance wear and other lightweight, stretchy fabrics.


Nancy Mini

Nancy Mini

Nancy Mini has risen in the ranks of Madeira USA's marketing department to become the senior marketing coordinator and backing specialist, learning how to operate commercial embroidery machines along the way. Madeira USA's resident embroiderer, she is a go-to person when customers face production challenges.

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Charlie Fox

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