Machine Embroidery on Delicate Fabrics

embroidery projectMost machine embroidery designs are digitized for a “standard” — a medium-weight quilting cotton. So, can you still use these designs on more delicate fabric, such as a scarf? Of course you can!

Tips for embroidery on delicate fabrics

Delicate fabrics should never be directly secured in the hoop’s frame.   Not only is it easy to distort the woven pattern when applying unequal hoop pressure, it is actually possible to “crush” or damage the fragile fibers.

For items that that would be damaged by hooping, like fleece, or are hard to hoop, like socks, adhesive water-soluble mesh stabilizers can help keep the piece secured until stitching is complete. It is always best to first securely hoop the stabilizer as tight as a drum, and then secure the fabric to the stabilizer in a taut, wrinkle-free manner. After stitching, excess stabilizer is trimmed and then washes away.

embroidery on delicate fabricFloriani has a variety of water-soluble stabilizers available. Their unique Stitch N Wash stabilizer is ideal for airy, open work type embroidery designs on light cottons and linen.

Another benefit, water-soluble stabilizers also help support sheer fabrics like silk and organza. Even delicate ribbon can be embroidered when properly secured to hooped stabilizer.

When embroidering sheer fabrics like silk or organza, use the smallest needle size possible to prevent stitch holes from showing. Often, it is beneficial to use a brand new needle when stitching on delicate fabrics as even the smallest needle burr can tear things up in a hurry.

Using your machine features to help

Easily add elegant designs to the most delicate fabrics. Using the perimeter check feature on your Baby Lock Flourish II, you will find perfect placement for your designs.

Learn more about the Baby Lock Flourish II — click here.

Project instructions for an embroidered scarf

Using the Baby Lock Flourish 2 embroidery machine; with its embroidery technology, along with an Exclusive built-in design, to create an embroidered scarf with perfect design placement. In this project, using the hoop and grid while floating the scarf over the hoop will get you to a point of sheer delight.


  • Baby Lock® Flourish 2 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
  • Wash-Away Mesh Stabilizer
  • Purchased silk pashmina scarf
  • Embroidery thread
  • Bobbin thread
  • Water soluble marking pen or Chalko marking tool
  • Temporary Spray Adhesive


Hoop the Stabilizer in the 5” x7” hoop while following the next set of steps:

  • Place the grid inside the hoop.
  • Using a pen, place marks on the stabilizer through the holes on the grid sheet along the length of the hoop. These marks will indicate the center point on the hoop along with an even straight line across the hoop.
  • Remove the grid.
  • Spray the hooped stabilizer with the temporary spray adhesive.
  • Set the hoop aside for now.

Determine the placement of the design on the scarf:

  • Measuring across the width and divide this number by two.
  • Measure 6” up from the bottom edge of the scarf.

With the hoop on a flat surface, place the scarf with the cross-marks centered over the center point on the hoop. Line the scarf up so that it is even with the straight line on the hoop. Do not distort the scarf when placing it on the stabilized hoop. Finger press to secure the scarf in the hoop.

Set up the machine for embroidery:

  • Select design 006 from the Exclusive Design Home Accents
  • Thread the machine with the Madeira embroidery thread.
  • Place a bobbin in the bobbin case.
  • Place the hoop on the embroidery arm.
  • Keep the other portions of the scarf away and free from the hoop.

Embroider the design using the same thread color for all three color stops.

Remove the hoop from the machine.

Remove most of the stabilizer from the scarf by trimming close to the embroidery design.

Using warm water to rinse away any remaining stabilizer.

Repeat for the other end of the scarf.


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