What Can I Use Instead Of Fabric Stabilizer

If you are into sewing and embroidery, you would know the significance of stabilizers. Whether machine embroidery seems fun or easy to you, the most dreadful part is stabilizing the fabric.

Even a slight mistake can ruin your entire hard work. Stabilizers hold great prominence in sewing and embroidery as it offers strength to the fabric. When you are using thin fabrics, stabilizers will act as a stiff base to make the stitches look seamless.

For most fabrics, you would need stabilizers; simply, the fabric would not be enough. If you are wondering what type of stabilizer you can use, you have come to the right place. This article will guide you regarding the range of stabilizers that can ensure effortless embroidery.

What Can I Use Instead Of Fabric Stabilizers?

Apart from the simple fabric stabilizers, you can use plenty of things, including cutaway, tear away, and fusible stabilizers. Not only these conventional stabilizers, but you can also use dimensional backing, sticky-based stabilizers, paper, and plastic films as well.

What Are the Different Kinds Of Stabilizers Available?

As discussed, there are many stabilizers you can use for your embroidery projects. Some of the most popular ones are mentioned below:

Fusible Stabilizers

This is a backing that is stuck at the back of the fabric with heat. You can find fusible stabilizers in different weights and sizes; you need to choose one according to your requirements. The weight of the fabric and stabilizers must be the same in order to maintain the balance.

Tear Away Stabilizers

Just like the name, these stabilizers are temporarily attached to the fabric. They are not fused but attached to the fabric using adhesive glue or spray. These are available in different sizes, and you must choose according to the fabric’s weight. You can tear away this stabilizer once you have fulfilled your task.

Cut Away Stabilizers

Similar to tear away, you can cut away these stabilizers once the work is completed, leaving a little allowance. This is more durable and stable than the tear away, and that’s why cutaway is more preferred. It is great for stability, and that’s why it is used on stretchy fabrics. You can even use it on delicate fabrics like satin or silk.

Wash Away Stabilizers

It is a preferred stabilizer for fabrics that don’t need a stabilizer always. Water-soluble backing or wash away stabilizers can be washed away after use. It is best used with sheer fabrics like net, organza, open-weave fabrics. You can make lace, applique, buttonholes, shadow work, etc.

Dimensional Backing

When you need padding in your embroidery and sewing projects, you can use puff backing or fleece. These are generally used in quilting or handbag sewing. You can get fleece in different sizes and weights, that too in fusible and sew-in. These stabilizers will give more volume to the fabric.

Plastic Films

The dry cleaner plastic bags can be used as stabilizers. Thin plastic sheets act as a good stabilizer for different kinds of fabrics. You can easily avail these stabilizers and sometimes even free of cost. All you need to do is practice with plastic films.


You can also use simple paper as a stabilizer. There are many professionals who use paper as backing. It’s an inexpensive alternative that can bring significant difference to your fabric stability. Fabrics that are difficult to move, paperwork as a frictional agent.

Sticky-Based Stabilizers

These types of stabilizers will have adhesive on one side that needs to be pasted onto the fabric. You can either cut away, wash away or tear away as per your preference. Sticky-based stabilizers are primarily used for fabrics that cannot be hooped. For instance, a shirt collar cannot be hooped, and if hooped, it can leave marks on your shirt.

Topping Stabilizers

These are kept on the top of the fabric, and it is used with some special fabrics that have texture on it. Some of the fabrics they are used on are terry cloth, velvet, fake fur, fleece, velvet, corduroy, fleece, etc. these stabilizers can be torn away, washed away, or cut away.

Why Do You Need To Use Stabilizer While Embroidering?

You need to use these items when you are using an embroidery machine. Some people also use them for hand embroidery as well. The stabilizers are great assistance in stabilizing the fabric and keeping it steady during the stitches.

When you are using lightweight fabrics, a stabilizer will reduce the issue of puckering. Stitch pulling is also a major issue with embroidery that can be resolved with the help of stabilizers.

It will not let your fabric ruin due to any reason and keeps the stability intact. Not only maintaining the strength, but stabilizers will keep the stitches intact. It also prevents mistakes and protects your project from being destroyed in any case.

If you want to ensure a stress-free embroidery session, then you need to invest in good quality stabilizers. Fabrics are not primarily made for embroidery, so you need to provide some backup in the form of stabilizers.

When To Use Embroidery Stabilizer?

You must use a stabilizer every time you start sewing on your embroidery machine. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you need to use a stabilizer that can help in providing stability to your fabric.

Whenever you sit on your embroidery machine, you need to choose a good stabilizer that can do the work. There are different types of stabilizers available in the market that have different natures. It is essential to choose a stabilizer that abides by the weight of the fabric. According to your fabric, the stabilizer must be purchased with utmost care.

What Are Embroidery Stabilizers Made Of?

There are many companies that are manufacturing stabilizers. Each company has its own process and materials to make stabilizers. The embroidery stabilizers are more stable and sturdier to give the right support to the fabric.

Compared to other stabilizers, these are non-stretchable and non-woven. Different fibers are used to make these stabilizers strong and create a smooth layer. It eventually makes the stabilizer flexible and leaves no scope for worries.

Many companies use polyester and viscose to strengthen the stabilizers. There are companies that will use non-inflammable materials. It depends on different companies how they make stabilizers with different materials and construction methods.

When it comes to the water-soluble stabilizers, you can find them along with the plastic film or paper material that will make them completely disappear. It is always important to check the safety features at the label of stabilizers.

Are Embroidery Stabilizer and Interfacing Both Same?

You may find similarities between interfacing and stabilizer, but there are some major differences that set them apart. One of the major differences is the purpose of both.

Stabilizers are primarily used to assist you in your sewing projects. Interfacing is a permanent addition that adds more value to the sewing.

Interfacing is available in non-woven and woven designs. Stabilizers have plenty of designs and types that differ according to your preference. Interfacing will be stretched in one direction and remain firm in another.

Also, stabilizers are made in different materials, and interfacing is only made of cloth. While interfacing can be used in hand and machine sewing, stabilizers are best to use with the machine.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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