What Does Floating Mean In Embroidery

One of the most important tools of embroidery is a hoop and stabilizer. With a hoop, you can hold taut the part of the garment or fabric you want to be embroidered. This enables the embroidery to sit properly on the garment. While the stabilizer ensures that needle stitches don’t damage the garment during the embroidery process.

However, there may be cases during embroidery when your target garment or fabric cannot be hooped. Such instances include when you have a garment or fabric that is too thick or too thin for the hoop. In this case, you will need to float your garments on the hoop to make embroidery possible.

What Does Floating Mean In Embroidery?

Floating is when you can’t hoop your target garment or fabric for embroidery. You will then hoop your stabilizer and embroider your garment with it on top of the hoop. With your stabilizer fitted perfectly in the hoop, you will need to affix the fabric you want to be embroidered onto the hooped stabilizer.

You can use a fabric-friendly adhesive to attach your garment onto the hooped stabilizer to make embroidery possible. You can also bast your garment onto the stabilizer, use masking tape, or any other method that keeps your embroidery target on the hooped stabilizer.

How To Float Your Garments For Embroidery?

Method 1.Using A Basting Stitch

Step 1. Hoop your stabilizer. As the name suggests, a stabilizer is a tool that keeps your embroidery target stable on the hoop and the embroidery stitches stable on the garment. Hooping your stabilizer ensures that the stabilizer doesn’t move and creates a conducive space for the garment to be embroidered properly.

Step 2. Take your embroidery garment and place it on the hooped stabilizer. This is suitable when the fabric is too small to fit in the hoop. This happens when you decide to embroider a fabric or garment that is already cut to size. Or, the fabric you want to embroider is too thin, and hooping will damage it.

Step 3. Set up your embroidery machine. Load the design you want to embroider onto your machine. You can use a USB or the best loading method depending on the type of your embroidery machine. Set up the right needle for the embroidery of your fabric and threads with the colors you need.

Step 4. Set up your hoop under your needle. Attach your hoop to the embroidery mechanism on your embroidery machine and make sure that it registers that the hoop is present. Then, depending on your embroidery design, align the embroidery target so that the embroidery starts from the middle of the fabric.

Step 5. Bast your fabric onto the stabilizer in readiness for embroidery. When you have set up your hoop correctly, choose the basting stitch on the embroidery machine. The basting stitch consists of large loose stitches that are easy to remove. The machine will bast your fabric onto the hoop before embroidery.

Step 6. With your fabric ready to be embroidered, start the embroidery. Make sure that you have set the colors that you need to appear on your fabric. You can see this from the LCD screen on your embroidery machine. Start embroidering when you confirm that everything is as it should be.

Step 7. When you have finished embroidering, lift off the needle and unhook your hoop and pull it from the embroidery machine. You need to now remove the basting stitch so that you can release your fabric from the stabilizer and hoop.

Try to remove the stitch with your fingers. If it doesn’t move, turn your hoop around and use a seam ripper to lightly rip off a few stitches. Then, turn your hoop to the right side up and pull off the basting stitch with your fingers.

Step 8. Gently remove your fabric from the stabilizer. If you are using a cut-away stabilizer, unhoop the stabilizer and using scissors cut off the stabilizer from your already embroidered fabric.

Method 2. Floating With Fabric Adhesive

Step 1. If you are going to embroider a garment that is too thick or too big for the hoop, floating with fabric adhesive is the best way to do it. First, prepare your garment for embroidery. Wash dry and iron the garment. Mark the position where you want the embroidery to be. You can use a temporary pen or chalk depending on the fabric.

Step 2. Hoop your stabilizer. Open your hoop completely and bring your stabilizer into the hoop. Place the top part of the hoop onto the stabilizer and shut it tightly. Make sure that you have a large enough stabilizer that hangs off the edges of the hoop.

Step 3. Spray adhesive onto the stabilizer. Ensure that you spray the adhesive as evenly as possible all over the stabilizer. This ensures that your fabric or garment doesn’t stick on the stabilizer when you place it on for embroidery.

Step 4. Place your ready-to embroider garment onto the stabilizer. The stabilizer will float the garment on the hoop, ready for embroidery.

Step 5. Bring your hoop to the embroidery machine. Load your design, thread your embroidery machine accordingly and start embroidering. When you finish embroidering, pull out the hoop from the embroidery machine.

Step 6. Open the hoop to remove your embroidered garment or fabric. Peel off the stabilizer as gently as possible to avoid damaging the embroidery and the garment. If there is any leftover stabilizer, you can use warm water to peel it off.

Method 3. Floating With Pins

Step 1. Prepare your garment or fabric for embroidery. Make sure it is clean, dry, and ironed. Don’t embroider a garment that is not properly ironed. You may cause the embroidered part to wrinkle and shrink further after washing making it unwearable.

Step 2. Hoop your stabilizer. Place your stabilizer into the hoop. Even if your fabric is too small or too thick to the hoop, you need a stabilizer for perfect embroidery on your garment. The stabilizer also makes it possible to float your fabric in readiness for embroidery.

Step 3. Float your garment onto the hoop. Place your embroidery target onto the hooped stabilizer. You need to make sure that it is stable. That it won’t move when embroidery starts since it is not hooped.

With your garment on the hoop, make sure the part that needs to be embroidered is sitting squarely in the middle of the hoop. Place pins at either end of the hoop on top of your embroidery fabric. This floats the fabric perfect for embroidery.

Step 4. Bring your hoop with your floated garment on fabric to the embroidery machine. Load your embroidery design onto the machine and align the hoop, garment, and needle. Press start on the embroidery machine and start embroidering.

Make sure that the pins are far away from the embroidery position. This ensures that you don’t break the embroidery needle.

Step 5. Remove the hoop and its contents from the embroidery machine. Remove the embroidered floating garment by removing the pins. Depending on the stabilizer you used, you cut it off the fabric with scissors, tear it off or wash it in water.

How Do You Align An Embroidery Hoop?

To properly align your embroidery hoop on the embroidery machine, make sure you use the right size hoop for your garments. There are different hoops that you can use depending on your embroidery project.

Secondly, make sure that you hoop your fabrics correctly. Don’t hoop too lightly or too tight. It may cause damage to the fabric or cause the embroidery stitches to be loose once the embroidery is finished.

Third, use the right stabilizer for your garments or fabric.

To align your fabric with the needle of the embroidery machine, you can mark the point where you want your embroidery to start. Fold your fabric before you hoop it and mark the center of the fabric. Make sure that the mark is visible so that you can align your fabric correctly when it is time to start embroidering.

How To Get The Right Stabilizer For Your Fabrics?

When you are embroidering, you need a stabilizer to hold your fabric in place. Different fabrics need different types of stabilizers. The stabilizers come in different weights for the different weights of fabrics.

A fusible stabilizer is a popular type of stabilizer. It is fused to the back of the fabric using heat. You can get it in different weights for the different types of fabric you are embroidering.

A water-soluble stabilizer is another type of stabilizer you can use. Once you have finished embroidering, you will have to dip the embroidered fabric in water to remove it. It is best used with sheer fabrics.

When embroidering woven and non-stretchy fabrics, you will need to use a type of stabilizer known as a sew-in tear-away stabilizer. For stretchy fabrics, you will need to use the sew-in cut-away stabilizer. You can also use it on silk and satin.



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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