What Is Embroidery Backing

To embroider a fabric requires that you will have to add something, most times of a different texture onto it. Many times, this is quite difficult to do.

You need something else to help hold the stitches you insert into the fabric to hold your embroidery. This something else you need is embroidery backing.

What Is Embroidery Backing?

Embroidery backing is also known as a stabilizer. It is a specialized fabric that is laid on the fabric being embroidered to ensure that the embroidery stitches have a good foundation that will see the embroidery sit properly on the garment or fabric.

Types Of Embroidery Backing You Can Use For Embroidery

1. Tear-away Backing

Tear-away backing is an embroidery backing that can be easily torn off the fabric once you are done embroidering. This backing is available in heavy and lightweight.

This ensures that you can get the right backing for your fabrics. Lightweight backing is suitable for lightweight fabrics while heavyweight backing is good for thicker fabrics.

Tear away backing as the name suggests is removed by tearing off from the fabric after you have finished embroidering. You can use scissors or your hands to tear off the backing without any damage to your embroidery.

2. Wash-away Backing

Wash-away backing as the name suggests is embroidery backing that is removed from the fabric by washing. To use this backing, you need to use a basting stitch to fix the backing onto the back of the fabric that you are embroidering.

After embroidering, you can remove the backing by removing the basting stitch then running warm water on the fabric until the backing is washed off completely.

3. Cut-away Backing

Cut-away backing is embroidery backing that needs to be cut off from the fabric once you have finished embroidering. As the name suggests the cut-away backing is easily cut out from fabric with scissors.

Cut-away backing on which the embroidery design lies is left to stay permanently on the fabric or garment. The excess is then cut off with scissors.

4. Water-Soluble Backing

Water-soluble backing is a type of embroidery backing that dissolves in water. This is how it is removed from fabrics or garments once the embroidery process is completed.

It is best used for fabrics such as fleece or terry cloth. Normally, the water-soluble backing is placed on the front of the fabric while the embroidery process is taking place.

5. Fusible Backing

Fusible embroidery backing is embroidery backing that is fixed to the fabric you want to embroider by heat. You can iron it onto the fabric for the fastest way to fuse it onto the fabric.

The only problem with fusible backing is that it is difficult to remove from the fabric once the embroidery process is complete.

6. Cap Backings

Cap backings are backings used when you are embroidering caps. Cap backings ensure that the caps’ fabrics are not bunched up into the embroidery machine. Caps have hard fabrics. Using an embroidery backing ensures that the embroidery machine works smoothly on the fabric.

Cap backings are easily removed from the cap once the embroidery process is complete. It is easy to hoop and helps to maintain proper cap structure during and after embroidering is complete.

How To Buy The Right Backing

1. Type Of The Backing You Need

The main factor you need to consider before buying embroidery backing the type of backing you need to use. Different types of fabrics need different types of backing. Using the wrong backing for a piece of fabric or garment may cause your embroidery to go wrong. Thus spoiling your fabric.

Check how much the fabric stretches to determine what type of backing you need. Embroidery backing is used to stabilize the fabric to ensure that embroidery is done properly.

2. Weight Of The Fabric

When you need to buy embroidery backing, you need to consider the weight of the fabric that you want to embroider. The lighter the fabric being embroidered the heavier the embroidery backing you need.

3. Purpose of The Fabric

If you are embroidering a fabric or garment that will be used and washed regularly, you need to use a permanent embroidery backing. A backing that is not water-soluble or one that will be affected by water.

If you have a light-colored fabric, you will need a backing that will not show through the fabric. Once you have completed your embroidery if you use permanent backing make sure that it is light enough to not be visible through the fabric.

4. Consider The Embroidery Design

It is also important that you consider the embroidery design you want to embroider onto your fabric. If your embroidery design has a lot of stitches, you need a heavy embroidery backing to ensure that your embroidery design is properly fixed on the fabric or garment.

5. Appearance

Consider what you want your fabric or garment to look like when you choose your embroidery backing. If you want to have bulky embroidery on your garment, you will need a heavy embroidery backing.

If you want to have an invisible backing, you will need to buy a no-show type of backing that will not be visible behind the embroidery on your garment.

6. Price

Embroidery backing is relatively cheap. You can buy it rolls or in pieces for a few coins. For large embroidery projects, you need to buy rolls of backing. For smaller projects, you can buy smaller embroidery backings that will be enough for the size of your project.

7. Washable

If you are going to use embroidery backing for your garment, make sure that they are washable or can be dry-cleaned. Washable embroidery ensures that you can wash your garment as many times as possible without the embroidery backing washing off, shrinking, or destroying the garment.

8. Perforation-resistant

When buying embroidery backing, make sure that you choose a stable embroidery backing. An embroidery backing that will handle the embroidery threads and needles. An embroidery backing that will not be easily perforated by the needles used for embroidery.

9. Texture or Hand Feel

Most embroidery backings are smooth to touch. Other heavier backings may feel heavy when touched. Since most backing is within a garment, it needs to be smooth.

When the backing touches a part of the body, it should be soft and not rough. Choose smooth backings for all your embroidery projects.

Benefits Of Using Embroidery Backing

Many embroiderers use embroidery backing in many of their projects. There are many benefits of using embroidery backing.

First, using embroidery backing ensures that the embroidery design doesn’t pucker when being stitched. Embroidery backing ensures that your embroidery process is smooth and that the result is appealing.

Secondly, embroidery backing makes it possible for embroidery to hold onto the fabric that it’s stitched on permanently.

Another benefit of embroidery backing is that it can be easily removed after the embroidery process is complete. Different types of embroidery backing can be removed differently from tearing away to dissolving it in water.

Can You Embroider Without A Hoop?

Many embroiderers love to use hoops for their embroidery. A hoop is used to stabilize and set the fabric or garment for embroidery. If you are embroidering, you use a hoop to make sure that your fabric is held in place.

If you can use anything else to stabilize your fabric or garments for embroidery, then you don’t need a hoop. This means that you can embroider without a hoop if you like.

The most common way to embroider without a hoop is by using your hands, You can hold and pull the fabric with one hand while you use the other hand to sew your embroidery. Hand embroidery requires lots of practice to get it right.

You also use a scroll fabric. It is a hands-free tool that enables you to carry out embroidery properly without a hoop and do it perfectly.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *