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The Basics of Backing

16th December 2008

The Basics of Backing

The proper use of backing can make a big difference in the success or failure of your embroidery projects.  A average machine embroidery shop will need to have at least a stock of cutaway backing and a stock of tearaway backing on hand to ensure that the shop can handle whatever projects may come.  Shops that do a wide variety of projects may need to have a more specialized inventory.   If you’re new to backing or new to machine embroidery, here is a list of the basic supplies you may want to have on hand.

Item 1:  Cutaway Backing – Cutaway backing provides a stable base for delicate or stretchy fabrics.   This sort of backing is also generally cut with scissors around the finished design.   Cutaway backing is generally sturdier than other sorts of backing.

Item 2:  Tearaway Backing –  As the name implies, tearaway backing can be torn from around the stitched design.  Tearaway backing is a very popular stabilizer choice as it is easy to use and easy to remove from the finished design.   Good quality tearaway backing will tear easily in either direction and will tear away from the stitched design without damaging the garment or the stitching.

Item 3:  Water Soluble Backing –  This is a biodegradable backing/topping.   It is ideal for monogramming and appliques.  This is the backing you should use when you want to keep your stitches from sinking into the fabric that you are embroidering.   When soaked in water, this stabilizer dissolves.

Item 4:  Cap Backing –  If you often embroider hats and caps, you’ll want to have some of this type of backing on hand.  Our cap backing is our heaviest weight tearaway product.   Cap backing is designed to improve the crispness of letters and columns.

With this basic inventory, you should be able to handle the majority of jobs that come in to your shop.  If you are often asked to stitch designs on pieces that are difficult to hoop, you may want to consider adding some additional items to your inventory.   Peel and Stick backing  has a pressure sensitive coating and a release liner.  It is the ideal backing when you need to embroider small items that can’t be hooped.   If you prefer to use another type of backing, you may also coat your backing with spray adhesive, and hold the item to be stitched in place that way.

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