Cutaway stabilizers are probably not something we tend to use every day but we would not be tempted to exclude these useful stabilizers from our stash.



As mentioned in part 1 of this series, there are times when a tearaway stabilizer may not be the best choice for a particular design and/or fabric:

  1. If the fabric is too delicate, sheer or stretchy to tear away the stabilizer, a cutaway is indicated.
  2. If the digitizing is dense and the fabric needs a built-in support which will remain after the embroidery is complete. Cutaway is a good choice as excess stabilizer can be carefully cut away behind the embroidery but the bulk of it remains in place to support the fabric and stitches.
  3. Cutaway often looks like a soft mesh type non-woven and comes in different colours –  usually black & white are the most common. As the edges of this stabilizer will be seen at the back of the embroidery, it is a good idea to match the colour of stabilizer to fabric.  I remember rather ruining an unlined  knit fabric coat which did hang open when unbuttoned: I used white cutaway as I had no black at the time. The coat was black. Bad choice as I hardly ever wore the coat due to the white stabilizer edges showing!
  4. I have also sometimes used cutaway stabilizers on children’s clothing, linens and blankets/quilts when I knew the item would be washed and used/worn many times. Sometimes a little extra support to the embroidery allows for the item to look its best for a longer period!


Here is part of a chart courtesy of Pinterest showing where when to use to cutaways

Here is part of a chart courtesy of Pinterest showing where to use to cutaways. As we do not promote one stabilizer over another, please note that the brand names here are merely suggestions. There are many other comparable brands available which do the same thing.

And this chart from Kens Sewing Center offers information.

And this chart from Kens Sewing Center offers information.

Part 4 in our Stabilizer Savvy Series follows next week. 

About Liz Thompson

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for over 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to sew, read, knit , crochet, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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