Top 10 Tips for Embroidering on Towels

For best results with your next project

Terry toweling is an embroiderer’s favorite because it’s widely available, versatile and a fairly easy material to work with. These look great as decorative pieces, yet are still sturdy enough to withstand the regular wear-and-tear towels go through. Not to mention, they make some fantastic personalized gifts! Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned digitizer, if you’re looking for a project that guarantees some pretty cute results, towel embroidery will be straight up your alley!

If you’re looking to jump right into towel embroidery, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 tips for embroidering on towels. Embroiderers of all levels should find something to learn. Let’s jump right in!


1. Wash and dry your towel beforehand

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2. Choose designs with solid stitching

These are better because delicate or thin stitches will get lost in the towel texture! Additionally, solid patterns and stitching are more stable and are better suited to the traditional wear and tear that comes with toweling. If you’re going to be using your towel (rather than simply having it on display) make sure you avoid designs with delicate stitching.


3. Play around with placement,and use what works for you!

For fool-proof placement, centre your design 4 inches above the lower border of your towel. This is the standard placement for larger ones like bath towels or beach towels and will look great when folded. Our handy placement guide for monograms is also a great reference tool. Click here to visit “Taking the Guess out of Monogramming” and download it for free.

4. Use an 11 or 14 sized needle

A 14 needle is extra sharp and is great for penetrating fabric without distressing it. These are the sizes that are generally recommended however they are not universal. Instead it is more advisable to use these sizes as a starting point and go wider or narrower from there. Again, it’s about trial and error and using what feels comfortable for you.

5. Use a cut-away stabilizer

Whilst you can basically use any stabilizer for towels, using a cut-away stabilizer will give you maximum support as it is the firmest stabilizer available.


6. But there are alternatives...

If you know that the back of your towel will be on display, some embroiderers prefer to use a tear-away stabilizer. Bits of your cut-away stabilizers will remain with your final project so if you don’t want this a tear-away stabilizer is a better option. For more information click here to visit our blog on “Taking the Headache out of Embroidery Stabilizers” and download the free stabilizer guide.

7. Use a water-soluble topping

It is highly recommended that you use a water-soluble topping. This is to ensure your stitches don’t get lost or sink into your towel. The topping will sit over your design as your machine does the work. It is a clear plastic material which can be easily removed by tearing and then wiping the remnants away with a damp wash cloth.


8. 'Float' your embroidery

Sometimes your towel may be too thick to hoop together with your stabilizer and topping. To remedy this you can ‘float’ your towel above your hoop. Click here to see how you can achieve this.


9. Use a spray-on adhesive

If you attempt floating your material, make sure you have a can of spray-on adhesive on hand! This will help all your layers stay in place and it won’t add any distress on your items. Note: some embroiderers do tend to use pins instead. It is completely up to the person and their own preferences but many people do think that adhesives are quicker and simpler!

10. Use a design template

This will ensure your placement comes out perfectly. There are templates that come with software and some that come with the embroidery machines. If your software or machine does not come with a template you can purchase them or download a basic one from the internet. Your Hatch Embroidery software will allow you to print out the design with reference marks that you can use as a template.

And a little something extra…

Use the Hatch Embroidery software feature “Auto-Fabrics” to pre-set your design to the type of towel you are using. Simply select your type of fabric and it will adjust the stitch settings to best sew on that fabric! Just one of the many amazing features in the Hatch Embroidery software.


We hope these tips are useful when you’re looking to embroider your towels! Projects involving towels are highly recommended for their ease and versatility. If you decide to try your hand at embroidering on towels, we’d love to see them! Comment below with a link or post them to our Facebook page.

Happy embroidering!

Kim and the Hatch Team

Hatch Embroidery software products are in popular use in over 100 countries. It is time to join the global trend and give Hatch Embroidery a try! The 30-day Free Trial grants you unlimited use of all the amazing features and the 30-day Money Back Guarantee ensures that there is absolutely no risk involved.