Everything you need to know when embroidering on felt
Felt is a fantastic versatile material with many uses. It is a very popular material among machine embroiderers because it is really easy to work with. It does not fray when cut and it does not pucker. Felt provides a sturdy base, yet is flexible enough to be used in a variety of different projects including clothing, accessories, decorative and home wares.
Felt is also great to work with if you are just starting out, or even if you are a seasoned embroiderer, because working with felt is just so hassle-free and enjoyable! So if you want to start working with this fabric, read on to learn about the things you should keep in mind.
Felt differs from most other materials because it does not consist of any threads that are woven, sewn or knit together. Instead felt has a similar consistency to steel wool. It is made up of many tiny fibers that are tightly packed together. Felt can be constructed out of either wool, polyester or acrylic. Wool felt is the most popular because it does not have a tendency to unravel, is much sturdier, less prone to pillage and will hold its shape. Wool felt is considered a little more luxurious and is pricier. Many embroiderers choose to combine different types of felt, for example, wool for accents and acrylic for the main body. This is a great way to maintain a reasonable budget while also getting to test out different types of material!
Stabilizers for Felt
Because felt is a fairly stiff material, you might feel that there is no need for stabilizers. For best results we do recommend using a middle-weight tear-away stabilizer for a regular embroidery design as felt is strong enough to withstand the tearing motions. For larger designs with a lot of stitches or lighter weight felt, a middle-weight cut-away will work well. Sprinkle the the stabilizer with a temporary spray adhesive and smooth the felt over it.
If the felt you are using is a denser, plusher material, you may need to use a stabilizer over it (topping) to prevent stitches from sinking in. Water-soluble stabilizer is a good option as this will leave little to no trace of residue on your design.
Embroidery Needles for Felt
It is generally recommended that you use a sharp needle when embroidering on felt. A fairly common size would be about an 11. This will give you a neater, clearer stitch. The durability of the felt will also compliment the sharpness of the needle, meaning that the needle will not cause excessive distress to the fabric as would happen with fabrics like cotton.
Read our earlier article on machine embroidery needles here.
Felt Project Ideas
There are so many things you can create with felt and machine embroidery. We listed a few here to start you off and give you some inspiration.
Personalized Gift Tags
We appreciate your feedback. Please let us know how useful you found this article in a comment below.
Bernadett and the Hatch Team