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Fabrics 101: Embroidering on Waffle Weave

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Waffle weave fabric is commonly used in most households, especially for kitchen towels, shirts, and long underwear. It's a fabulous choice for embroidery -- learn our top tips and tricks for stitching on the dips and dimples found in this fabric.

Project Needs & Notes:
- Waffle weave fabric
- Medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer
- Lightweight water-soluble stabilizer for topping

Designs featured in this tutorial include:
L3851, Folk Art Bird in Bloom
F7267, Help Wanted
A4676, Cappuccino
H9551, Tweet Snowflakes 2

Designs Used

Begin by washing and drying the waffle weave fabric or item to get any shrinkage out of the way.

Waffle weave is soft and stretchy, so use a medium-weight (2.5 or 3 ounce) cutaway stabilizer on the back.

Cutaway stabilizer is a non-stretch foundation that supports the fabric well, ensuring that all of the stitches in the design land neatly and evenly.

The material has dips and dimples, too.

Use a light-weight water-soluble stabilizer on top.

This helps to keep the stitches from sinking into the fabric.

Hoop all three layers -- cutaway stabilizer, waffle weave, and topping -- together.

Use a size 11 or 75/11 needle when embroidering on waffle weave fabrics. An embroidery needle is a fine choice.

After embroidering, tear the water-soluble stabilizer away from the top.

Cut the excess stabilizer away from the back. I generally leave about 1/2" around the design.

When choosing designs for waffle weave, keep the dips and dimples in mind. Choose designs with medium complexity, or greater.

Avoid designs that are light, such as Redwork. Those running stitches can get lost in the dips and dimples of the fabric.

In this example, the bird and the snowflake show up great. But the line that is connecting the two is not as noticeable as it would be on a flat fabric.

Compare that with this coffee design which has fills and satin stitches.

Those types of stitches are bold and hearty, and they  show up very well on waffle weave fabric.

The thick fills and satin stitches on this Folk Art Bird in Bloom design is a great example of the type of design that works well on waffle weave.

Update towels, apparel, linens, and more by embroidering on waffle weave. The fabric adds interesting texture while the design brings personality and style to the project.