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Rose embroidery on green chiffon

Sheer delight – embroidering on chiffon

Embroidering on chiffon can be a delicate matter, but getting good results is more than possible! Here are some tips to consider.

Keeping the flow

The two main factors to consider when embroidering on chiffon are preserving the drape of the fabric and dealing with show through.

To preserve the drape, your design needs to be chosen carefully. A densely filled design will create a hard patch in the fabric.  

Choose designs with running stitch or bean stitches, rather than fill stitches and satin stitch lines. Open and airy designs will be soft once all the stabiliser is removed and will result in a fabric that still drapes beautifully.

Choosing embroidery designs comprised of fewer colours is another way of keeping it simple. Also consider the amount of jump stitches – even if they are trimmed properly, less is definitely more in this case.

Embroidery design on screen of sewing machine
Here’s a great example of a good choice of pattern for embroidering on chiffon. The rose design has long fill stitches and minimal coverage. When previewing the design on the screen of the embroidery machine, you can see that the design is quite sparse.
Embroidered star on black fabric

Here's another great example. This star design is comprised of mainly running stitch lines, so the pattern feels light and not too heavy for the fabric. Choosing a darker fabric can sometimes help minimise the show through of jump stitches.

Stabiliser and hooping

Because chiffon is such a delicate fabric, a strong stabiliser is needed. At the same time, the stabiliser needs to be able to be removed completely.  

A nonwoven, water-soluble stabiliser is always recommended when working with chiffon. You can hoop the fabric with the stabiliser after fixing it with a spray adhesive. Or you can float the stabiliser if hooping will mark your fabric, or if you want to apply the embroidery to a garment that is difficult to hoop.

How to float your Chiffon

Step 1

Apply a water-soluble temporary adhesive spray to the water-soluble stabiliser.

Step 2

Place the inside of the hoop on the sprayed side of the stabiliser sheet (it will stick slightly to the hoop) and transfer these two pieces to the outside section of the hoop. Press down and secure the hoop.

Step 3

Now place the fabric onto the stabiliser and pat down, making sure to keep it straight and not distorted (no crinkles, stretched etc).

Step 4

You can also use pins outside of the embroidery area to secure (make double sure they are not in the way of the embroidery or running stitch). Consider a running stitch around your embroidery area – this will also help to keep the fabric in place.

Step 5

You are now ready to embroider! Load the hoop as normal, taking care not to disturb any of your layers while doing so.

Step 6

After embroidering, remove the hoop and pins. Cut away the excess of the water-soluble stabiliser without cutting too close to your embroidery. Then lay the work stabiliser side down and fold the fabric out of the way away, then cut around the design.

Step 7

Submerge in water to dissolve the stabiliser – then wash with a delicate wash solution and treat with fabric conditioner. Spread your embroidered piece out onto a towel to dry, and then gently press with steam and a pressing cloth.

And there you have it: a way to create beautiful, soft embroidery that will turn your floaty chiffon into an even more luxurious fabric. 


Other tips

  1. Test sew if possible using the same or similar fabric and stabilisers before you work on your final piece.
  2. Opt for rayon thread – it is a little plumper and softer than polyester.
  3. If the design is going to be visible from both sides, like a ruffle on a blouse, consider using the same thread on your bobbin as on top. This will mean that you must change the bobbin for each colour change, so you may want to consider this when choosing your design.



Credits for embroidery designs:
Sheer Beauty Roses (UT18377) and Iridescent Snowflake (UT21728) from Urbanthreads.com

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