Embroidery on Fleece

Fleece fabric can be quite difficult to embroider on as it has a surface pile and a slight stretch. There are two main types the first being Polarfleece, with the fleece on the surface of the fabric. The other type is commonly used for sweatshirts and has fleece on the inside. They can both be embroidered.

Stitch widths may need to be increased so that they don’t vanish in to the pile of the fabric; satin stitching should be used instead of running as an outline.
Negative spaces work well on fleece so designs intended for use for appliqué or open text can look very effective.

It is necessary to use an underlay to hold down the pile of the fleece. Most commonly this is two Tatami layers at different angles (1st Angle 45,2nd Angle 135) or an edge run with Tatami. Both of these will stabilise the fabric and hold down the pile.

A soft and strong tearaway backing should be used; designs with a higher stitch count should have a heavier backing.

If sufficient underlay is used then a topping probably won’t be necessary, dependent on the pile of your particular fleece.
If a topping is required then a dissolvable fabric will be the best solution.

When framing Polarfleece it is quite likely that a frame mark will be left on the surface of the fabric. Dark fabrics tend to leave a shine where the frame was applied, this being more prominent when using plastic frames; wrapping the frame with a fabric tape can reduce this.
To remove these marks the fabric can be steamed or a damp cloth can be run over the surface.
Great care also has to be taken so as not to distort the fabric when framing as it contains a degree of stretch.

A size 75 or 80 is suitable for most fleeces, with a ball point needle being preferable as it spreads the fibres instead of piercing them.

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