Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Embroidery on ripstop

CarolannB | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

Can anyone tell me what backing to use when embroidering on ripstop please (I think that’s what it is.  There are no clues as there are no labels in the jacket and I had not heard of this fabric before researching it on-line).  I have been asked by my granddaughter to embroider a jacket which she purchased as a present for her friend.  So far I have had to purchase 2 more to replace the one she gave me as when the embroidery is unpicked it leaves gaps in the fabric which are not always covered when re-embroidering because of the difficulty of getting the fabric back in the hoop accurately).  I cannot get the fabric to lie flat.  The ruckles round the embroidery are massive.  I have been using tear away and also have tried using spray glue on the tear away but neither improves the final appearance.


  1. User avater
    JunkQueen | | #1

    Carolann, I am, by no stretch of the imagination, an embroidery expert, but I think you may have to use a cut away stabilizer. Here is a link to a guide, which, by the way, you can print out for a handy reference if you need it.


    I hope this helps. And I expect some of the more experienced embroiderers (is that a word?) will have some suggestions, too.

    1. CarolannB | | #7

      Many thanks to JunkQueen, Meg and ThredKoe for their help regarding my question about embroidery on ripstop.  I have tried putting the tearaway on top and bottom and the result is much better.  I will try the suggestion to use cutaway as soon as I can purchase some. Have also tried all other suggestions with varying success.  I don't think it will be possible to get things looking perfect but so along as I can present my granddaughter with something wearable I shall be happy.  Also many thanks for the suggestions on covering up the ruined parts of the first two jackets - at least I can make them wearable again.  This has been an expensive exercise and I haven't told her yet of my disasters.  No doubt in times to come we will be able to laugh about it but I certainly won't be trying to embroider on ripstop again..

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #8

        Carolann, When I worked commercial embroidery, I hated doing nylon jackets because they always puckered. With time, they seem to unpucker somewhat. It was always a case of this is as good as it gets. Like I said, pressing or steaming helps. The firmer or heavier weight fabrics pucker less. The one thing I forgot to mention is makes sure you are using a new sharp needle. An old needle seems to make it worse. Cathy

        1. CarolannB | | #9

          I have at last finished my jacket on ripstop.  I got a much better result using 3 layers of cutaway underneath and one layer of dissolve away on the top.  It was at least wearable but not to my mind good and I did at least 10 experiments to get to this point.  Of course I still got it wrong.  I just don't know how, but despite spending hours marking up the jacket for the centres the design came out 1-1/2 inches left of centre.  Before I started sewing I got my husband to check out all my measurements and we put it on a coat hanger to see if it looked OK and tried the jacket on and everything was OK.  I even got out my instruction book and followed that to make sure I was doing everything correctly as I have only used my machine for a total of 80 hours since I had it and did not want to spoil another jacket.  I just cannot account for the discrepancy at all.  I spoke to Husqvarna who had several suggestions as to why it had gone wrong but none of them applied to what I had done.  The design I used only just went in the hoop so although I reversed it on the machine it could not have accounted for the discrepancy as there was nowhere for the design to go.  One suggestion Husqvarna had was that the centre of the design was not the centre of the hoop but again this was not correct so it will all remain a mystery.  It was made to look worse by the fact that the horse on the design had its tail in a horizontal line so most of the design was to the left.  I also had to put a name above the horse and also below so I had to then centre these on the horse design which I achieved without any trouble.

          My granddaughter was satisfied so that was the main thing and her friend to whom it was given was thrilled.  Several of her friends wanted one.  However I must say that I am never again going to embroider on ripstop.  One day when I have nothing to do I will try the embroidery again on a piece of fabric doing it exactly the same as I did the jacket to see if I can solve the mystery of why it did not come in the middle.

          Many thanks to all for their suggestions and help


          1. Pattiann42 | | #10

            I just saw your post and you have been provided with excellent information. 

            I may have overlooked it in the responses, but it is always best to do a test stitch-out on the same type of fabric and keep notes as to the type of stabilizer and needle used. 

            I mark a + on the garment, line it up in the hoop then jog the needle position to center. 

            It was very kind of you to respond back with an update and thank-you. 

            Sometimes I wonder what has happened as the requester just disappears.

            Best wishes for many successful and fun projects.

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            I found when I was working with designs, that the center of the design was not always the center of the hooped area. It sometimes seemed like a "box" was around the whole design and the center of this box was considered the center of the design. Sometimes, you almost had to visually center the design to see what looked right, rather than what the design decided what was the center. This is maybe what happened to your design. The horses head and tail were considered as part of the whole weight of the design, while we might have just considered just the horses body. Cathy

  2. meg | | #2

    Hmm. I don't do any embroidery myself, either, but what about using the tear-away on the top of the fabric and the heavier, cut-away underneath? OR, embroider the design on a similar-colored background fabric and stitching the patch on top of the rip-stop?

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #3

    Puckering is going to happen to some degree. It seems to be the nature of the fabric. It is very light and very tightly woven, so the needle going through the fabric displaces a lot of the threads. Double or triple up whatever stabilizer you choose to use. This will also tension the fabric in the hoop tighter. Putting a wash away or tear away on top will help as well. A wash away shows less from the front. Try also using a smaller needle. If the fabric has been treated on the back with some sort of waterproofing, it tends to stick to the needle a bit. Once the fabric has been stitched, the holes are permanent. Steaming or lightly pressing with a low iron will relax the puckering a little bit. You may also have to loosen your upper tension a little. To salvage the other jackets, embroider over fabric patches that you just sew on over the spots that were spoiled. This is another Idea if you are really frustrated with trying to embroider the jacket. Make a patch that can be sewn on, or cover the area with fabric, then embroider over the fabric, so that you can't see the puckers. Cathy

    Edited 8/1/2008 8:41 am ET by ThreadKoe

    1. rekha | | #4

      What an asset you are to this forum?

      Are you writing your memoirs or a book of these experiences?

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #5

        No Rekha, I just have had the opportunity to work at a couple of interesting jobs in the textile field. That is my thing I guess. I love fabric and anything to do with fabric and fabric embellishment. I have never stopped learning about it and I love to share what I have learned. I have always wished I could have worked more in the field, but that has never presented itself. Maybe some day, so I keep my eyes and ears open. What I really would love to do is teach. So now I am getting back into actually doing, and learning and sharing. Cathy

        1. rekha | | #6

          Hey, don't be modest.

          I think we all appreciate people like you who offer help/techniques/ideas for all sorts of projects.

          Of course, we never stop learning. In my case forgetting as fast as I learn!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All