In part one, I discussed what embroidery toppers are and why they are useful. In this part, I will show you examples why you should use them in specific projects.
Embroidering on Fleece and Felt
Fleece and felt have a nap, so toppers help keep thread from sinking out of sight.
This monogrammed blanket project was stitched on fleece. Embroidery designs like this one, with solid fill stitching and satin stitching, can use either heat-away or water-soluble toppers. Both tear away easily, so you don’t need to use heat or water to remove the films.
Embroidered on felted wool, the valentine project needed a topper. Lots of detail areas in the florals, pearl edging, and text would make it difficult to tear away either type of topper. Water-soluble would work since the wool was felted and should not shrink any more.
Heat-away toppers will work too, so long as the thread is not nylon. Wool can take the heat. If acrylic felt is used, it could melt when touched with a hot iron.
Embroidering on Knits
You might not think that t-shirts and sweatshirts would need a topper, but using one makes a big difference in stitch quality.
The reason for using a topper on the bunny pull toy shirt project was two fold. One was because of embroidering on a knit. The other reason was because the topper held down the fibers of the fleece applique. That makes for cleaner satin-stitched edges.
Here, either type of topper would work. Each would tear away easily. Water-soluble left under the applique would eventually wash away. After heat-away was used, what wasn’t torn away would not be seen under the applique and would not change the softness of the shirt.