Embroidery Toppers Part 2: When They Should be Used

In part one, I discussed what embroidery toppers are and why they are useful. In this part, I will show you examples of  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.

Vintage Heirloom Monograms 2  by Hatched in Africa

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.


Valentine Roses 2 by Sweet Heirloom Embroidery

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.

Easter Applique by SewAZ Embroidery

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.