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How to Machine Embroider a Towel

If you are lucky enough to own an embroidery machine, you will love this thorough video and written instructions teaching how to machine embroidering on towels.

Machine embroidered towels can be personalized and make wonderful gifts! The pattern for this example is a Love motif, and there are many more patterns to be found at the bottom of the page.How to Machine Embroider a Towel - fb

What kind of towel do you use for embroidery?

Although any towel can be used for embroidery, machine embroidery on terry cloth towels is a bit different than using the machine to embroider on other fabrics. 

Towels have a nap, or loops, on them that can engulf the embroidery threads. This nap can make it impossible to see the towel embroidery if special steps are not taken.

What stabilizer do you use when embroidering on towels?

To embroider on towels, two stabilizers must be used. 

For this demonstration, Sulky Tear Easy Lightweight Tearaway Stabilizer is used on the back of the machine embroidery, although tear-away or cut away stabilizer can be used.

On the top of a fluffy towel, a water soluble stabilizer is a must.  For this tutorial, Super Solvy by Sulky, a clear stabilizer that makes it possible to see the embroidery while working on it, is used. 

Although the former is recommended, there is a fabric mesh water soluble stabilizer that can also be used. 

Check out our page on machine embroidery stabilizers for more information!

This tutorial gives all of the tips and tricks to successfully towel embroidery by machine!  This is machine applique embroidery, however the technique is the same for filled in embroidery patterns on a towel.

For more detailed information on the applique process, watch a complete and detailed video on how to machine embroidery applique. 

Learn to machine embroidering towels by watching our video or scroll down to keep reading this post.



COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link How to Machine Embroider a Towel to watch in Youtube.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

WHAT YOU NEED to machine embroidery a towel

  • Towel to be embroidered
  • Embroidery machine
  • Embroidery machine thread
  • Embroidery pattern (for information on patterns, there are great links shared at the end of the post)
  • Sulky Tear Easy tear-away stabilizer
  • Super Solvy Stabilizer by Sulky
  • Fabric to be appliqued
  • Curved embroidery scissors
  • Spray adhesive

Machine Embroider a Towel 1 Finished Love Towel

INSTRUCTIONS for machine embroidery on towels

STEP 1: CUT top and bottom stabilizers to fit the bottom hoop

Two stabilizers will be used in the towel embroidery process.  Sulky Tear Easy tear-away stabilizer is used on the back of the towel,Machine Embroider a Towel 2 Tear Away Stabilizer

and Super Solvy stabilizer by Sulky is used on the top of the towel.Machine Embroider a Towel 3 Water Soluable Stabilizer

Cut the stabilizers large enough to cover the bottom hoop of the embroidery machine.

Machine Embroider a Towel 6 Place Tear Away Stabilizer across Hoop

step 2: decide where to place the embroidery design

Begin by folding the towel in half where it would hang on a towel bar.  It is important that the embroidery not be placed too high near the fold at the top.  Towels usually have a border along the short edge. 

For this tutorial, the towel embroidery design will be centered just above the border on the short edge. 

Feel free to experiment with the placement.  It can be higher or to the left or right of center.

For this center placement today, find the center of the towel by folding it in half lengthwise.  The fold is the center of the towel.  Using your hands, make a crease along the fold in order to see the location once the towel is opened.

Machine Embroider a Towel 5 Crease Towel

step 3: Place Towel and bottom Stabilizer in the hoop

In step one, the Sulky Tear Easy tear-away stabilizer was cut to size. Open the folded towel. Lay the stabilizer over the bottom hoop and slide it under the towel, moving the hoop until it is centered.

To center the towel in the embroidery hoop, use the crease that was made to find the center of the towel and match it with the center marks in the top hoop.

Machine Embroider a Towel 7 Place Top Hoop

Snap the towel and bottom stabilizer in the machine embroidery hoop. Make sure both fabrics are nice and taut.

step 4: lay the water soluble stabilizer on top of the embroidery hoop

The Super Solvy stabilizer by Sulky was cut to size in step one.  Lay this water soluble stabilizer on top of the towel in the hoop. 

Machine Embroider a Towel 8 Hoop Top Hoop

Some choose to "float" their towels for machine embroidery. To float the towel, hoop the bottom stabilizer and lay the towel on top. A spray adhesive is used to secure the towel.

Keep in mind, however, that this technique often makes it more difficult to get the fabrics into the correct position.

step 5: Sew the placement stitches

Place the hoop into the embroidery machine. The machine will sew a placement stitch over the stabilizer on the towel. In this design, it is the heart shape.

Machine Embroider a Towel 10 Stitch First Step placement stitch

The placement stitch shows where to lay the applique fabric for the applique embroidery.

step 6: place the applique fabric

Cut a piece of fabric that is large enough to cover the placement stitches plus a bit more. It is important that the fabric is large enough for all of the embroidery stitches to cover the fabric completely.Machine Embroider a Towel 13 Spray Adhesive

Using a spray adhesive, spray the back of the piece of applique fabric. Gently lay this fabric over the placement stitches embroidered on the towel.

Machine Embroider a Towel 14 Trim Around

Place the hoop back into the embroidery machine where the applique stitching will be done.

Machine Embroider a Towel 12 Cut Fabric to cover

When the fabric is sewn on, remove the hoop from the machine.

step 7: cut away the extra applique fabric

Using the curved embroidery scissors, cut away the excess applique fabric close to the stitch line. Be careful not to cut the stitches, the towel or the top stabilizer piece.Machine Embroider a Towel 15 Trimmed

Keeping the small curved scissors flat will help avoid cutting into these areas.

step 8: repeat steps 5-7 for the remainder of the embroidery design

Continue with the entire embroidery design by following steps five through seven until all of the parts of the design have been embroidered on the towel.

Machine Embroider a Towel 17 Remove Hoop

Once the satin stitch has covered all of the other stitches, remove the towel from the hoop.

step 9: tear away top and bottom stabilizers

The final step is to remove the excess stabilizer.  Gently tug on the top stabilizer, being careful not to dislodge any stitches. 

Machine Embroider a Towel 18 Remove Extra Water Soluable Stabilizer

Any remaining top stabilizer will wash out since it is water soluble. 

Machine Embroider a Towel 19 Remove Tear Away Stabilizer

Finally, gently tear away or cut the excess stabilizer on the bottom of the towel.  Again, if tearing, do this carefully so any machine embroidery stitches on the towel are not loosened.

The machine embroidery towel is now complete!  Hang your towel with pride! 

Speaking of hanging towels, a wonderful hanging towel tutorial uses kam snaps to hold the towel on the bar. Check out this towel kam snap tutorial!

Machine Embroider a Towel 20 Completed Towel

We hope that you enjoyed this tutorial showing how to machine embroider a towel.  Once you get started, you won't want to stop! 

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

More Embroidered Towel ideas

If you want to try another, grab some more towels and take a look at these other adorable machine embroidered towel ideas! 

here is another machine embroidery project for the kitchen!

Machine Embroidered Apron

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

All About Blanks

This is the web site to purchase blank towels and lots of other machine embroidery blanks.

Applique Scissors

Applique Scissors #ad

Curved or duckbill scissors are essential for trimming the fabrics. Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

Big One Kitchen Towel Set 5 Pack.Khaki Striped Chevron Pattern

Big One Kitchen Towel Set 5 Pack.Khaki Striped Chevron Pattern #ad

Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

Cutaway Stabilizers by DIME

Cutaway Stabilizers by DIME #ad

Embroidery stabilizers and topping from dime are the best available anywhere in the market. Shrink-wrapped product comes in our new revolutionary Forever Label system with a permanent, color-coded fiberboard ring with easily identifiable usage icon. Affiliate Link to DIME

Embroidery Machines

Embroidery Machines #ad

Amazon has a huge selection of embroidery machine. To see the selection, click the link. Affiliate Link to Amazon

KAF Home Pantry Piedmont Kitchen Towels

KAF Home Pantry Piedmont Kitchen Towels #ad

Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

Kitchen Towels

Kitchen Towels #ad

Hugh selection of kitchen towels. Lots of colors. Get prices. Affiliate Link to Amazon

Kitchen Towels #ad

100% cotton, 18" x 28". Towels come in multiple color, flat woven fabric is perfect for monogramming, machine embroidery or printing for Mother Day's, birthdays and holiday gifts. Affiliate Link to Amazon

KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive - 4.2 oz.

KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive - 4.2 oz. #ad

Sulky KK 2000 is the only SAFE Temporary Spray Adhesive on the market that contains NO dangerous flammable gas propellants. This handy size contains up to 70% more usable product because it is made of a highly concentrated material, combined with a low-pressure spray, that eliminates wasteful over-spraying. It is Ozone friendly, containing no CFCs or HCFCs. Affiliate Link to Sulky Store

Love Scissors Applique Design

Applique Corner

Machine Embroidery Thread

Machine Embroidery Thread #ad

A huge selection of machine embroidery thread is sold at Amazon.com. Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

Perfect Placement Kit™

Perfect Placement Kit™ #ad

This kit contains: 11 Perfect Placement templates for linens, 4 Perfect Placement plastic templates for wearables, target stickers, text stickers, mini ruler and a guide. Affiliate Link to DIME

Sulky Cut-Away™ Stabilizers

Sulky Cut-Away™ Stabilizers #ad

Variety of Cut-Away Stabilizers perfect for Machine Embroidery Affiliate Link to Sulky Store

Sulky Tear Away Stabilizer

Sulky Tear Away Stabilizer #ad

Provides great stability combined with effortless removal that doesn't pull, tear or distort stitches Affiliate Link to Amazon

Sulky Tear-Away Stabilizers - Embroidery Backing

Sulky Tear-Away Stabilizers - Embroidery Backing #ad

Variety of Tear-Away Stabilizers perfect for Machine Embroidery Affiliate Link to Sulky Store

Sulky Wash-Away™ Stabilizers

Sulky Wash-Away™ Stabilizers #ad

Variety of Wash-Away Stabilizers perfect for Machine Embroidery Affiliate Link to Sulky Store

Target Stickers™

Target Stickers™ #ad

Target stickers can be used to help in placement of embroidery or when hooping embroidery blanks. Affiliate Link to DIME

Tear Away Stabilizers by DIME

Tear Away Stabilizers by DIME #ad

Embroidery stabilizers and topping from dime are the best available anywhere in the market. Shrink-wrapped product comes in our new revolutionary Forever Label system with a permanent, color-coded fiberboard ring with easily identifiable usage icon. Affiliate Link to DIME

Water Soluble Stabilizers by DIME

Water Soluble Stabilizers by DIME #ad

Embroidery stabilizers and topping from dime are the best available anywhere in the market. Shrink-wrapped product comes in our new revolutionary Forever Label system with a permanent, color-coded fiberboard ring with easily identifiable usage icon. Affiliate Link to DIME






How to Machine Embroider on a Towel


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