The four types of stabilizers are tear-away, wash-away, heat-away and cut-away. They are available in various weights and styles such as adhesive backed, fusible and non-fusible. The type of stabilizer you use depends on the design you plan to embroider -- the thicker and more dense the stitches in your design, the sturdier the stabilizer will need to be. The type and thickness of the towels you will be embroider on is a factor in what type of stabilizer you need. On a tea towel made of thin fabric you could use a cut-away or tear-away stabilizer but to embroider a thicker, terrycloth bath towel use a wash-away stabilizer.
A tear-away stabilizer is used for temporary support of an embroidery design and is torn away from the fabric after you've finished stitching. This type of stabilizer is best used on firmly woven natural fibers.
A wash-away stabilizer is used for temporary support of an embroidery design and is washed out of the fabric after you've finished stitching. This type of stabilizer is best used on delicate, mesh-like and/or hard-to-mark fabrics with a thick pile like terrycloth.
A heat-away stabilizer is used for temporary support of an embroidery design and is removed with an iron after you've finished stitching. This type of stabilizer is best used on non-washable and delicate fabrics, so you would typically not use this kind of stabilizer on towels unless they are for decorative use only.
A cut-away stabilizer is used for permanent support of your embroidery and stay in the fabric after you've stitched your design. This type of stabilizer prevents the design from being stretched and is a good choice for items that will get a lot of use and washed frequently. This type of stabilizer is best used on loosely woven and knit fabrics
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