A machine embroidered design can be placed on any fabric, including silks and soft wools, but producing embroidery that doesn’t pucker or change the drape of the fabric requires more than just embroidering the design. One thing that we need to realize is not every design should be used on every type of fabric, even with the proper stabilizer. Most digitizers design for a middle-of-the-road fabric type, so unless you have digitized the design yourself for a specific type of fabric, always do a test sew out on the fabric, using the same thread and stabilizer as you will use on the final garment or project.
A very dense design can put stress on fabrics such as knits and lightweight loosely woven fabrics, which in some cases can cause the weave to pull apart. If you have a very fluid fabric, a dense design will impede the flow of the fabric, and would not be suitable. The most successful combination of a dense design is with a stable, medium-to-heavyweight woven fabric.
However, if you have a design with substantial underlay, it would embroider beautifully on pile or fleece fabrics because the underlay will keep the pile from poking through the stitches. But this same design, due to the heavy underlay, may be too dense for softer fabrics. If you just have to have a fairly dense design on a lightweight fabric, the correct stabilizer will allow you to embroider the design, but you may run into the dreaded “bulletproof “ embroidery or ruin the drape of the fabric, so be aware that stabilizing a embroidery designis not always the answer. To avoid the “big three” when it comes to problems – puckering, poor fabric coverage or poor registration – correct stabilization, correct hooping and correct tension on your embroidery digitizing machine will not only make your embroidery much more successful but also make you enjoy the complete embroidery process, rather than dreading the end results.