There are a few tricks to getting your machine embroidery designs to come out perfectly, one of those being underlay stitching.

Used to form a secure foundation between the fabric and the stabilizer material, underlay stitching can make the difference between your design looking just right or it being puckered and warped even when your hooping is correct.

Understand the importance of underlay stitching when creating designs with a machine like the Melco Amaya Bravo and your embroidery will come out right the first time.

What Is Underlay Stitching?

Underlay stitching is essentially base stitching done with the embroidery machine that is applied to the design area prior to the actual design being stitched.

These stitches get covered up by the decorative stitching, are invisible in a finished design, and used solely to provide added fabric stability to the piece.

What Is the Purpose of Underlay Stitching?

Two common issues that can happen during machine embroidery even with Melco Amaya Bravo machines are shifting of the stabilizer or stretching of the fabric.

In either case, this can affect the design as it’s being stitched, reducing the quality of the finished piece.

If the stabilizer is not fixed securely to the fabric or the fabric stretched during stitching, you may be left with puckered fabric around the design, poor stitch coverage, uneven stitching, and warped designs.

Since hooping alone does not always ensure that the stabilizer and fabric will remain securely together, underlay stitching to bind the two layers together is the perfect solution.

Using the right underlay pattern, you can secure the fabric and stabilizer while also preventing the stitch area’s ability to stretch or warp while the design is being stitched.

How Is Underlay Stitching Done?

Underlay stitching is applied before the actual embroidery design is created, using a variety of stitch patterns chosen according to the attributes of the digital embroidery design.

It gets programmed into the design using digitizing software and then gets stitched down prior to starting to stitch the actual design itself.

There are four underlay stitch patterns used to secure the fabric and stabilizer layers for machine embroidery to create a cleaner look in the final design stitching:

  • Center-Run - A single line of underlay stitches that go down the center of a thin design like satin-stitched lettering our outlines.
  • Edge-Run - A line of underlay stitches that travels around the perimeter of the design just inside the outer stitch boundary.
  • Fill - A back-and-forth underlay stitch pattern that supports the inner area of designs with larger fill areas.
  • Zigzag - Used as a foundation when you want to use edge-run stitching and the design is not wide enough for fill-stitching yet too wide to rely on just the edge stitching alone, the zigzags tack down the mid-spaces.

The Value of Underlay Stitching

You can create some amazing things using a Melco Amaya Bravo embroidery machine; however, there is a wide margin for error when the fabric is not correctly prepared.

An important way to avoid fabric stretch, especially when embroidering knits or fabric and stabilizer puckering, is by putting down some underlay stitching first.

Underlay stitching to the thread is like the stabilizer to your fabric.

Apply this base under the main stitching and you’ll be much happier with the results you get from your Melco embroidery machine!