Embroidery Machine Terms You Need to Know First

Embroidery machines can impart lots of charm, beauty, flair, and character on anything you create with cloth. These days it is the machine to go to if you want to create designs in a fast and convenient fashion.

This is why plenty of fledgling designers who take on embellished and embroidered designs make use of an embroidery machine.

The price rates for models vary from three hundred, up to thousands of dollars. Prices are often based on the model’s available features and options, the size of embroidery that the model can manage, and the software that it will work with.

There are models that combine both sewing and stitching or embroidery functions, and there are some which can only tackle stitching designs. Usually, embroidery machine brands with models that provide sewing capabilities are priced higher. They often include a detachable stitching part so the machine will suit any kind of sewing that is required.

Whether you are tackling sewing and embroidery as a recreational activity, or plan to use it for business, you have to familiarize yourself with the whole pursuit first. Here are some of the terms you need to know before getting into an embroidery project with such a machine.


Embroidery machines include hoops that seamstresses or tailors can connect to the machine. Hooping means placing the fabric into the hoop, stretching it tight, ready for either the machine or hand-stitching.

Tautness and stabilization are two crucial factors while working on this kind of machine. It differs from doing stitches by hand, or punch needle embroidery (see magic embroidery pen), because the fabric should remain in the same position over the course of the embroidery.

Once the fabric slips out, the design will not be employed correctly, ruining it. To check if the fabric moved, look at the borders; if the border does not line up with the complete design, the fabric moved out of place.


Embroidery machines employ the use of a darning foot that, in reality, does not work with the fabric. It also lacks a feed dog beneath the fabric to keep it positioned where it belongs. The stabilizer is capable of making the fabric rigid enough as the machine gets to work on it.

There are actually a range of stabilizers with a variety of uses. Several stabilizers are employed beneath the fabric that a seamstress is working on while some are employed on top of the fabric.

Certain fabrics, like terry cloth, require the help of a stabilizer on top to affix them and keep the fabric from prodding throughout the design.

Stabilizers that are water-soluble melt away in water while stabilizes that use heat get changed into ash once an iron is applied on them. Those stabilizers will leave tracks on the fabric, but will help position the material in its place.


Digitizing is a procedure which involves getting any kind of image and transforming it into a language that the machine will be able to comprehend by means of appropriate software.

As soon as the picture or image has undergone the digitizing process, the machine will then know what it is supposed to do so it can embroider the image.

This is a fairly easy process, provided you know how to work with computer graphics and are persistent enough to know what it takes to grasp the procedure.

Free Motion Embroidery

Free motion embroidery is actually a fun process. Although it does not need the help of an embroidery machine, users will get to produce their own design by means of a sewing machine to draw and fill their designs in by hand.

The darning foot is used while the feed dog of the sewing machine is let go. The test here is to maintain movement of the hands in complete harmony with the sewing machine to produce smooth, level stitches.

To make freehand embroidery easier, there are now several sewing machine companies who provide stitch regulators.