Kimberbell Stabilizer Hoop-La: It's Tear-Away Tuesday, With All You Need to Know About Machine Embroidery Tear-Away Stabilizer!

Tear-Away StabilizerIt's Tear-Away Tuesday, so let's celebrate the remarkable role Tear-Away plays in the lives of every machine embroidery enthusiast! But before we start "rippin' it up" with the Tear-Away talk, let's briefly recap why stabilizer in general is so very, very important.

Stabilizer Overview

Stabilizer is a woven or non-woven material, often hooped behind fabric, that provides support and prevents moving, stretching, and distortion during embroidery. You see, fabric is pulled and pushed every which way during the embroidery process, with fibers continually shifting to make room for the stitches. Without the right stabilizer reinforcing the fabric and creating a solid foundation, your embroidery will have gaps and puckering and all kinds of problems. (And who wants that? NO ONE.)

Tear-Away & Fabric Types

As its name implies, Tear-Away is stabilizer that tears easily and neatly away from embroidered areas. Choose Kimberbell Tear-Away (labeled in shades of red) when stitching on tightly woven, non-stretch fabrics such as:

  • Cotton
  • Denim
  • Vinyl
  • Leather
  • Felt
  • Terry Cloth
  • Chambray
  • Poplin
  • Canvas
  • Anything else that's not stretchy :)

For example, use Tear-Away when stitching the Beautiful Blooms Apron from Kimberbell's Over-the-Edge Applique: Spring & Summer Celebration!

Tear-Away is wonderful for designs with large, open areas, and trust me--it's a pain to pick Tear-Away out of tiny, intricate spots! But for larger stitched areas like this where you don't want stabilizer to be visible, it's nice to simply tear the excess stabilizer away.


Kimberbell Tear-Away Machine Embroidery Stabilizer

Tip: ALL Kimberbell stabilizers have been thoroughly tested in our Product Development Lab, and each type continually proves to be of the utmost quality with consistently beautiful results on every project!


Tear-Away & Designs

Kimberbell Tear-Away comes in a variety of weights:

  • Light Tear-Away for lightweight fabrics and designs with a low stitch count (12,000 stitches or less)
  • Medium Tear-Away for medium-to-high stitch count designs (approximately 15,000 to 25,000 stitches)
  • Heavy Tear-Away for designs with a heavy stitch count (think 25,000 stitches or more)
Tip: The more stitches in the design, the heavier the stabilizer should be!


Kimberbell Tear-Away

Available at your favorite quilt shop, the Kimberbell Tear-Away line includes:

  • KDST100 Light Tear-Away 12" x 10 yds
  • KDST101 Light Tear-Away 20" x 10 yds
  • KDST102 Light Tear-Away Precuts 10" x 12"
  • KDST103 Medium Tear-Away 12" x 10 yds
  • KDST104 Medium Tear-Away 20" x 10 yds
  • KDST105 Medium Tear-Away Precuts 10" x 12"
  • KDST106 Sticky-Back Tear-Away 12" x 10 yds
  • KDST107 Heavy Tear-Away 12" x 10 yds
  • KDST108 Heavy Tear-Away 20" x 10 yds
  • KDST109 Heavy Tear-Away Precuts 10" x 10 yds
  • KDST136 Sticky-Back Tear-Away 20" x 5 yds
  • KDST137 Sticky-Back Tear-Away Precuts 10" x 12"
Tip: The precuts are wonderful for 5x7 hoops!

Sticky-Back Tear-Away

Kimberbell Tear-Away Machine Embroidery Stabilizer Totes


Are you wondering what Sticky-Back Tear-Away is? Whereas "normal" Tear-Away is a woven material of different weights, Sticky-Back Tear-Away has an adhesive side covered with a protective paper backing. After hooping with the paper side up, simply score the paper with scissors, peel back to expose the adhesive side, and stick those hard-to-hoop projects right on top!  Sticky-Back Tear-Away is perfect for tote bags, Zipper Pouch Blanks, collars, napkin corners, and so much more.


Kimberbell Sticky-Back Tear-Away Machine Embroidery Stabilizer


Tear-Away Tips

The Tear Test

If you’re wondering if unlabelled stabilizer is Tear-Away or Cut-Away (they can look alike at first glance), then go ahead and tear a little corner and if it rips easily, it’s Tear-Away! Our premium Kimberbell Tear-Away is made with a non-directional process, meaning the stabilizer is uniformly strong and will tear evenly in multiple directions. As there's no grain, it doesn't matter which way you cut or hoop Kimberbell Tear-Away!

Tear-Away Removal

When removing Tear-Away, use one hand to support the stitches as you tear the stabilizer away with the other hand (one layer at a time). While doing this, it's easiest to place your project, stabilizer side up, on a flat surface. As mentioned above, it can be difficult to remove Tear-Away from tight places, so you might consider leaving the stabilizer in place. (Tear-Away should eventually disintegrate with repeated washings.)

From Kimberbell's Vintage Boardwalk feature quilt to the Luck o' the Gnome Bench Pillow and more, Tear-Away is an important part of machine embroidery. We can't wait for you to experience the difference with Kimberbell's premium Tear-Away products! Find these products, Stabilizer Slap Bands, and more at your favorite quilt shop.

Tip: Remember that Kimberbell Tear-Away is labeled in shades of RED in your Kimberbell project instructions! With our color-coded system, shopping for stabilizer has never been easier.



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