T-Shirt Embroidery | Everything You Need To Know

There are many people out there who would love to create their own custom embroidered t-shirts, but the problem is not everybody knows how to do t-shirt embroidery properly.

You must have seen how some people easily make embroidered polo shirts or other clothing materials without any machine and then wonder how the heck they do it so well!

T-Shirt Embroidery - Embroidery on T-Shirts

Well, in today’s guide, we are going to share some simple steps that you can follow to create embroidery on t-shirts.

We assure you that if you follow these easy steps, you’re going to make tons of custom embroidered shirts in no time!


Tools Required

  • Needle with a round end
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Iron
  • Stabilizer


Tip: Check out the top embroidery machines for this year here.


Steps to Make T-Shirt Embroidery

Here are the steps to creating T-shirt embroidery:


1. Fix the stabilizer in place

The first step is to look for an area where you want the design to be and then place the stabilizer right under it, on the inside of the shirt.

T-Shirt Embroidery

Make basting stitches around the stabilizer to hold it in place. Do not secure the threads while basting, but instead, leave about 5” long and cut the rest. This will make it much easier to complete the removal part afterward.

When the stabilizer is fixed, turn the shirt inside out again.

On the spot where the pattern lines, which are directly opposite to the one under, place another adhesive stabilizer and press it hard. You can either use the peel-off or the iron-on stabilizer for this step.


2. Put on the embroidery hoop

When hooping a fabric with stabilizers on, remember there is no need to stretch it again because, as we mentioned, the stabilizer holds it in place to ease your stitching process.

But you still need to tighten the hoop so that the entire thing will not move when stitching.


3. Complete Stitching

For stitching, use a round-end needle to prevent pulling the knit structure of the shirt. Tapestry needles are also ok to use for this stitching.

T-Shirt Embroidery

Although it depends on personal stitching styles, we would suggest secure weaving over tying knots when it’s done, so that the t-shirt embroidery looks appealing.


4. Cut Out The stabilizer

Before cutting out the stabilizer, remember to remove the basting stitches first.

If you’re using a tearaway stabilizer, start removing/tearing it from the edges and slowly moving towards the embroidered area. Make sure not to damage the stitches in the process of removing.

But if you’re using washable stabilizers, first cut all the excess bits and then soak the embroidered area in water until it is dissolved.


Stabilizer Type

For embroidery, we recommend using removable instead of leave-in stabilizers because it is softer for stitching and holds the fabric better in place.

Removable stabilizers come in many styles. Some of them can be removed by cutting, tearing, or even washing. You can choose anyone which seems to work best for your project.

Keep in mind that the use of stabilizers is to rid the need of stretching your precious fabric while stitching the embroidery.


Final words

Although embroidery can seem like a complicated task at the beginning, we assure that with practice, you’ll soon get better at it. T-shirts are a great way to start practicing as they are inexpensive and easy to work with. We hope our short guide was helpful for you to use on an upcoming DIY project.

Until next time, good luck!