Roy Burton of Your Embroidery Services (YES) shares his tips for embroidering on knitwear

I know I need backing when embroidering knitwear, but which is the best type and what’s the best way to use it?

Backing is important when embroidering knitwear as it supports the fabric, stops it moving, and prevents the pattern going off-line. The best backing holds the fabric during embroidery without giving way, but tears off easily at the end without distorting the pattern. A 40 g backing is the most commonly used with many embroiderers using two pieces.

Much of the backing on the market has a grain and is, therefore, stronger in one direction than the other. If laid the same way two pieces are not that much stronger than a single piece: to increase the strength of your backing lay the two pieces at 90-degrees to each other. To remove the pieces you should tear each one separately.

Retro Tip: Many years ago, some embroiderers used the pages from the Yellow Pages Telephone Directory as backing. It worked – well sort of – but we wouldn’t recommend it today. For younger readers who may be scratching their heads, Yellow Pages was a substantial printed publication in those days and not just an online directory!


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Lay two pieces of backing with their grain at 90-degrees to each other for maximum strength