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Towel Tips

(Click to View All Images)

  • Banded Towel
  • Trimmed Decorative Towel
  • Embroidery Design

  • Final Product: What You Will Create

    There are two types of towels available for you to embellish. The first is a standard banded towel shown upper left and the second is a trimmed decorative towel. Buying a towel with existing trim is more luxurious right away and requires less decorative work. Unfortunately, there aren't that many different trimmed towels to choose from. We still show you later in this tutorial how to create your own trim.

    Towels come in many different finishes, the two most popular being looped terry and velour terry. If you have to choose between the two, always choose the velour terry style. Velour terry is flat and easier to embroider than looped terry. If you choose looped terry try to find a towel with small loops, fine design detail can get lost in long loops.

    Towels come in five sizes: bath sheet, bath towel, hand towel, finger tip towel, and wash cloth. The three most popular sizes for embroidery are the bath, hand, and fingertip. Bath sheets are too big to fold and display on a towel rack, and wash cloths are often too small. Try to find a towel brand that offers these different sizes. Below are shown the three sizes and the recommended design size for each.
  • Bath: 6x10 designs or larger work; the best for large towels. If you don't have a large enough hoop try multiple hoopings.
  • Hand: 5x7 designs; works well for hand towels.
  • Fingertip: 4x4 designs; works well for fingertip towels.

  • After selecting the proper design, placement on the towel is critical. Now you can technically place the design any place you want, but here are some guidelines on how we do it and how most decorators do it. The bottom of the design should be between 1.5" and 2" from the towel band or trim line of the towel. If you are adding your own trim it is easier to embroider the towel first. Here is a step by step guide on proper design placement for a bath towel.

    Hooping Tips

    Use a sturdy tear away stabilizer when hooping towels. People may turn them over and you don't want to see cutaway when they do. Use a water soluble topping for the surface of the towel. This prevents the design from sinking into the terry. The easiest way to do this is to hoop all three together, stabilizer, towel and topping. Avoid using sticky backing when embroidering towels. Sticky backing doesn't create proper tension and can cause problems when the design is running, especially on big designs.


    Step 1:
    The first three steps involve finding the center of the towel.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)

    Step 2:
    Steps one and two show us folding the towel in half lengthwise to find the center.

    Step 3:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    After the towel is folded step three shows us marking the center line with chalk.

    Step 4:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Open the towel up for step four and elongate the chalk line for easier visibility.

    Step 5:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Print out your design onto a piece of paper and trim around the design to get a better idea of what it will look like placed on the towel.

    Step 6:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Most embroidery software shows a center point on the design. This is very important for placement. If the center point is hard to see, make it darker with a marker or pen.

    Step 7:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Step seven show us placing the printout of the design on the towel for placement.

    Step 8:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    This step shows us lining up the center line on the printout with the chalk line.

    Step 9:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    After we find the proper placement we hold the printout in place with one hand and hold a ruler down across the horizontal center line of the design.

    Step 10:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    After the ruler is in place fold the printout over the over the ruler and draw your horizontal line.

    Step 11:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    This line will cross over your vertical center line giving you the spot to line up the presser foot of your embroidery machine.

    Step 12:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    The final step before hooping is to darken the chalk lines for easier visibility. Your towel is now marked for perfect placement.

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    Meet The Author: Steve Wilson
    Steve Wilson is co-owner of Anita Goodesign, a company serving the home embroidery enthusiast. He is also owner of Artbox Digitizing Studio and the co-owner of Art-Sew-Perfect stock design company. Steve has won over 20 digitizing awards, written over 70 articles on digitizing and embroidery techniques and has produced 18 digitizing "How-To" videos. He has also digitized thousands of designs for the home textile and decorating industries and is bringing that experience and expertise to the Anita Goodesign Home Decor Collections

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