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How To Do Hand Embroidery on Knit Fabric – video

Yes! you can do hand embroidery on knit fabric like T-shirts. This video shows how. :-)

Want to learn the basics of hand embroidery with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Embroidery 101 here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, the four most basic stitches, how to transfer your pattern and how to display your work.

If you already know the basics – sign up for Embroidery 201. It’s also free! You’ll learn how to stitch on specialty fabrics like felt and stretchy T-shirts. Plus you’ll learn lots and lots and LOTS more stitches – all my favorites!

 Can you do hand embroidery on knit fabrics like T-shirts? I get this question a lot – and the answer is a resounding YES!

I love to embroider on T-shirts, but you can’t just pop a stretchy fabric into a hoop and start stitching away. Well – you can – but the results will be terrible. The fabric will stretch but your stitches will not, so when you take it out of the hoop you’ll have big, loopy, awful stitches.

There’s one simple thing you need to do in order to do hand embroidery on knit fabric. Trick it into thinking it’s a woven fabric! The secret is stabilizer.

I mentioned a product in the video and promised a link in the post – so here it is. The product is called Sulky Totally Stable. But. . .

Update – After I recorded this video I discovered another product that I like even better for hand embroidery on knit fabric. It’s so fabulous it gets its own video – you can watch it here. I don’t mention stretchy fabrics in that video – but I’ve tested it on T-shirts since then and it’s an absolute dream. No marking on the T-shirt, totally stable to stitch, and no stabilizer bits to pick out of the back – it just rinses away like magic. And I love magic.

Go grab a plain T-shirt and embroider something fun on it. 🙂 (If you’re looking for that cute puppy – you can find the pattern here.)

Happy stitching!

That's me!


  1. yay wendy! thank you SO MUCH for posting this. i can’t count the number of times i have tried to figure out the secret of embroidering on knits. i’m beginning and self-taught, so interfacing isn’t something i know much about.

    thank you!
    thank you!

  2. You’re so very welcome! I remember the first time I successfully embroidered on a T-shirt. So satisfying! Now it’s probably the things I do most often.

    Happy stitching!

  3. Anonymous SAYS...

    Can I use freezer paper to have the same stabilizing effect? I bought a HUGE roll and want to use some of it up!

    • Anonymous SAYS...

      I have use parchment paper before and it worked (cotton fabric)

  4. Sorry – I don’t think freezer paper will work nearly as well. It’s far stiffer than the Sulky stabilizer and it will peel off WAY too easily.

  5. Embroidered polo shirts are popular because they are simple, convenient and comfortable. One of the reasons that these shirts are comfortable is because they are mostly made from material that is absorbent and kind to the skin.Tshirt Design

  6. Gwen SAYS...

    Thank you so very much for your helpful video…it has been fantastic

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I’m glad it was helpful. 🙂

  7. Pam SAYS...

    Does it work on linen?