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Video – How to Iron Embroidery

How to Iron Embroidery (without smooshing the stitches) - video

I’ve had a LOT of people asking me how to iron their finished embroidery. There’s a little trick to doing it without smooshing your stitches – and that’s what I show you in this video. Don’t worry – it’s easy and doesn’t require anything special. πŸ™‚

That bird you see in the video isΒ a free pattern. You can find it here.

And if it’s birds you like – you can find all my patterns featuring birds here.

Here are all the posts about finishing embroidery projects.

Basic Finishing

Other Ways to Use Embroidery

Return to the Learn to Embroider main Table of Contents.

Happy stitching!


  1. Ann Mary SAYS...

    Hi, Wendi Gratz.

    I’m really interested in you embroidery, I learn alot!
    Recently I’ve been doing embroidery without help and I figured out how to do it.
    My mom actually does embroidery so I do have someone to do it for me if I go wrong.

    Enjoy teaching embroidery. Thanks alot Wendi Gratz.

    Ann Mary

    • Linda Cottrell SAYS...

      This was a great tutorial Wendi!
      I have a question regarding your iron.

      I am using my 3rd iron in a year because I can’t find one I am happy with. I sew in my studio all day, and it makes me crazy to have to keep turning irons with auto-shut off back on.

      What can you tell us regarding your Oliso Pro and how do you deal with the auto-shut off feature?

      • It doesn’t shut off very quickly (I’m not sure what the time is, but I have to be away from it for a LONG time for it to shut off). When it does shut off, it doesn’t actually turn the iron off – it just goes on “standby” and you only need to touch the handle to turn it back on. It heats up really quickly, too.

  2. Choir Singer SAYS...

    Thanks for demonstrating so clearly how to get the fabric smooth and pucker free. I was blotting the embroidery on a towel before pressing to get most water out. Little things like that make a difference; I’ll leave it sopping wet next time.

  3. Nancy SAYS...

    This was nothing short of incredible.
    Thank you for showing us something wonderful yet again.

  4. Kimmy SAYS...

    Thank you so much for this – just in time as I’m having trouble with wrinkles in a larger embroidery piece.

  5. Kaity SAYS...

    Hi Wendi… What is the stabilizer that you mentioned in the video?

  6. Sandra SAYS...

    Enjoying the series very much. Thank you for this.

    • Wendi
      This is awesome. Thank you so much. I won’t dread ironing my work anymore.

  7. Iris SAYS...

    Wendi, I have trouble with my backstitching going wonky when I iron it. Could it be that the linen fabric I’m working with is shrinking and pulling at the stitches? What do you think? The stitches look fine before this final step. Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much for your tutorials!

    • It could definitely be the linen – it can be a very fussy fabric and different linens will shrink at wildly different rates. If you’re going to embroider on it and you want to be able to iron the finished project, I would recommend prewashing the fabric and ironing it too. That will preshrink it and you shouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. FWIW – some people recommend washing and drying linen three times to get all the shrink out – but I think that’s usually a recommendation for if you’re making clothing.

  8. martha SAYS...

    Thank you for your help on ironing and framing an heirloom embroidered piece. Your tips were spot on!

  9. Alaina SAYS...

    Hi Wendi,

    Your videos have been super helpful! I’m on my third embroidery project ever (yay!), and used a metalic polyester and vicose blend floss for part of it. Would you recommend any extra precautions for ironing to make sure it doesn’t melt or do other weird things?

    • Any time I iron something that’s not cotton, I always test on a small swatch first and use a press cloth if necessary. A press cloth lets you press almost any fabric – it’s magic!