How to Embroider a Straw Hat

If you have ever tried to embroider a sun hat, you will know that the process is not as pretty as the end result.


Well, unless you have a special hoop, you will need to put these straw hats on (rather than inside) the hoop. This technique, known as floating, essentially means that you hold the stabilizer alone and attach the element to the stabilizer to secure it in place.

However, unusual shaped floating elements can cause them to drift while the machine is embroidering, which can cause the design to be off-center. Therefore, it is much better to use special rings, such as an 8 in 1 device or crafty Emma clamps.

What you will Need

  • One or two removable stabilizer sheets depending on the complexity of the embroidery design (A cut stabilizer sheet can also be used).
  • Water soluble stabilizer
  • Blank sun hat
  • Embroidery machine.
  • Thread embroidery scissors
  • Water soluble fabric feather
  • Fiskars fabric scissors
  • Dense and full stitch embroidery design.
  • Embroidered fabric markers (optional)
  • Temporary spray adhesive (optional)

Step 1: Prepare your Garment

Using a water-soluble fabric feather, place a mark on the fabric according to the center point of the design. You can find the center of the design on the production worksheet.

Note: You can find and print the production worksheet when you open the design in its embroidery software.

You can also apply a temporary adhesive spray on the removable backing to prevent it from slipping when placing the material inside the ring.

 Step 2: Place it on the Hoop

Lift the clamp lever to release the pressure, and slide the stabilizers between the clamps.

Then, fit the sun hat between the clamps until you have reached the area where you want to embroider.

Smooth the fabric, and pull the lever down to tighten the clamps.

Note: Make sure the removable backrest continues to cover all areas of the hoop as you slide the hat in.

 Step 3: Attach the Clamps to the Machine

Attach the brackets on the brackets to the brackets on the pantograph rail of your machine.

 Step 4: Stroke

Some machine panels include preset hoops that show your design relative to the hoop you are using. However, when special hoops are being used, you probably don’t have the hoop dimensions programmed into your panel. Therefore, you will need to center your garment manually.

To do this, align needle number 1 with the center mark you placed on your tissue. Then, it tracks your machine to confirm that its location is correct.

Note: Even if your machine has preset rings, you should use them to supplement (not replace) manual centering.

Step 5: Press Start … After this Quick Step

One last thing before pressing start: Place a heavy water-soluble stabilizer sheet over the top of your design.

This will help prevent stitches from being lost in the textured straw material.

Note: It is not necessary to put the water-soluble stabilizer with the material. You can simply “float” over the top of your design. Once the machine starts embroidering, the stitches will keep you alone.

Step 6: Do the Final Touches

Removes water soluble stabilizer from design. You can use a damp cloth to remove excess bits from the design.

If your design was not dense enough and there are some gaps in the design, you can also use an embroidery fabric marker (the same color as the thread) to cover up any mistakes.

Quick Tips

  • Special hoops are your best bet for fast and professional embroidery on an unusual shaped item.
  • For thick and stable materials, like straw hats, you can use the removable back.
  • For textured materials like straw, always use designs with solid fillings and put a water-soluble coating on your design before embroidery.
RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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