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This easy beginner embroidery tutorial will teach you how to embroider minky fabric. In this tutorial, I embroidered a cute diaper changing pad cover to add personalization to my daughter’s nursery when she was little. I liked the idea of embroidering her name on the top of the cover where it could be seen from the changing table. While I didn’t embroider the changing pad cover until she was almost 3 months old, it was still a cute, yet late, addition!
If you want to embroider a minky blanket or other minky project, here’s a quick tutorial to show you exactly what to do!
Characteristics of Minky Fabric
Minky, or minkee, is a fun, plush, soft fabric. I’ve embroidered minky blankets and diaper changing pads in the past as baby shower presents. They make a perfect personalized, embroidered gift idea! My daughter also has handmade burp cloths decorated with minky as well as soft toys and one store-bought lovey. While minky is not the easiest fabric to embroider (and it makes a huge mess when serging or sewing), it’s worth the extra effort.
Besides having a bit of stretch and instability, minky also has what’s called “nap.” This is essentially the fluff on the top of the minky fabric. Because minky has this fluff, it requires a layer of water-soluble topping over it. This topping will provide stability to the stitches and prevent them from sinking into the bottom of the fabric.
Supplies for Embroidering Minky
While there is some flexibility, here are the supplies I used for this tutorial.
- Embroidery machine and hoop
- Stabilizer: Medium-weight cut-away stabilizer
- Topping: Water-soluble topping, such as Sulky Solvy
- Needle: 75/11 embroidery needle
- Thread: I used 40wt polyester embroidery machine thread, but rayon would work also
- Temporary fabric adhesive (like Odif 505, optional)
- Small, sharp scissors
- Minky fabric
Best Stabilizer for Minky
Since most minky fabrics are slightly stretchy and unstable, a more stable, if you will, stabilizer is necessary. This means choosing a cut-away or no-show mesh cut-away stabilizer. This will best stabilize the fabric and provide support, especially for densely stitched designs. While self-adhesive sticky tear-away might work for some less dense designs, you’re best avoiding it, especially with dense fill-stitch designs.
Appliques are great for embroidering on minky as are fill-stitch designs. If you’re choosing a low stitch couunt design with several running stitches, just make sure it’s not going to get lost in the nap of the fabric! Monogramming or embroidering a name is also great, as long as the letters are dense enough.
If you’re looking for design inspiration, check out where to download free embroidery designs to see some of my favorite websites that offer great freebies.
How to Embroider on Minky: Step-By-Step
First, mark on the minky where you want the center of your design to be. In the case of my diaper changing pad cover, I used a water-soluble marking pen to mark the center for where I wanted the name to go. Usually, I’ll mark longer lines, but because the minky had the repeating, elevated dots, I figured I would be able to line it up using those.
If you aren’t sure where you want the design, you can print out a paper copy of the design from your embroidery software and use that to help you preview design placement.
Next, spray a light layer of Odif 505 on the back of the stabilizer. Then, adhere the cut-away stabilizer to the back of the fabric. Using temporary spray adhesive is optional, but I think it makes items easier to hoop having the stabilizer and fabric stuck together. Make sure not to spray too much, or you’ll gunk things up.
Then, with the stabilizer on the bottom and the right side of the minky facing up, hoop the two layers. (Read: how to hoop fabric if you have issues!)
Then, place the hoop into your embroidery machine. Make sure to move all the excess fabric out of the way of the embroidery area. (This prevents you from stitching two pieces accidentally together!) Once the minky project is hooped, place a layer of water-soluble stabilizer on top of the hoop. I prefer to float this on top of the hoop rather than try hooping three layers at once.
Check that you have the correct needle, upper thread, bobbin thread, and that your design is oriented in the correct direction.
Embroidering on Minky
After that, press start, and watch your embroidery machine go!
Once the machine has stopped stitching, remove the hoop from the machine, and remove your project from the hoop. Gently tear off the water-soluble topping from the top of the minky. If it doesn’t all easily come off, you can wash it away with water later. If you used a water-soluble marking pen, this can be easily removed with water as well.
Trim any jump stitches off the front of the project. (Sometimes this is easier with the topping still on.)
And lastly, cut the residual stabilizer away from the back of the minky. Cut close to the design, but make sure not to accidentally snip any fabric!
And that’s it! If you have any hoop burn, you can use a little Magic Spray sizing to get rid of it or wash the minky fabric in your washing machine. Luckily, minky fabric is durable and will withstand lots of washes!
I hope you enjoyed this beginner machine embroidery tutorial. Happy stitching!