Backing Embroidery with Felt

Learn how to finish off your piece of embroidery by backing it with felt.

For me, felt is the best way to finish embroidery - it's great for covering messy hoop backs, and keeps your fabric nice and tight at the same time!

Instructions (given in video):

  1. Take your finished embroidery, and trim the spare fabric around your hoop - leaving a few centimetres around the edge.
  2. Take your piece of felt, along with the hoop you will use to display your piece; then use a pen or felt tip to draw around the inside of your inner hoop, and cut out the circle. Set these aside for a moment.
  3. Thread your needle with a fairly long length of thread, and tie a big knot in one end.
  4. Flip your hoop (so that it's face-down), and do a simple running stitch around your fabric, staying about 1cm from the edge. Don't tie off at the end - leave the threads hanging loose for now. If you're using a different hoop for display (like me), then remove your fabric from the current hoop (if you're displaying in the same hoop, skip this step).
  5. With your fabric face down, place your inner display hoop in the middle of the fabric.
  6. Pull both ends of your thread, to bunch the fabric together at the back. Re-position and re-tighten the thread until you're happy with the placement. When you're happy, give the thread a good tug, and tie a couple of knots to keep it in place. Snip the ends of your thread off.
  7. Take your felt circle and another length of thread, knotted at one end.
  8. Come up through the felt, about 1cm from the edge.
  9. Place the felt down, then pass your needle down through your embroidered fabric diagonally - coming back through the felt alongside your first hole. Pull tight - and repeat!  This creates a simple whipped stitch, that will keep both your felt and embroidered fabric nice and tight.
  10. As you're starting, check that the felt circle is roughly lined up with the hoop. As you go, you'll feel the fabric and felt become quite tight - don't be afraid to pull the thread quite hard to keep the tension!
  11. On your final stitch, pull the thread nice and tight; then tuck your needle under the first stitch, to create a knot. Knot this a couple of times, to keep it secure.
  12. Snip off the ends; wedge your outer hoop into place...and you're done!

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