Embroider With Mylar

What is mylar?

Mylar® is a strong polyester/plastic film that was developed in the 1950s and gradually replaced cellophane as it was much stronger and more heat resistant. Mylar® is registered by DuPont Teijin Films and comes in a variety of different types, finishes, and thicknesses. It is used in many different ways, including food packaging, gift wrapping and other industrial forms.

The word mylar is often used to generically refer to any type of plastic film, particularly those used for gift wrapping. This is what is used by embroiderers.

You can find mylar that is suitable for embroidery in the wrapping paper isle of many Dollar stores or craft supply shops, or you can order it from online embroidery sites. It is a shiny opalescence gift wrapping tissue that comes on a roll or is flat packed. The mylar used in metallic balloons is not suitable for embroidery.

Please be sure to test your wrapping before stitching, as the mylar purchased from Dollar stores may not survive repeated washing. If it comes from China there may not be a check on the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, so if you intend your project for young children, you need to know it is non-toxic.

There are stores and sites that sell mylar suitable for embroidery and repeated washing.

Why use mylar with embroidery?

Using mylar with your embroidery creates a gorgeous glitter effect, and enables one to quickly stitch out designs that sparkle like never before.

Mylar is often much cheaper and easier to embroider with than metallic embroidery thread.

As the mylar film is only on the front of the stitch out, it won’t be itchy to wear.

Can I use any embroidery design with mylar?

Mylar designs are digitized specifically for use with mylar. They feature an open style fill, or motif stitch fill, that embroiders over the mylar to hold it in place, but still lets the shimmer of the mylar sparkle through the embroidery thread. The following example shows the digitized design on the left, and the finished stitchout with mylar inserted on the right.

You can find dozens of suitable designs in the Mylar Design Category at Secrets. These designs have all been digitized specifically for using with mylar.

Can I stitch mylar designs without mylar?

Yes, you can stitch all mylar designs directly onto fabric, without inserting the mylar film. Simply omit the applique steps in the directions.

Mylar designs will have a pretty vintage look if stitched directly onto fabric without mylar, however some could look sparse in places where the background fabric shows through.

You can also use Angelina Fibres in mylar designs, and even experiment with different types of paper if you are using the designs for cards or items that won't be washed.

Some mylar designs can also be used as traditional applique. These will be digitized with a wide satin stitch outline that covers the edge of the design, and the edges of the applique fabric. In this case, you can use any suitable applique fabric in the place of mylar.

Only a few mylar designs are suitable for applique. The horse design shown here is digitized with thin running stitch edges and won't be suitable for all applique fabrics. However, the rose design has wide satin stitch edges and is perfect for any type of applique fabric.

Be sure to refer to the directions given by the digitizer as to how you can use the design. If in doubt, experiment with different fabrics and stitchouts. You may be pleasantly surprised with your results.

Can I try mylar designs for FREE?

Click through on the following links to download these gorgeous freebies.

Be sure to check out the Mylar Design Category to find your favorite designs.

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