What Materials Are Used For Applique? (Explained)

Applique is a technique used in sewing where you stitch smaller pieces of fabric to a larger one to make a pattern or design.

There are many different types of applique styles that you can learn and get into.

One thing to consider before you start to get into the applique hobby is getting and having the equipment that you will need to start this hobby.

What Materials Are Used For Applique?

Applique can be used on many materials such as cotton, silk, linen, and wool. There are some machines that you can use on fabric, as well as many different needles. You can use either iron-on, tear-away, cut-away, mesh, or soluble interfacing.

Applique is a great way to create a custom design on your sewing or crafting projects.

What Materials Do You Need to Get Started With Applique?

Getting started working with applique, there are some things that you will need before you start.

Machine (Optional):

It is possible to do applique by hand or with a machine.

If you intend to do a lot of applique projects, it might be worth it to invest in a machine.

When looking at machines to use for your embroidery, you will want to look at machines where you can sew free-handed.

If you have a machine that does not allow you to sew without using your feed-dogs, then this is not a good machine to use when working with applique.

You can use an embroidery machine, a quilting machine, or a sewing machine as long as you can sew free-form.

If you do not want to sew applique with a machine, you do not need one and can sew applique by hand.

Applique Materials:

There are some materials that you will need that you might not buy when you are just doing a regular sewing project.

Make sure you have the following before you start your applique project:

  • Applique pieces: you can either hand cut these pieces, or you can buy pre-cut pieces.
  • Background fabric: this is what you will attach your applique pieces too.
  • Thread
  • Interfacing: you can use either iron-on, tear-away, cut-away, mesh, or soluble based on what your personal preference is.
  • Needles
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors or Applique scissors
  • Iron: this will be needed for fusible web interfacing.

If you have all of the materials above, you should be able to start an amazing applique project!

What Other Equipment Do You Need?

If you have all of the previous materials, you should be able to do an applique project with no problems.

There are other optional items that you can buy to help make your applique project easier.

The optional items that you can use to applique include:

  • Seam ripper: this will help you if you make any mistakes.
  • Tracing paper and Carbon paper: tracing paper and carbon paper can help you to create and transfer designs.
  • Fray check: this helps to stop the fraying edges of the fabric and can really help keep your applique items nice.
  • Press cloth: press cloths can be used between your project and the iron so that you do not risk getting your webbing on your iron, which can be a pain to remove.

These items, while not required, can help to really refine your applique project and take it to the next level.

These items can also help you if you are less experienced at applique.

What Are the Most Popular Materials to Use For Applique?

Applique uses a variety of fabric to make a design on your sewing material.

You can use a variety of fabric options, but you will want to make sure you carefully choose your fabric, keeping some considerations in mind.

If you want a quick option, you can always buy a pre-cut applique piece for your project.

If you want to create an applique of your own, there are some materials that work better than others.

Natural Fabrics:

Natural fabrics are the best options when it comes to creating applique items for your project.

Natural fabrics are ideal because they are a sturdy fabric that will have no problem supporting decorative stitching.

You will also want to consider a natural fabric for the background material so that you have a strong foundation fabric to add your designs too.

Natural Fabrics include:

  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Linen
  • Wool

These fabrics can be used whether you are doing machine or hand embroidery.

Blended Fabrics:

You do not need a fabric that is 100% cotton or 100% anything, and you can also use blended fabrics.

Blended fabrics can be a great option that provides you with a strong and sturdy fabric option for your applique project.

Blended fabrics can use a blend of two different types of natural fabrics or a blend of natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics.

Similar to natural fabrics, you will want to your blended fabrics to be strong so that you can use your decorative stitches on the fabric.

Some examples of blended fabric include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Cotton/linen blend
  • Cotton/polyester blend

The above choices are cotton blends, but there are many blended options that you can look into as well as different percentages of the same blends.

Synthetic Fabrics:

You can also use synthetic fabrics for your applique projects.

Just make sure that no matter what fabric you choose, it is a strong and sturdy material that will support the stitching that you need and won’t fray too badly.

Synthetic fabrics include rayon, polyester, and other material options.

Can I Actually Use the Materials I Prefer?

You can use pretty much any fabric that you want when you are making your applique project.

But there are some things you will want to pay attention to when picking your fabrics:

Fabric Strength:

Fabric strength is something that you want to consider when picking your applique fabrics.

You want to make sure you have a fabric that has a strong and close weave.

Having a strong fabric for your background is the most important so that it can support the applique pieces that you attach to it.

Care Instructions:

Another thing that you need to pay attention to is the care instructions of the fabrics that you are using.

If you do not plan to use all of the same types of fabric, you will want to make sure that your fabric choices all need to be taken care of in the same way.

If you have a fabric that isn’t machine washable, even if all the other fabrics can be washed in a machine, you won’t be able to wash your project, or you will ruin the fabric that isn’t washable.

You also need to make sure they can all be put in a dryer, or you will have to naturally dry your project.

This can be annoying to try to take care of a lot of different fabric types, so it is beneficial to use fabric options that all need to be taken care of the same way.