To prevent wrinkles and other problems, the fabric must be stabilized. The method of stabilizing depends on the type of machine, the fabric type, and the design density. For example, knits and large designs typically require firm stabilization. There are many methods for stabilizing fabric, but most often one or more additional pieces of material called stabilizers or interfacing are added beneath or on top of the fabric, or both. Stabilizer types include cut-away, tear-away, solvy water-soluble, heat-n-gone, filmoplast, and open mesh, sometimes in various combinations.
For embroidered wearable items, the fabric is placed in a hoop. This is then attached to the machine . An X and Y drive mechanism moves the hoop under the needle following the design coordinates created when the design was digitized for embroidery.