What is a Knockdown Stitch?

A knockdown stitch is more commonly used for personalizing towels, jackets, and blanket. Get to know the basics of this type of stitch.

Custom embroidery on a blanket, towel, or other “fluffy” fabric item adds an attractive and personalized element, but without a knockdown stitch, the stitching may get lost in the texture. Here, we explain how this stitch works and why it’s so important.

The Basics of Knockdown Stitches for Machine Embroidery

When adding a monogram or other decorative design to fabric with a great deal of nap (also known as pile or loft), using embroidery machines, the fabric’s texture can hide design elements and make it hard to see. For example, when adding letters on items like sherpa jackets, the extra fluff on the fabric will change the appearance of the finished monogram, even if it’s a contrasting or bright thread color.

A knockdown stitch solves this problem by adding a layer of thread underneath the design to hold down the fabric nap, making the finished embroidery design more visible and creating a more attractive finished product. You might also hear the terms laydown stitch, nap control stitch, nap-tack stitch, or tack-down stitch. The stitching is very light, with a fill density of only 10-20%, so the base fabric still shows through.

Stitch Colors and Shapes

The most common knockdown stitches for machine embroidery are basic shapes like circles, squares and quatrefoils, especially when the finished design is a name, monogram, or single letter. More intricate embroidery designs that use images have a knockdown shape that’s slightly larger than the overall design.

The stitches can be any color, but most people select a thread color similar to the fabric so the background stitches blend in. However, a thread color that contrasts with the embroidered design can also be attractive. Some designers add a satin stitch border in the same or a coordinating color around the knockdown shape to make it stand out even more.

When to Use a Knockdown Stitch

It is possible to embroider designs on high-pile fabric without creating a background first, but doing so requires choosing a bold design or thick letter for a name or monogram. Designs with thin lettering or many intricate details almost always look better with the background fabric stitched down.

Some people also choose to add this extra layer of thread as a design choice. Even when the fabric has minimal texture or the design would still show without it, an embroidered background can make design elements “pop” or create a more finished look.

Trust Affordable Digitizing With Your Machine Embroidery Projects

Affordable Digitizing makes it easy to turn your business logo, monogram, photo, drawing, or any other image into a digitized file for use with embroidery machines. Simply fill out the simple form, upload your design, and approve our proposal to receive a digital file or vector art within one day. Our team of digitizers has years of experience in machine embroidery, ensuring you receive the highest-quality files with everything you need for successful projects, including files for knockdown stitches.

Request a quote today, or call us at (239) 910-8021 to learn more about our services.