How to Do Machine Embroidery on Socks

By Carolyn Kay Neeley

If you own an embroidery machine, you can apply embroidery to your socks, although the stretchy nature of socks can cause problems. These steps give you tips on performing machine embroidery on socks without stretching out the socks too much and without them slipping all over the place.

Prewash the socks. Fold the cuffs and decide where you want your design to be.

Stretch the sock slightly, estimating how much you think it will stretch when worn. Place two straight pins in the sock, on either side of where you want the design (put the pins through only one layer). For example, for a design that is 1 inch wide, place the two straight pins about 1 inch apart when the sock is stretched.

Pin the other sock in the same way, but make sure your design will be on the opposite side when worn.

Place a square of poly mesh stabilizer in your embroidery hoop, stretched taut.

Uncuff the socks, keeping the pins in place, and lay them side by side on the poly mesh stabilizer inside the embroidery hoop.

Use more pins to pin the cuffs of the sock to the poly mesh stabilizer, so that the pins that measure your design show and the socks are stretched to the appropriate size. Pin at the hem of the cuff and at the bottom of where your design will be, and pin down the other side of the sock cuff so that it doesn't get in the way. Remember, you will be embroidering on the "inside" of the sock so that when you put it on and cuff it, the design will be on the "outside."

Turn on your machine and set it with the correct design. Position your embroidery hoop with the first sock in the right starting position for your design.

Embroider your design. Then position the hoop so that the other sock can be embroidered, and embroider that sock.

Remove the pins from the socks, and trim the poly mesh stabilizer around the designs.

Tip

For best results, always use the manufacturer's recommended settings, threads and needles for your machine.