How to Use Mylar Film in FSL Magpie Embroidery Designs

How to Use Mylar Film with Magpie Embroidery Designs
For Free-Standing Lace (otherwise known as “FSL”)
Mylar Film and supplies for machine embroidered designs by Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Photography by Margaret Hines.

You will need:

Embroidery scissors.

Rotary Cutter


Painters’ tape.

Paper towels for blotting excess water from rinsed design.

Parchment paper

11/75 sized machine embroidery needles

40 weight polyester Embroidery thread (wind bobbins to match top thread when creating free-standing lace designs

Any embroidery design specifically created to incorporate Mylar.  Mylar specific designs will have a lower fill stitch density than other designs that don’t use Mylar film in them.

Embroidery Design Production Worksheet (provided with design download).

Mylar Film can be purchased from the Magpie Embroidery Designs website.                

Select your embroidery hoop for the design size you want to stitch out.

Select your fabric and stabilizers for your project.


Step 1:

To help illustrate the use of Mylar film we will be describing the steps for our free-standing lace Mylar Xmas Trio design but you can use any mylar design in your design library.  


Hoop the water-soluble stabilizer fabric.  You will stitch the Mylar placement line directly onto the stabilizer. 

Run the first step of the design, this is the Mylar placement line.




 How to Use Mylar Film with Free-Standing Lace Embroidery Designs.  Hoop stabilizer. Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Photography by Margaret Hines.



 How to Use Mylar Film with Free-Standing Lace Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Stitch out the first step of the design.  This is the mylar film placement line.  Photography by Margaret Hines.


Step 2:

Cut a piece of Mylar larger than the placement stitches.  You can hold it in place with painters’ tape.  You might also have a bit of static electricity in the Mylar so it will often times just stick to the stabilizer or base fabric you are using without the painters’ tape.  Try it out and see what works best for you.  NOTE: Make sure your painter’s tape will not be caught in the stitch line.

How to Use Mylar with FSL Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Place Mylar over the placement stitch line.  Photography by Margaret Hines.

Run the tack down stitches to hold the Mylar in place. 



Step 3:


Run your fill stitches.  Remove the excess Mylar from the embroidery by gently peeling it away before running your satin stitches around the outside of the design. Tearing before running the outside satin stitches will help to hide any little bits of Mylar you can’t remove with your fingers or tweezers.

 Tear the Mylar inward towards the design.  This will help to tear the Mylar away cleanly. 



 How to Use Mylar Film with FSL Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Run the fill stitches.  If there is a satin stitch border around the design pause the stitching and remove the excess mylar.  Photography by Margaret Hines.



How to Use Mylar with FSL Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Gently tear the excess Mylar inward towards the center of the design.  Photography by Margaret Hines.


Step 4: 

Run the remainder of the design to finish up.

 How to Use Mylar with FSL Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Finish up the design by running the satin stitches.  Photography by Margaret Hines.

Step 5:

Un-hoop design and trim away excess water-soluble stabilizer.

 How to Use Mylar Film with FSL Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Unhooping and trimming excess water soluble stabilizer away from design.  Photography by Margaret Hines.



Step 6:

With a bowl of very warm water (hot enough to comfortably put your hands in without burning yourself) rinse away most of the water-soluble stabilizer fabric from the design.  You want to leave a bit of the stabilizer in the design so that when it dries there will be a bit of firmness to the finished design.  



 How to Use Mylar Film with Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Prepare a bowl of very warm water.  Photography by Margaret Hines.                                                                                            


 How to Use Mylar Film with Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Dip trimmed embroidery design in warm water to dissolve away stabilizer.  Photography by Margaret Hines.



Blot the excess water from your FSL Xmas Ornament between a couple of layers of paper towel.

Place the damp ornament on a sheet of baking paper/parchment paper on a flat surface.  Press flat with your hand.  I don’t use a towel since I have found them to transfer some of the terry towel “fluffies” onto the ornament and it cannot be removed once the water-soluble stabilizer remaining in the ornament has dried.

When the ornaments are dry, press on the wrong side of the ornament with an iron on Wool setting (you can use a small amount of steam if you wish) on a wool pad or well-padded ironing board.  Pressing with the design facing right side down will help the stitches to stand up “proud” (not flatten them).  

You can lace anything you like through the eye of the ornament to hang on your Christmas Tree, a gift, etc. (ribbon, metallic elastic, etc.)

How to Use Mylar with FSL Magpie Embroidery Designs.  Finished Mylar Xmas Trio ornaments hanging on a Christmas tree.  Photography by Margaret Hines.

Important Mylar Information:

Mylar is a thin plastic film that can be incorporated into specially digitized machine embroidery designs.  Typically, these designs have low density fill stitches to allow the colour & iridescence of the mylar to shine through the stitches.  The colour of the thread you use will influence the “colour” of the mylar. 

Using Mylar in an embroidery design with regular 40 weight embroidery thread eliminates the need for using more expensive and harder to use metallic threads.

Using one layer of Mylar is usually sufficient but if you want a more dramatic sparkle effect you can use two layers of Mylar. 

Remember to wind bobbins to match your top thread if you are using Mylar with free-standing lace designs.

Using Mylar in an embroidery design is much like using the applique technique in the design.  A placement stitch is first stitched out, place the mylar (you can hold it in place painters’ tape).  I have found that using temporary spray adhesive is not a good idea on leather, vinyl fleece,  or other fabrics with a pile since a residue from the spray adhesive can be left behind that laundering might not remove. 

The tack down stitch is the next step.  Run the fill stitches and remove the excess mylar from the fill stitches by tearing it away (it tears really easily!) and then run the remaining steps to finish the design. 

Mylar is very susceptible to high heat and can be damaged easily.  Launder your item on cool or cold water turning the item inside out.  Hang or lay flat to dry.  You can dry your item in a cool dryer but your Mylar will last longer if you air dry the garment.


To press your Mylar design, place item right side down on a padded surface with an iron on a low dry heat (no steam, wool setting is the best) use a pressing cloth, teflon sheet, or a piece of a brown paper bag to cover the design area between the wrong side of the design and the iron (this will protect it from excessive heat).  Press down and lift the iron from section to section rather than sliding the iron over the area.  Check to make sure you are not damaging the design or garment before applying more heat.  If using a commercial heat press, use the recommended heat setting for your garment, use a padded pillow (they are specially made for the commercial heat press) and a protective sheet of paper or Teflon sheet. 

 Thank you for your amazing support.  I know you'll have loads of fun working with Mylar and will enjoy the results (plus all the compliments you're going to get).  Feel free to email us pictures of your finished projects so we can showcase them on the Magpie Embroidery Designs social media accounts and the website.   If you have any questions, or design ideas you would like me to develop, please don't hesitate to email me at