Recently, I was asked to embroider a saddle pad by a friend. I didn’t think my machine could handle it, but I accepted with no guarantees on how it would turn out! Saddle pads are thick, tough, and fluffy at the same time–I would have to embroider through multiple thick layers!
I have been putting it off since last Thursday because I am a perfectionist and didn’t want to fail! I googled everything I could and tried to find a DIY/blog/article with tips, but couldn’t find one anywhere! So I went ahead and tested my luck!
Here’s what I found out:
1-Use the thickest needle you have. I used a 90/14 ballpoint needle. (I try and use ballpoint needles for all of my projects–they don’t create as big of holes as the sharper pointed needles)
2-Use cutaway stabilizer. The tearaway stabilizer can leave the actual embroidered part raised, which might irritate a horse’s skin.
3-Hoop your stabilizer and use Basting Adhesive to stick the fabric to the adhesive. Secure the saddle pad to the stabilizer with pins (try to pin along the quilted pattern to avoid obvious holes).
3-Adjust your tension. This was what I failed to do (which is why the “S” came out a little funky in the middle). You will want to tighten your bobbin tension slightly to counteract with the super thick fabric. You should have little to no top-color peeking through the back of your fabric if your tension is adjusted correctly.
4-Pick a simple design. You don’t want your needle to have to jump around to a million different places on the saddle pad. Choose a simple design that you will be able to see from far away (since only you are the only one riding the horse-everyone else will see it from a distance!).
Here are some pictures of the saddle pad embroidery process.