Are you the one who loves appliqué but hates removing your embroidery hoop from your machine to trim your appliqué fabric?

When it comes to machine embroidery, a few things are more frustrating than trying to cut your applique fabric while your machine is waiting for you to finish.

Then why don’t you think to precut appliqué fabric by hand or with your cutting machine?

It’s fast and easy and guarantees a clean finish to your appliqué machine embroidery project.

That’s why precut applique fabric technique is a game-changer. Not only will it save you time and stress, but it will also ensure that your applique pieces are precise and neat.

In this blog post, we’ll review everything you need to know about precutting applique fabric for machine embroidery. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents:

Why Does Applique Need to Be Cut?

Applique is a well-known machine embroidery technique that involves stitching fabric shapes onto a base fabric to create a pattern or design. Usually, applique consists in cutting out fabric shapes by hand and stitching them onto a fabric base.

But with the approach of modern technology, it’s feasible to use a precut applique or trim-in-the-hoop approach to simplify the process.

But if you have never used an embroidery machine for appliqué, you possibly don’t know why or how applique fabric is cut.

The fabric needs to be cut in the right size and shape before stitching out an appliqué design on an embroidery machine. This is necessary to make sure that the fabric’s raw edge is covered by the final satin stitching applied to the fabric’s outside.

There are two ways you can cut the appliqué fabric, either precut appliqué fabric or cut it during the appliqué process.

First let’s talk about..

What is Precut Applique?

In precut applique, the appliqué fabric will be cut before stitching. This method works well for appliqué with a raw edge or zigzag applique design.

But it can also be applied to any applique design. It can be a more straightforward method when shapes are extremely intricate.

Use the printable appliqué design parts that are provided or SVG files for the electronic cutting machine.

Instead of cutting out the applique shape by hand, precut appliqué uses precut fabric for shapes like a circle, triangle, or flower. If you need to build a lot of identical shapes, this method might save you a ton of time.

How to Precut the Applique Fabric?

First and foremost, you need to select your applique fabric cutting method. You can precut your appliqué fabric by hand or cut it using a cutting machine like a Cricut machine. But, whatever the method you choose to use, you need to make an outline of the design you are cutting.

Cutting with Machine:

Your appliqué fabric can be precut using a cutting machine like a Cricut, Silhouette, or Brother Scan-and-Cut. Depending on the kind of machine you have, the method can also change slightly.

Open the included software for your Cricut or Silhouette machine; it should be able to open SVG files. If you are familiar with your cutting machine, you probably already know which settings to select to instruct it to cut.

Once your file is properly set up in your cutting software, stick your prepped fabric on the mat and begin cutting it out.

Manual Cutting:

If you don’t have a cutting machine, you can use an exacto knife or a regular pair of scissors to precut the appliqué fabric.  Simply print it to scale after you locate an application to open the design file

Next, adhere the paper printout to the wrong side of the appliqué fabric by misting a small amount of temporary spray adhesive onto the back of the right side of the paper printout. You should still be able to see your cut line. Simply cut around the outline after that.

What is Trim in the Hoop Applique Fabric Cutting Method?

Most machine embroidery applique designs feature the Trim in the Hoop method. Trim in the hoop applique is a method that requires using an embroidery machine to trim out the applique fabric as you stitch it onto your fabric basis.

This method can reduce time spent while producing a finished product that is polished and looks more professional.

How to Do Trim in the Hoop?

Most machine embroidery applique designs feature the Trim in the Hoop method. Trim in the hoop applique is a method

Most appliqué files are designed to cut out the appliqué shape as you stitch it out. This is due to the fact that appliqué files are made up of particular rounds of stitching that help you in doing it.

Placing a piece of fabric across the placement line is known as trim in the hoop applique cutting method.

Stitch the tackdown, take the hoop off of the machine (but don’t take the fabric out of the hoop!), and trim the excess fabric with little, curved embroidery scissors.

So carefully trim closely if you prevent the fabric from showing through the cover stitch or satin stitch.

Then, reattach the hoop to the machine and continue stitching the design. Trim in the Hoop works well for simple shapes like circles and rectangles. Additionally, raw edge applique works best because the stitching line hides the fabric.

This sounds so easy right? But still, there’s something wrong with this method. What? Let’s discuss…

that requires using an embroidery machine to trim out the applique fabric as you stitch it onto your fabric basis.

This method can reduce time spent while producing a finished product that is polished and looks more professional.

What’s wrong with this Method?

The drawback is that trim in the hoop applique cutting requires time and can be challenging, particularly if the appliqué design is intricate and detailed. Cutting the appliqué sufficiently near, but not too near, the tackdown stitch line can also be difficult.

Oh, and there’s also the difficulty of removing appliqué fabric from a closed shape. Making a little split in the appliqué fabric without cutting the fabric for the project underneath can be frightening.

Fortunately, by pre-cutting your appliqué cloth before you begin sewing out the embroidery design, you may prevent all of these difficulties.

On the safe side, we have some pro tips for you if you still want to go for trim in the hoop applique cutting method!

Tips for Trim in the Hoop Applique:

Following are the tips to follow while using the trim in the hoop applique method.

  • Carefully Select the Design

It is important to choose a design that is well-suited to the trim in the hoop technique. Look for designs that have clean lines and simple shapes rather than designs that are intricate or have a lot of detail.

  • Must Use Stabilizer

When performing trim in the hoop appliqué, it’s important to use a stabilizer, just like with precut applique technique. Also, make sure to use a stabilizer that is suitable for the fabric basis and applique shape you are using, and make sure that it offers adequate support to prevent stretching or distortion.

  • Use Right Type of Threads

Using right machine embroidery threads for your trim in the hoop applique is important to create a clean and polished finished machine embroidery design. Choose a thread that matches your fabric base and your applique shape, and use a high-quality thread that won’t break or fray.


Whether you choose precut applique or trim in the hoop applique method, you can create beautiful applique designs on machine embroidery by following these steps.

These techniques will help you create attractive applique designs that are both beautiful and applicable.