I did some tests on high pile blanket fabric.
On both of these, I hooped tear-away and floated the fabric. I covered both with water soluble stabilizer (WSS) topping and I used a basting box. The one on the bottom was also stitched with the knockdown stitch from Embrilliance Enthusiast. I even trimmed the pile on the top one, hoping to make it work, but the stitch quality was so much better when using the knockdown stitch.
Knockdown stitching simply looks like underlay stitching to me. Typically, the knockdown stitching is matched to the fabric (blanket, towel, robe, etc.) so it doesn't stand out visually. It just pushes the pile down. The WSS holds the pile down temporarily.
I posted this photo on a message board and a couple of people told me that the WSS was unnecessary so I did a third sample-- one with only the knockdown, without the WSS. In the photo below, the top sample was stitched only with knockdown stitching. The bottom sample was stitched with knockdown AND WSS:
The best results for me happened when I used both knockdown stitching and WSS.
Items Noted in this Post:
- Water soluble stabilizer topping - I get mine from World Weidner. I keep mine in plastic to keep it from drying out. This is the plastic-looking, filmy kind, not the fibrous kind.
- Basting Box - this is a temporary stitching that is done with long stitches for easy removal that holds the floated item in place and keeps even tension on the fabric around the stitch area. Most embroidery machines have a built in basting box, and you can get basting box files from digitizers like Embroidery Garden, but I use the one in my Embrilliance software. In Embrilliance, it is located under the Utility tab. For more info: https://sewbubbles.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/adding-a-basting-box-to-a-design-why-how/
- Knockdown Stitch - similar looking to underlay. It holds down pile so that stitching can lay flat and so that the stitching won't get hidden by the pile after the WSS is removed. Itch2Stitch and Applique Corner both offer drop pile shapes (circles, rectangles, hearts, etc.) but the knockdown in my Embrilliance Enthusiast conforms to the stitch area and can be adjusted so that it is the least obtrusive visually. For more information: http://embrilliance.com/products/enthusiast
I hope these samples are helpful to you. Happy holiday stitching!