A customer's comment inspired this post. She had purchased one of my alphabets and stitched it onto some fleece. Her problem was that the lettering disappeared into the fleece. I offered to help but she ensured me that it was OK, it was a one time thing. Anyway I let it go at the time, but in retrospect I wish I had asked her about the texture of the fleece and what kind of stabilizer and topping she used. When embroidering on fabric with a pile, such as some polar fleece, terry towel and velvet, it is important to use a topping otherwise the stitching simply disappears into the depth of the fabric. It is especially important if you are stitching satin stitch letters or monograms; they tend to sink into the fabric even more so than large fill stitch areas.
Without topping the embroidery sinks right into the fleece.
Even with just a light water soluble topping the lettering pops. all you need to do is place a layer of water soluble topping into the hoop, large enough to cover the embroidery. You can use temporary spray adhesive to hold it into place. Embroider then, gently tear the stabilizer away. The satin stitching perforates the stabilizer, so it should come away clean.
If you want to take it another step up use some Puffy foam as a topper and Voila! If you have never used Puffy Foam before click here to download a simple PDF tutorial.