Fixing the common machine embroidery problems
Embroidery is gaining popularity as both a hobby and a profitable business. As beginners acquire their embroidery machines and delve into the world of embroidery, they are likely to encounter mishaps and mistakes. Here are some straightforward tips to keep in mind while working with your embroidery machine.
Selecting the Correct Needles:
Ensure that you choose the appropriate needle for your machine. Home machines typically use flat shank needles, while commercial machines require round shank needles. It's essential to understand the distinction between sharp and ballpoint needles. Ballpoint needles are designed to prevent holes in knitted or loosely woven materials. When a regular or sharp needle is used on knits, it can cut through the fibers and create holes in the fabric. On the other hand, the ballpoint needle pushes the fibers aside during penetration, avoiding any damage. Change your needles regularly, approximately every 8 hours of use. Needles are inexpensive, and using an old worn-out needle can result in stitching issues. Don't wait for needles to break; by that point, they are often beyond their prime. Familiarize yourself with the appearance of a proper stitch and change needles if you notice any stitching irregularities.
Preventing Garment Puckering:
If your shirt looks great while still in the hoop but puckers after removal, it usually means you stretched it too much during hooping. If you notice significant puckering while the fabric is still in the hoop, it indicates insufficient stabilization. Consider using a heavier weight embroidery backing or layering two pieces for enhanced stabilization. Another option is to lightly mist the backing with temporary adhesive spray for extra support.
There is a wide selection of prewound bobbins available, ranging from economical generics to higher-cost name brands. You can use any of these bobbins as long as you know how to adjust your machine tension. Consult your manual to ensure you are using the correct size and weight for your bobbin thread before making a purchase. Knowing the right supplies for your machine will help you avoid costly returns. Additionally, refer to your manual to ensure you are threading your bobbin correctly, as different machines may have varying threading methods. Keep the bobbin area clean and free of lint, as excessive lint buildup can cause tension issues. Utilize lint brushes or canned air to effectively clean this area.
Choosing Embroidery Stabilizers:
Backings provide stability during the embroidery process and help the fabric withstand needle penetrations. Selecting the appropriate stabilizer is crucial for achieving good embroidery results. The stretchiness or instability of the fabric, along with the size and density of the design, determine the type of backing needed. For items where the back will be visible, such as towels and linens, consider using tear-away stabilizer that can be easily removed after embroidery. Cut-away backings are suitable for knits and stretchy fabrics. Ensure that the stabilizer you use is large enough to be properly hooped. Measure your hoop and add about 1 inch to determine the minimum size of backing that can comfortably fit.
Addressing Thread Tension Issues:
If your top thread stitching appears off, check the threading of your bobbin. Conversely, if you encounter issues with your bobbin thread, inspect the threading of your top thread. When threading the top thread, make sure the presser foot is in the up position. Read your machine's manual thoroughly as it contains all the necessary information on how to thread your machine. Tension gauges can be valuable tools to help you achieve the correct tension on your embroidery machine.