Tip of the Needle
High Quality Embroidery – Putting the pieces together
Do you struggle to get professional looking embroidery? Do you have puckering fabric or bobbin thread showing through the top? Is your thread looping?
These problems and more can occur when the tension is not perfectly balanced or you’re using the incorrect stabilizer.
The first rule of thumb is to use pre-wound bobbins that are designed for embroidery. These bobbins are filled with a light weight thread that stays hidden so that the top looks beautiful.
You also need to make sure you’re using the correct bobbin holder. Most embroidery/sewing combo machines come with a bobbin holder for sewing and an additional bobbin case for embroidery. If your machine only came with one, it’s probably tuned for sewing and you should consider acquiring a bobbin holder tuned for embroidery.
The bobbin holder for embroidery will have slightly more tension than you would use for regular sewing. You can change the bobbin tension with the screw on the front of the bobbin holder, but unless you have experience with this, it can be a little tricky. It’s much easier to swap to a bobbin holder that’s pre-adjusted for embroidery.
The next step is making sure your upper thread tension is correct. Most machines run their upper tension at 4 for standard and embroidery. If you have any bobbin thread showing on top, you can lower the upper thread tension to 3. If it needs to be lowered beyond that, your machine needs some adjustment and possibly cleaning. A-best offers machine tune ups if you suspect this is your problem.
The last part, equally as important, is to use the correct stabilizer. If you’re working on a specific type of material it is important to use a stabilizer that was designed for it.
There are dozens of different stabilizers, each designed with different purposes. The one size fits all method can “work”, but it will never give you consistent results. If you are aiming for a premium finished look, it is important to use the proper stabilizer.
We’re covering a lot of broad topics here. For more specifics on stabilizer, tension and thread, check out our previous Tip of the Needle articles.
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