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The Worst Machine Embroidery Advice I Ever Got

As you’re starting your machine embroidery journey, you might be getting tons of advice. And sometimes it’s hard to know which advice is good and which advice is bad!

You might be in lots of Facebook groups, reading lots of blog articles and a lot of people are gonna tell you a lot of different stories!

The worst advice I ever got when I was starting machine embroidery, was to change the tension!

Don’t change your tension unless you have to!!

If bobbin thread was showing on the top of my embroidery they would say, “change your tension” If my stitching was loose or my thread was shredding they would say, “change your tension”

Don’t listen to it! Instead of changing your tension, try other steps that might be causing the problem! 

Some examples include:

  • Change your needle
Continous use of needles will cause them to get dull and they might even bend! This can result in your stitching being loose, bobbin thread showing on top, thread shredding and more.
  • Use the correct needle for your project
Using the wrong size or type of needle can really mess up your project! Make sure that you are using a machine embroidery needle, not sewing, and that it is the correct size.
  • Put the flat part of the needle to the back
Not only do you need to make sure that you are using a new needle, the correct type of needle and the right sized needle, but you also need to make sure that you are putting the needle in the machine correctly! 

Make sure that the flat part of the needle is faced to the back of the machine, that the needle is pushed all the way up and that you have tightened it as much as possible.
  • Use a thread stand
A thread stand is a lot more important than you may think! Here's an article on why you should use a thread stand!
  • Rethread your upper thread
Slowly rethread your upper thread while following the guides on your machine, missing just one thread guide could mess up the whole project!
  • Make sure your bobbin isn’t upside down
This happens very often with new machine embroiderers! Make sure that your bobbin is not upside down.
  • Rethread the bobbin
Make sure that the bobbin thread is going through all of the little thread guides.
  • Clean the race
How long has it been since you've cleaned your machine? Its probably been a little while! Here's how to clean the race on your embroidery machine!
  • Re-hoop your project
Have you hooped your project correctly? Make sure that the hoop is not upside down and that your project is in the hoop nice and tight.

  • Try different thread
The type of thread you are using really makes a difference! Make sure that your upper thread is 40wt embroidery thread and that your bobbin thread is, depending on your machine, either 60wt or 90wt. Also, make sure that you are not just using cheap thread, this will cause lots of problems, the most common one being shredding thread.

Doing any of those steps might help solve your problem! Those are the most common steps to take to fix problems with your embroidery machine! 

Make sure that you try those 10 steps or even more before you adjust your tension!

And this happened where people’s answers to any problem were just to change the tension, on many occasions! I now know that you should never change your tension unless you have to!

When you play around with the tension, if you’re not doing it correctly, it can cause even more problems! Changing the tension should be your last step, so make sure you’re doing it correctly!

So don’t get me wrong here, I do think that changing the tension is okay, as long as you do it correctly and have completed the other 10 steps to action first!

Related: How to understand changing the tension

I hope that this article has helped you and that you now know a little bit more about how not all machine embroidery advice is good!

Be sure to like and leave a comment and let me know what you think! And don't forget to subscribe to get notified for my next blog post!


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