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Forum > Machine Embroidery > Puckering around embroidered design. ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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Puckering around embroidered design.
Thread or material shrinkage?
RJFoote
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RJFoote
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Date: 12/2/09 11:00 PM

I embroidered a large letter on a skirt for a friend and everything looked great, nice and smooth with no puckering. Then I decided to iron out the hooping imprint on the material. I was in a bit of hurry so I gave it a quick light burst of steam. Now I have some puckering around the embroidered design. I am so new at this I have no idea if it was the material, a quilters cotton, or the thread that "shrunk". I used a Sulky poly. Or could it be the stabilizer underneath the thread? I used Sulky Totally Stable. I have no idea. Has anyone had a problem like this? I know I won't ever use steam again but now worry that I am using the wrong type of thread or stabilizer and the designs will pucker in the dryer after washing. I will feel absolutely terrible if the xmas gifts I plan on making look bad after their first wash.

Doris W. in TN
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In reply to RJFoote


Date: 12/3/09 8:55 AM

I don't have an answer, but if it helps, I'm in the same boat with you! I embroidered a table runner this week, hoping to give it to our DS and DDIL. Everything looks great until I remove the stabilizer. It looks like the poly thread shrank. I've tried all types of stabilizer, etc. You name it, I've tried it (pre-shrunk fabric, starched fabric, etc.) I tried the dealer's suggestions, too. I'm giving up and going to try a different design.

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mastdenman
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Date: 12/3/09 9:59 AM

I'm not that experienced either, but I believe it's caused by the way the design is digitized, the choice of fabric and the stabilizer used. I've tried making some designs and had this happen too. The fabric was a light weight pink cotton gingham check and the design had the thread going in different directions and was fairly thick.

It' much easier to stitch out a design on something like denim.
-- Edited on 12/3/09 10:00 AM --

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Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 12/3/09 10:03 AM

I am not that experienced either, but know that happens even when embroidering by hand.. mostly when one pulls the stitches too tightly or not uniformly.. It is not just a problem with embroidery machines.. I am not sure how that would translate.. how you would loosen the stitching on an embroidery machine..maybe some more experienced members know..

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf
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Date: 12/3/09 10:25 AM

Probably a good idea to iron the fabric you are using with steam before embroidering or pre-wash the fabric. Or not plan to iron with steam.
-- Edited on 12/3/09 10:26 AM --

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AK
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Date: 12/3/09 10:27 AM

You can also get puckering if you hoop the fabric too tight because that stretches the fabric. When you remove the hoop, it springs back, and you have puckers.

kaitlin

kaitlin
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Date: 12/3/09 10:36 AM

Polyester thread can stretch if wound too tightly on the bobbin. When I am embroidering on quilting weight cotton, I wind a bobbin slowly with bobbin thread. This reduces the stretch in it. I also manually reduce the needle tension about a third of the preset tension. In other words if the tension is set at 3 go down to 2. I will use 2 layers of a light weight cutaway stabilizer instead of a tearaway. Hope this helps. Kaitlin

Natalie D.
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Natalie D.
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In reply to RJFoote


Date: 12/3/09 10:43 AM

Trust me, you are not the first to have this happen. This is one of the reasons why machine embroidery can be much more time-consuming than one might think. Before doing any design, you always need to test the design on the same fabric you will be using.... ALWAYS. Was the skirt fabric preshrunk? Designs with wide stitches, especially lettering, are a bit more prone to this. Personally, I don't think knits, unless for very relaxed or informal garments, are terribly suitable for machine embroidery, regardless of the stabilizer.

One of the reasons that commercial embroidery designs are successful is that they often use non-removable cut-away type stabilizers. Of course that leaves lumps on the reverse side. I doubt that the poly thread actually shrank; if anything, it's more prone to stretching. So, if the tension is incorrect and/or the thread is not being fed properly or a lot of heat is being generated (as in long stitch-outs) or if it's not good quality, the thread can stretch during the process and then revert back to its original length when it cools off. However, this does not sound like the cause of your problem. I'm just passing on a little info.

The next thing to consider is proper hooping. The fabric has to be stretched taut and held that way for the entire stitch-out. When using a heavier stabilizer (which you probably should have used), do not hoop it with your fabric. If you do a lot of embroidery, you need a bunch of different stabilizers on hand.

Next time you do this type of design, try using a heavier tear-away ( or tear/wash-away) on the bottom AND a clear wash-away on top. Just make sure you test it first and that the fabric has been preshrunk. If the fabric is not washable, then you have to steam it first to preshrink it. If it cannot be preshrunk, then it is not suitable for embroidery. I hope this helps a little.

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"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Patti B
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In reply to RJFoote


Date: 12/3/09 10:52 AM

I feel your pain -- we've all done it. Most of my problems with embroidery have been caused by not using enough stabilizer or using the wrong type. But what can you do with this project? I would dry iron it from the back (perhaps over a towel so the embroidery won't flatten) to get it as flat as possible. I would then (this will sound contradictory) use a lightweight fusible interfacing (like Palmer Pletsch's Sheer) on the back, carefully fusing it so that it helps keep the puckers at bay. HTH

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Patti

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sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 12/3/09 11:17 AM

I've had this happen when the iron temperature is too hot for the stabilizer material. I've watched the stabilizer shrink, the iron on when applied at too hot a temparature created bubbles on the right side of the cotton fabric. Florianni on their site suggest always using a press cloth, working from the wrong side to have something between the iron surface and the material.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

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