Help on fabric puckering, please

Hi all. I'm very new to machine embroidery, and have been trying to
read everything I can get my hands on, and have learned a lot from
this group. Thanks for being here, and helping so much!
I've got a problem with the fabric on the designs I've been using
"puckering". I'm not talking about the kind of puckers caused by the
needle snagging on on the fabric, but almost the kind of pucker you
would get if you pinched the middle of a square of fabric between
thumb and forefinger, then turned it over, while still pinching it and
tried to lay it flat.
Is it possible that I'm not putting enough tension on my fabric and
simply don't have it taut enough in the hoop? If so, can you guys
think of any hints and tips to help me get it stretched tighter? It
seems to me I have it stretched as tight as it can go at the moment.
Could that be the problem?
I'm using 40wt rayon thread on the top, and 60wt bobbin thread, and
tearaway stabalizer on the bottom, and the fabric is simply cotton
broadcloth. These are commercially available designs (I haven't
managed to do much digitizing...yet!) This is on a brother PC-6500
machine. Don't know if that information is necessary at all, but
thought I might as well put it in now, rather than have you guys ask
me about them later.
TIA for any help those more experienced than I can offer.
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Hi! Congratulations on getting involved with machine embroidery--overwhelming at first, but so much fun! It sounds as if you're using the right threads, although some will tell you to use poly instead of rayon, but that shouldn't make a difference with the problem you're experiencing. One thing you probably need to do is use more than one layer of the stabilizer you're using, or else use a thicker one. If you don't want to hoop multiple layers, then just hoop one and "float" another underneath--it will get held in place as soon as you start stitching. As for the tautness, I've heard both extremes--I once went to a class presented by Jeannine Twigg, who is very knowledgeable, and she said to never tighten the screw once you've laid your inner hoop inside the outer hoop. When I first started in the hobby, the instructor said to make it so tight that the surface would be like a drum. In reality, I think there's a happy medium. Jeannine's idea was that you would only open the outer hoop enough that you could lay the inner hoop with the fabric held onto it in place, and then there would be no need to tighten, so you would avoid the risk of puckering the stabilizer or the fabric by tightening. But if you do it carefully, you can tighten somewhat without that happening. One thing you don't want to do much of is tugging on the fabric after you've hooped it to smooth it, because you will pull it off grain or stretch it. I've been very windy, and I hope I've made some sense. Hopefully others will have ideas for you as well. Good luck!--Jackie On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 01:26:27 GMT, LaffinMom wrote:
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I suppose the pulling after the hooping was my mistake. Thanks so much for the information!
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I have been embroidering for a couple of years now. I very rarely hoop the fabric or garment I am working on. I use 505 spray to keep it in place. It doesn't gum up the works either. You also have a much better shot at getting the stabilizer hooped perfectly because you are not under pressure to get the fabric in there too. I usually print a mock up of the design and mark the placement on the stabilizer for stitchout. Hope this helps, Nana
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When I started I hooped both fabric and stabilizer, but then found that my stitchouts were puckering. So I spoke to the dealer and she said she hooped only the stabilizer and used the 505 spray. She also said that if I were going to hoop both fabric and stabilizer, not to do it too tight. However, I have found that if you are working on a project which will never (or will be rarely washed) and stabilizer is not critical, you can use the sticky stuff. I used to hoop that, too, until I got lazy and just cut the sticky stabilizer the same size as my hoop and stuck to the bottom of the hoop taut. Then I would place the fabric on top. I got the sticky stuff from Marathon Threads in Winnipeg. I suppose you could use the sticky stuff the way I do, and then attach the stabilizer (that is suited for your fabric) to your fabric and lay that on top of the sticky stabilizer. Has anyone tried this?
If your hoop gets sticky at the bottom, this is how to clean it. In a well-ventilated room, put goo-gone all around the hoop frame. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so (but not longer because if the goo-gone dries you will have to apply it again). Wear rubber or latex gloves and use a rag to roll off the sticky stuff. Do the best you can and if you don't get it all off, soak it in hot water and repeat procedure again. Now I have heard that some people just stick their hoops in the dishwasher. I haven't tried it and I am worried that the detergent would eventually ruin the metal. Any comments on this?
I hope this helps.
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Linda Guy

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