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DIY & Tutorials

How to adjust an embroidery machine

You have a great creative embroidery project and you’re all about to start but something’s just not going your way? We made a little checklist for you, which shows you how to adjust an embroidery machine and may help you avoiding frequent mistakes!

Threading an embroidery machine

Before you start make sure your machine is threaded right. If the filament sticks at some point, it’s worth to pull it out again and start over, otherwise it’ll surely needle you later.

Embroidery fleece

The garment should be fixed with a special embroidery fleece on the inside, so it won’t move while the machine is working and an easy process is guaranteed. There are many different fleeces, so you can find the perfect one for every material and project.

What to use for bobbin thread?

There’s a particular, very thin bobbin thread for the embroidery machine. You can get it at any handcraft store. Alternatively you can use overlock-yarn which is very similar.

Because you won’t see any of the bobbin thread in your embroidery, it’s enough to only have it in black and white – the color only matters on the backside of your work.

Lower thread spool of an embroidery machine
Lower thread spool of an embroidery machine


For a perfect result your needle should be new and not threadbare. There are different needles for different materials. One for jersey for example is less sharp so it won’t destroy the delicate garment and make it feaze.

If you want to embroider on a firm material on the other hand, like denim or velours you’re going to need a sharper needle, so the machine can work as smooth as possible.

How to adjust the thread tension?

Going hand in hand with the question how to adjust an embroidery machine ist how to regulate the thread tension. If it is right you’ll mostly see after the first few stitches. You shouldn’t see the bobbin thread on your cross stich. In case you do the tension of the upper thread probably is too strong. This problem is often solved by loosening the tension a little.

Same is for the other way around. If you see the upper thread on the backside of your embroidery, the tension of your upper thread is too loose. In this case you’d make it a little stronger.

Professional machines give you the ability to control the tension of the lower thread as well.

Tension regulator of the upper thread at the embroidery machine
Tension regulator of the upper thread at the embroidery machine

Extra products for your Embrodery machine

You tried it all but your cross stitch would just not get better? In this case you can buy a certain bobbin case for embroidering. Those are precisely made for perfect embroidery results and you can apply it easily into your machine.

Considering those few points you may have a saver feeling how to adjust an embroidery machine and you can start with the fun part of handcrafting!

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