How to Keep Embroidery From Puckering

Why does my embroidery pucker?

A common problem that you may have come across when you’re stitching is that the fabric starts to pucker. So frustrating! There could be a few reasons as to why your embroidery fabric is gathering and a few different ways to keep the embroidery from puckering.

This post is a part of a series about how to embroider for beginners.

Everything You Need To Learn Embroidery In One Place

Any new skill can leave you feeling overwhelmed with where to start and let’s face it: your time is limited.

I created this guide with you in mind!

It has everything in it that you need to know to get started stitching. Comes with tips, material recommendations, and 6 fun projects that will build your confidence and allow you to not just learn the art of embroidery but have something to show for it!

Make Sure Your Fabric Is Tight In The Embroidery Hoop

fabric loose in embroidery hoop vs fabric tight in embroidery hoop

Leaving the fabric loose in an embroidery hoop makes it easier for the fabric to gather under the tension of your stitches.

When you put the fabric in an embroidery hoop, you don’t want it to have any wrinkles or appear loose. You want it to be similar to the tightness of a drum, but not so tight that it’s warping the grain of the fabric.

If you find you’re having trouble with the fabric slipping while you’re stitching, check out these tips to help keep the fabric tight in an embroidery hoop.

Use An Embroidery Stabilizer

Are you embroidering on delicate or stretchy fabric? Both of these fabrics are fine to use, but they can be somewhat more challenging to work with. It may help to use an embroidery stabilizer on the back of the fabric. This will help prevent the fabric from puckering and wrinkling and it will be so much easier to embroider on.

Select A Different Fabric

Fabric can make or break your embroidery. It took me a long time to learn which materials are the easiest to work with. Check out this post about how to find the best fabric for embroidery to select one that will set you up for success.

Your Stitches Are Too Tight

stitches too tight on embroidery fabric

Try to focus on making your stitches secure, but not too tight when embroidering. If you notice the fabric grain warping around your stitches or that there are exaggerated holes in the embroidery fabric, you may need to make your stitches a bit looser. With practice, you’ll be able to find a happy medium!

How to Fix Puckered Embroidery

If you’ve already stitched on the fabric and it’s puckering, you either have to loosen or completely take out some of the embroider stitches. Place your needle underneath the stitches and try to loosen them first to see if the fabric smooths out.

However, if that doesn’t remedy the problem, you can use a seam ripper to take them out. Be careful to not catch the fabric in the seam ripper when removing them! You’ll have to decide on a case by case basis whether the embroidery is worth revising or saving, or if you’ll need to start over!

how to keep embroidery from puckering

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