A hobby is an entity that you need to learn continuously to avoid mistakes; when it comes to embroidery off course, it has different flows and moods. Avoiding mistakes can save your time, money and frustrations while using threads for embroidery.
Reviewing these top common and avoidable mistakes and you will know what to avoid before starting your next embroidery Project.
Not reading the instructions
Always read the instructions. Using the wrong threads or number of strands of embroidery floss is one of the most common errors that happen when you skip reading the instructions. With kits, this can lead to running out of threads before completing the projects. The embroidery can be thicker than you intended.
Selecting the wrong size of the needle
Using an embroidery needle that is too large for the crafting, can result in holes in the fabric where needle and thread enter and exit.It can also cause creased fabric. A small needle that can be difficult to thread, and can cause unnecessary wear on threads, resulting in unwanted fuzziness.
A bad posture and poor lighting
Being comfortable is the most important thing when you want to accomplish projects. As a beginner, we tend to plonk ourselves wherever we feel comfortable and start stitching, hunching our back forward. It will not be long before you find yourself with an aching back, neck, or hands. Poor lighting can give you a headache. Choose a comfortable place to sit where you can rest your back and neck. It will be great if you can rest your working arms too. Sit at the place where you can avail ample of daylight. If you are using a lamp while stitching, make sure it gives enough light that helps you easily see the details.
Compromising on good quality material
Compromising always results in a mess or satisfaction. Hand embroidery is a very affordable hobby and it can be achieved by using standard materials. It might seem a perfect idea to buy cheap threads, needles, and hoop as a beginner. You might be compromising quality, and unfortunately, these materials need not justify the effort you would put in a stitch. Inferior quality threads can bleed and look unappealing. A bad quality needle can damage your fabric. A poor quality hoop can ruin your fabric or not even serve its purpose well. This does not mean that you splurge on costly and unnecessary materials. Start with the essential tools- threads (quality of embroidery threads), fabric, hoops, and needles and make sure that they are of good quality.
Wash or not to wash
Some fabrics tend to shrink or change upon the first wash, like particular cotton fabric. Always soak and wash such fabric before you start the task. Now, if the embroidery is for framing purposes, I will not insist on it.
Using Craft Thread Rather Than Embroidery Thread
Craft threads fray easily and spill when worked through the fabric. They also may not catch-up with colour fast, and the colour can bleed into the fabric during laundering.
Inexpensive thread sold in packages as “craft thread” as for craft projects such as friendship bracelets, macramé, or children’s craft cannot be used for embroidery. The quality of craft threads is much lower than embroidery.
Do not use knots
A common mistake by beginners is to begin and end with knots. Try to avoid this, especially when securing a thread to the needle. It may not be the end of the world, but it can negatively affect your work. Knots can cause holes to become enlarged if they slip through, and they can create bulk at the back, preventing you from laying your work flat. Besides, knots aren’t perfect, and they can undo themselves.
Not Removing the Hoop before Storing
Always remove your embroidery hoop before putting away your embroidery for the day, and especially before that is permanent or very difficult to remove. It is okay. However, to leave your work in a stretcher frame or scroll frame, as these tools do not cause creases. It is also a good idea to remove the needle from the fabric before storing, in case it rusts.
Overstretching or under stretching your fabric
When you hoop your fabric, the most important requirement is that it is in a taut position. For that, you will probably have to adjust the screw on top of it. It is not hard, by practice you can achieve it.
And when you are doing embroidery, it is normal that the fabric’s tension will weaken a little bit. When it happens, you can adjust the anxietyof the fabric again by pulling the fabrica little in the vertical or horizontal directions.
However, under stretching your fabric is just as harmful to your embroidery as overstretching it. Both can result in puckering.
You can usually see if you overstretched your material when the grid of the weaving gets wavy. It means that you pulled the fabric in one position more than in other places.
I have this problem too!
If I’m embroidering for a while and need to adjust the tension of my fabric, I just can’t seem to do it evenly. So I either pull the fabric to even it or take the hoop off completely and put it on again.
The Embroidery thread is too long.
It is a very common mistake and generally experienced. I used to think that it is easier to cut a long piece of threads and work with it until it finishes rather than cut shorter ones and start and end them again and again.
First of all, your thread wears down while you are stitching. The end which you use when you just start stitching will look fresher, shinier and “healthier” than the other end after some stitching is done. You will surely start to notice it if you pay some attention.
And the length of the thread will not improve anything in this situation. You will just have about a half of that length completely worn out and not looking so pretty on fabric.
Secondly, the long thread you are using, the more prone it is to tangling, which is another headache.
Here are some tips on how to avoid threads from tangling.
Cut the thread shorter. With time you will figure out the length that you prefer the most but it definitely shouldn’t be more than two forearms. Besides, starting and ending thread extra time will not take you that long.
Read more: Types of Threads for Every Story.
Speeding up to fix a mistake
If you make a mistake and find yourself an alternative to stitching, do this smartly and slowly. Do not pull or tug threads to remove them. Instead, cut them cautiously and remove them with tweezers so that you do not damage the base fabric.
In a Nutshell, mistakes we are sharing here, I know if you start thinking about it, you will find many more, so when you start doing embroidery keep your mind cool and try to avoid your mistakes. So let’s make this saying happen “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”Even in the embroidery world, this adage holds. It’s better to prevent or avoid embroidery mistakes before they happen, rather than to spend time, energy and money to fix them!