How to prevent unraveling of your machine embroidery or appliqué project.

By on August 7th, 2013
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I have had two instances recently when I completed an embroidery project and the last part I stitched started raveling and coming out… UGH! This experience made me think that maybe I was doing something wrong when I was digitizing my designs, so I posed my questions to the experts to see if I was missing something. Did I need to manually put in a locking stitch at the conclusion of digitizing each object to prevent it from unraveling?

Here’s what I asked the group.

Hi friends / digitizers (I’m thinking Sue L. might have thoughts on this…) I know that software varies, but when you digitize a design do you do any type of “locking” stitch at the end of shape to help prevent raveling or does the software take care of it? thoughts?

Here are the responses I got from two of the expert digitizers in the group.

Most software will auto lock at the end of shape/letter by its default settings. You normally have to switch it OFF rather an ON.

And another confirmation.

The software usually does it automatically. In PE Design it is there, you can’t switch on or off, but you can add or delete the stitches manually if need be.

So I looked at my software to try to find such a setting and for the life of me I couldn’t find it, which leads me to believe that my software is doing the lock stitch automatically.

And then something interesting happened. I put a simple name on a t-shirt using the built-in typeface in my embroidery machine and after I took it off the hoop it started unraveling! Something that I had not digitized had started unraveling as well! Maybe the unraveling has less to do with the digitizing and more to do with how you take projects off the hoop and how closely you cut the connector strings.

Again – after asking around a bit I learned that some embroiderers put a bit of fray check over the end points of their embroidered objects to keep them from unraveling. Until I learn more about why this might be happening I think this might be a good preventative measure.

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