How to Fix Birdnesting On Embroidery Machine- Easy Tips

Image of embroidery machine. Know How to Fix Birdnesting On Embroidery MachineBirdnesting in the embroidery space means sewing gone wrong! The term refers to thread clustering that stops free thread flow during stitching. Therefore, if birdnesting happens, you need to fix it immediately to restore your sewing speed. So, if you are an embroidery enthusiast, a guide on How to Fix Birdnesting On Embroidery Machine will help keep a smooth workflow.

Since birdnesting occurs because of thread clusters and loops, adjusting the thread tension and bobbin placement is an immediate fix. Also, you should check your hoop and position it correctly. In addition, a faulty machine leads to birdnesting. So, ensure that you adopt a maintenance routine program for the unit to keep it clean and enhance optimal functioning.

In most cases, birdnesting is inevitable, especially if you frequently use your sewing machine. So, please go through the guidelines in this article to sort them out as soon as possible and thus, continue with your work.

How to Fix Birdnesting On Embroidery Machine

Birdnesting occurs because of loose thread tension from the design’s top or bottom. Thus, both the bobbin and tensioner may be the reason for the problem.

To adjust these two areas, consider the following tips.

  • Tighten the tensioner node to examine if it is in its correct position. Also, assess the bobbin as it contributes to the machine’s tension.
  • Check the tensioner node to determine slackness. Then, remove the knob if it is too loose and insert a flathead screwdriver or blade into the slot. After the process, reinstall the knob and check its tightness.
  • Examine the knob’s tightness again and repeat the above process if it is too loose.
  • Assess the design density as the needle may have difficulties penetrating the fabric, causing birdnesting. So, consult with the user’s guide and follow through with the design density’s instructions.
  • Get a large-eyed needle if you have a too-high stitch density or excessively elastic fabric. For example, if you use a 70/10 needle, you can opt for 75/11 or 80/12. The needle goes through the fabric smoothly and will eventually eliminate birdnesting. 
  • Consider going through the thread guide to determine the movement smoothness of various threads.

Why Does My Thread Keep Birdnesting?

Birdnesting is not a natural occurrence in embroidery projects. Instead, it happens because some things are not just right. So, let’s go through some reasons for thread looping and how you can avoid or fix this annoying situation.

  • Incorrect Hooping

Birdnesting also occurs when there is flagging due to incorrect hooping. Flagging refers to when the fabric bounces up and down on the embroidery machine during stitching. You will also see it when you hoop the cloth closely, making it slip and expand.

So, before you begin to embroider, ensure that the cloth is hooped properly.

  • Mechanical Issues

The embroidery machine may also have mechanical issues that cause birdnesting. For example, when the rotary timing or needle bar height is off. These situations lead to thread breakage, which is a perfect scenario for looping.

Since this issue is mechanical, it would be best if you consulted with sewing machine experts.

  • Incorrect Top Threading

When the thread misses any point in its thread path, the tension increases in the above thread. Also, if the thread gets caught in the hook, it causes freezing and eventually slows down the sewing process.

Therefore, ensure that you properly thread the embroidery machine.

  • Positioning Issues

During embroidery, position contributes significantly to the design’s outcomes. Therefore, incorrect fabric positioning will compromise your embroidery results.

Also, poor positioning will contribute to birdnesting_the reason you need to be careful, especially with commercial embroidery machines.

  • Improper Bobbin Placement

Looping occurs because the bobbin is not in its right position and thus cannot run steadily. This uneven bobbin running causes a snag and eventually leads to birdnesting.

If this is the problem, stop the machine and take out the bobbin case. Then, cut the thread and reposition the bobbin in its case. Also, if you don’t know the correct way to reinstall the bobbin, check the manual guide.

  • Maintenance Issues

An unkept lottery hook area contributes to thread breaks, which ultimately lead to birdnesting. Therefore, maintenance should be a priority when working with a sewing machine. You need to assess if it has thread shreds and pieces. 

Also, clean the needle plate area frequently with a small brush to keep things in check.

  • Incorrect Thread Tension

If the bobbin is too loose, you will observe extra thread unwinding. This scenario causes a thread build-up below the metal place, and ultimately a birdnest!

So, to correct the issue, rotate the tension screw on the bobbin case in a clockwise motion. It helps to tighten the bobbin tension and to eliminate any mechanical problems.

How Do You Fix Embroidery Mistakes?

You can fix embroidery mistakes by either covering it up, removing the embroidery, and fixing it back or sewing by hand. You can also choose to mark the affected area with a marker, adding a name, or stitching a button. 

The chosen method is all up to you. But for now, let us look at each method closely.

     1. Cover the Mistake

The first move is always to identify the mistake on the embroidery. Unfortunately, sometimes the mistake cannot be removed or fixed back. Therefore, covering it up is the best fix.

Create another design that you can use to cover the mistake you have made. Then, place the material on the embroidery unit and sew the new embroidery design.

Ensure that the design you use to cover the mistake is bigger than the previous one. Also, a thin fabric cannot withstand another embroidery design. So, ensure that you verify if the material is thick enough for the job.

     2. Remove the Old Embroidery and Fix it Back.

This corrective action requires that you remove the embroidery from the fabric’s top side. So, start by turning the garment inside out to make the process easy and quick. Then, identify the embroidery stitches and use a stitch eraser, razor, and seam ripper to remove them.

The best way to remove the stitches is to cut them on the embroidery design’s backside. Also, please note that a stitch eraser is highly recommended as it cuts bobbin stitches that are so close to the fabric without cutting and ruining it.

You can now turn the garment to its right side and remove the embroidery. Then, wipe off any threads and get ready to embroider.

     3. Sew by Hand

This technique is the best if you are dealing with a small error. For example, if one letter on the design is not as it should be, you can correct it by hand sewing. Start by turning the garment inside out as it enables you to see the ripped threads. Then, get a thread with the same color as your embroidery. 

Also, get the correct needle and sew the embroidery design. Ensure that you follow the pattern as it was previously to correspond with the whole embroidery design. In addition to that, sew at the garments back to keep the sewing stitches on one side.

     4. Mark the Affected Area with a Marker Pen.

The technique works for little embroidery mistakes as the marker pen cannot hide large fabric areas. Also, it would be helpful if you consider a pen that is the same color as the embroidery design or fabric.

Before you begin, please note that the fabric should be right up during the whole process. This move enables you to see the mistake properly, and you can correct it. Besides that, ensure that the pen’s ink does not blot the fabric.

So, paint over the embroidery error. But if you have a small thread hole, mark it carefully and look exactly like the fabric.

     5. Add a Name or Letter to the Mistake.

If you are looking to fix an embroidery mistake, consider adding a letter, name, or pattern to the design. Also, if you did not center the design properly during the embroidery process, this is the time to fix it.

First, determine the name or letter that you wish to add to the design. Then, turn the fabric inside out and mark the point you want to make the addition. Get the garment to the embroidery machine and sew the other pattern or letter. 

Ensure that you keep checking if it helps your original embroidery design. If not, please keep repeating the process until you get a perfect shot.

     6. Add a Button or a Bow on the Error.

A bow or a button also works so well to hide your embroidery error. Ensure that they match your embroidery design or fabric color.

The process is quite easy as you need to sew the button directly on the mistake. It is an excellent way to cover for the error and get a perfect finish for the design. Moreover, you may end up being grateful for the mistake because the bow or button may make the embroidery design even better.

What about an error that does not have a fix? You may ask. I acknowledge that the issue is so bad that the methods above cannot rescue you. For example, if you opt to remove the design and fix it back, you may get a roadblock if the fabric is delicate_it may tear as you remove the design, and you have no garment to embroider.

In such cases, the only alternative is to throw away the ruined material and start the project again. However, please do not throw away the ruined project, as the fabric can help you fix other embroidery mistakes. For instance, you can use it as an applique for other projects. 

Also, you can cut off the buttons from the spoiled garment and use them in other jobs.

Additionally, if you are a beginner, ruined garments are perfect fabrics to practice on as you perfect your skills.

How Do I Stop My Machine from Embroidering Puckering?

Embroidery puckering occurs when the fabric bunches up around the stitch area of the design. In addition, it causes the fabric to have folds, and it no longer lies flat. This scenario ultimately affects your stitching process and design results. So, it would help if you resolved the puckering as soon as it happens.

The most efficient way to sort embroidery puckering is by keeping the fabric in place as you stitch out the embroidery design. This practice will help you to keep the fabric consistently flat during the sewing process. Therefore, it will not bunch up as the needle comes down.

However, the fix is easier said than done for some fabrics, and you need to learn a few tricks to avoid puckering. Consider the following tips for your next embroidery project.

  • Adjust the stitch width and length to match your fabric type.
  • Choose the correct thread for the fabric. Also, use the same thread for your bobbin and upper thread.
  • Ensure smooth coordination between the thread and needle.
  • Check the machine’s tension settings to verify that they are good to go!

How Do You Fix Embroidery Tension?

Adjusting the bobbin and thread tension will fix the embroidery tension. So, for the bobbin tension, adjust the screw in quarter turns either in an anticlockwise or clockwise direction. 

An anticlockwise motion will loosen the tension, whereas a clockwise motion will tighten the bobbin tension.

The thread tension setting requires you to work with the top thread. So, adjust the dial settings to match the fabric’s specifications. They range from zero to nine, and a 4.5 setting is suitable for most projects.

Here’s how to adjust embroidery tension:

How Do I Stop My Thread from Bunching?

Your thread will bunch up because of various reasons. However, most people rush to check the bobbin placement and even replace it_only to realize that the thread is still bunching. So, let me give you other reasons for thread bunching and how you can solve the issue.

  • Thread bunching occurs if you do not thread the embroidery machine correctly. So, you need to unthread the machine and thread it afresh. Ensure that the thread take-up lever is in position and attach the spool. Then, pull the thread through the thread guides and the machine’s tension discs.

Also, ensure that you follow the manual’s guidelines and pull the thread through the needle’s eye.

  • If the thread tails are too short, don’t get surprised if thread bunching occurs during embroidery. Most embroiderers work with two inches because shorter threads suck into the sewing unit during sewing.

This sucking up eventually leads to bunching. So, ensure that you begin with at least three to four-inch thread tails. On top of that, you can hold the thread tails until you have a couple of stitches.

  • A tight or uneven thread tension also contributes to thread bunching. Therefore, adjust the tension depending on the thread and fabric weights. Also, use similar thread weights in the upper thread area and the bobbin.

Additionally, if you keep getting a bunched-up thread, adjust the upper thread tension. Also, turn the tension setting anticlockwise and loosen it.

  • Lowered feed dogs cause the bobbin thread to loop beneath your fabric. The feed dogs help the fabric move, and if they are raised, the fabric is stationary, and stitches form in one place. So, ensure that you raise them to their correct position after a sewing project.
  • You need to lower the presser foot to feed the fabric properly through the sewing unit. Hence, you will have thread bunches and loops beneath the fabric if you forget to position them correctly. Moreover, computerized sewing machines will not sew unless you lower the presser foot.
  • The spool cap is another accessory that can lead to thread bunching. It prevents the thread spool from bouncing out of control or vibrating as you sew. Therefore, if you do not have a spool cap, the thread will feed through the unit unevenly and cause bunches.

So, ensure that you always use a spool during sewing. Even so, do not tighten it too much so that the thread cannot unwind freely.

  • Finally, if your bobbin case has accumulated lint, you will see thread bunches. Lint builds up as you sew and prevents the bobbin case hook from forming stitches well. Therefore, clean the sewing unit frequently and avoid thread bunching scenarios.

Why Is My Embroidery Machine Pulling Up Bobbin Thread?

Generally, when you see the bobbin thread in your topstitching, the tension at the bobbin is too loose. So, use the bobbin screw and adjust the tension. 

Also, if your bobbin thread is on top, the top thread has more tension, pulling more thread than required. Therefore, if the machine pulls up the bobbin thread, consider checking and adjusting the top thread and bobbin tension settings.

Will Removing Embroidery Leave Holes?

Removing embroidery is quite a safe process. But, it can be a nightmare if you pull the thread with extra force because you will leave holes in the fabric. Also, if the embroidery already had holes, you would be making them even bigger than before.

Therefore, ensure that you always work with embroidery-stitch-removing tools such as a seam ripper. Ensure that it is sharp and that you use it at the back of the garment. Also, it would be best if you dampen the embroidery thread. Wet thread is usually weak and thus easy to cut.

Additionally, use tools that do not require you to exert too much pressure on the fabric. For example, a blade may puker the fabric surface if you use more pressure than necessary.

Why Is My Embroidery Not Lining Up?

The embroidery design may fail to line up because of incorrect hopping. For example, the hoop may be too loose and does not hold the fabric well enough. This scenario allows the fabric to move back and forth during stitching. 

Also, if you use a large hoop with slippery fabric, you will have to bear with an unstable material throughout the session.

Fortunately, the problem has a fix. Roll a sticky paper around the old hoop or get a new one with metal spins. This move will increase the fabric and hoop friction, and thus, the fabric will be stable in the hoop.

Additionally, if your stabilizer choice is incorrect, you will still have an issue with aligning the embroidery. So, get a cut-away stabilizer with the correct weight. 

Then, spray a temporary adhesive and attach it to the fabric. When you finish, you will have a stable fabric that will not pull during embroidering.

The design may be inferior in other cases, and the above tips will not fix the issue. So, before you start embroidering on the project, try embroidering the design on scrap fabric and observe how it performs. 

Also, not all fabrics are embroidery-friendly. Therefore, if the design does not line up well and you have hooped it correctly, redo the design.

Can You Undo Embroidery Stitching?

Yes. You can undo embroidery stitching if you mess up the design. Also, if you reconsider the design, feel free to undo the current stitches. Get an embroidery eraser, seam ripper, or fading stitch marks and remove the stitches. Then, iron the fabric and redo the stitches.

How Do You Fix Puckering?

Fixing puckering is as easy as ABC, as once you identify the cause, you can easily get things back to normal. Below are some easy fixes to your puckering scenario.

  • Replace the needle with a new one. When it comes to needles, the adage ‘old is gold’ does not apply. So it would be best if you got a new needle for every new project. Also, if you notice that your current needle is bent or damaged, replace it immediately.
  • Reset the thread tension in the sewing unit. Also, consider loosening the upper thread tension and check if the thread is too tight as it goes through the needle eye.
  • Rethread the sewing machine if you had used the wrong threading technique. Also, it would help if you use the user’s manual as you go through the process.
  • According to the fabric type, shorten the stitch length and ensure smooth coordination between the thread, needle, and fabric.

How Do I Stabilize My T-shirt for Embroidery?

A stabilizer is an essential accessory for T-shirt embroidery because it prevents it from stretching during stitching. It provides a papery feel, and you stitch through it and the t-shirt. Also, it ensures that the fabric is neat and non-stretchy during embroidery.

Get a cut or tear-away stabilizer that works with light designs such as vintage or toile. Then, print the pattern on its rough side and peel off the paperback. Finally, stick the stabilizer on your t-shirt and begin to embroider.

Why Is My Fabric Puckering?

Fabrics are vulnerable to puckering if you use the wrong tension settings. Also, if you use a damaged needle or do not match the needle size with the fabric, be prepared for puckering.

In addition, fabrics pucker for different reasons. For example, slippery fabrics such as satin and nylon slide around the stabilizer and thus, are prone to pucker.

Knit fabric such as polos and t-shirts are stretchy, and they overstretch on the hoop. So, when you take them off the hoop, they are likely to pucker. 

Besides that, lightweight textiles like linen or broadcloth easily pucker because they are thin and flimsy. Thus, they bunch up during embroidering and eventually pucker.

What Tool I Will Use to Adjust Top Embroidery Tension?

The Tajima thread tension gauge is a useful tool in adjusting top embroidery tension. It works for both home and commercial machines and, therefore, a perfect alternative for your unit. 

The gauge hooks the top thread from the presser foot, and as the embroiderer pulls the thread, they can determine the machine’s tension.

What Should My Bobbin Tension Be?

Proper bobbin tension is a requirement for perfect embroidery results. For instance, if the tension is too tight, the bobbin thread may show on top of your garment. This occurrence leads to frequent thread breaks, which waste your money, energy, and time.

So, bobbin tensions should range from 18 to 22 grams. You can go up to 25 grams if you are working with embroidery caps. Also, it would be best for satin stitches to show ⅔ top thread color and ⅓ bobbin on the embroidery’s underside.

What Thread Tension Should I Use?

The top thread tension dial settings range from zero to nine. Thus, 4.5 is generally a perfect default position for regular straight-stitch sewing. Also, the setting is excellent for most fabrics. 

On the other hand, it would be best to have a three or four tension setting if you are working on a zig-zag stitch.

NB: Please note that the thread thickness and fabric weight will affect the tension. So, ensure that you experiment to get the ideal tension settings before you begin sewing.


Birdnesting is a normal embroidery issue, and as such, you should not panic when it occurs. It also has very simple-to-execute fixes. So, with a thorough guide, you can solve birdnesting and get back to work. But still, embroiderers keep asking for easier tips on

How To Fix Birdnesting On Embroidery Machine

The problem occurs because of thread loops. Thus, ensure that you adjust the bobbin and thread tension when the thread begins to form bunches. In addition, position the hoop correctly and have a maintenance routine for the unit.

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