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Common Embroidery Machine Problems

As a professional sewist, you will be well aware that if your embroidery machine is not working well, it will ruin your whole design, and you will regret it in the end. So, to save your efforts, we have encountered 10 Common Embroidery Machine Problems with their solutions so that you can handle the problem on your own.

Embroidery is the process of hand-sewing a design or pattern into cloth using needles and threads. Machine embroidery refers to the process of doing the same thing with a machine. With the aid of a machine, the procedure becomes extremely quick. However, despite all the convenience and easiness, we have challenges and issues with the embroidery machine. Let’s look at some frequent issues and how to solve them.

10 Common Embroidery Machine Problems

Common Embroidery Machine Problems

Despite all the excitement and activity, the embroidery digitizing process is not as simple as it appears. There is a great hustle and bustle when dealing with stitches, embroidery machines, and software. You’ll encounter various stitch troubles as well as machine embroidery concerns. So, it’s essential to understand embroidery machine problems to avoid them. Let’s start with the issues:

1. Problems with the thread

Problems with the thread

The most common problem in embroidery machines is with the thread. Thread issues are unavoidable in professional embroidery. Taking care of any embroidery thread issues as soon as they arise can prevent a tiny setback from hurting your income. Most embroidery threads are strong, long-lasting, and efficient. However, no matter how cautious you are, an issue will always arise.

To decrease waste and keep your clients satisfied, you must address embroidery thread issues as soon as possible. Fraying, balling, breaking, and “birdnesting” are all examples of thread failure. There are several reasons for each thread issue; however, inappropriate tension causes frequent problems. The good news is that a few tweaks are all it takes to get back on track and avoid costly production delays.

2. There’s a lot of noise from the machine

There's a lot of noise from the machine

The machine is creating noise while running is a common problem that we see. The embroidery machine is no different from any other machine. The machine makes noise mainly when it needs cleaning or oiling or has a damaged or blunt needle.

To avoid noise issues, you must maintain the equipment regularly. The machine requires regular maintenance and cleaning and oiling, and servicing. Also, ensure that the feed teeth and other places are clean. Make that the needle is in good operating order. Replace it with a new one if it doesn’t exist.

3. Breaking of Needle

Breaking of Needle

Breaking needles is a common occurrence. For embroidery machines, this is a prevalent issue. Needles break when they are crooked, loose, or tiny, or when the stitch position does not fit the surface, as the name indicates.

Inserting a fresh needle is the most simple solution to these issues. Use the proper embroidery needle size and stitch type for the cloth. Also, adjust the needle position and use the appropriate presser foot for the stitch type.

4. Skipped stitches

Skipped stitches

Another typical problem with embroidery thread is false starts or stitching that does not pick up while starting a stitch pattern or skipping stitches in the middle. You can avoid the embroidery thread problems with the correct equipment, materials, and assistance.

Check the rear of the design for the top thread to bobbin thread ratio shown in the back of the pattern while working with false starts. If just a few strands of bobbin thread are visible, then either your bobbin is tight, or the top tension is too slack. To get to the bobbin, you’ll need roughly a 1″ to 12″ drop.

Tighten the top tension if the bobbin drop test is satisfactory. To get a suitable balance and the desired effect, turn both the tiny and bigger tension knobs. Check the machine’s threading as well to see whether it’s threaded properly.

5. Fraying


If you’ve discovered your threads are fraying, check your needles first. You must use the correct needle size and type for your machine. Commercial embroidery machines utilize round shank needles, but single-needle home sewing machines commonly use flat shank needles.

Fraying can occur when a needle is too tiny for the thread, generating excessive friction, or the machine has worn out needles, and you need to replace them. Instead of waiting for needles to break before replacing them, you should replace them after around eight hours of use. The thread tension may be excessive. Embroidery thread will fray if it comes into contact with too much friction. Also, a faulty cone can create issues; thus, changing the cone can assist.

6. Jamming


The jamming of embroidery machines is another typical problem. There might be a few difficulties with your machine that are causing it to become stuck, regardless of how frequently you have it serviced. To get to the gears and other functioning elements inside, you’ll need to carefully disassemble all of the external components.

When doing so, exercise extreme caution and seek the advice of an expert if you have any reservations about what you’re doing. Also, keep an eye on the areas that require lubrication once you’ve opened up the gadget. A few bearings or gears may need to be oiled, and someone who has had extensive embroidery machine maintenance training can best do it. Before shutting your device again after performing any necessary repairs, make sure to try it out.

7. Birdnesting

We call it birdnesting when a thread becomes stuck and accumulates between the needle plate and the cloth. The formation resembles a bird’s nest, hence the name. Birdnesting caused by improper top thread tension stops the material from flowing freely. If this occurs with your embroidery, check and adjust until the tension is proper and the top and bottom tensions are balanced. Also, make sure to use the right hoops to hoop the cloth snugly, leaving no gaps between the sewing arm and the hoop assembly.

8. Bobbin issues

Bobbin issues

If your embroidery machine is having issues with the bobbin, you may do several things to fix the problem. To loosen the mechanism a little, adjust the bobbin tension knob. If this does not work, see your user handbook for instructions on how to increase the number of stitches per inch supported. Following that, make sure the bobbin is threaded correctly. You can minimize this difficulty by using high-quality Bobin.

9. Thread Build-Up

Thread Build-Up

Thread Build-Up is a prevalent issue behind the needlework, on the neck plate, or both. It’s not uncommon for the thread to ball up. Check to see if your material has been threaded correctly through the tension bars if you’re seeing a lot of thread clumps. It’s also possible that your bobbin isn’t at the correct place.

Moreover, look for any slack in the rope. Also, check if the top and bottom tensions are the same. Problems might arise if one is too loose while the other is excessively tight. Make sure the thread is clear of the bobbin and hook.

10. Puckering


The pattern will refuse to lay flat on the cloth, bunching up and sticking out accidentally around the embroidery threads known as puckering in fabric embroidery. Unlike many of the other concerns we’ve mentioned, puckering isn’t always visible until you have finished the stitching and have taken the cloth from the machine. You won’t notice the unwelcome waves until it’s no longer stretched over the frame, which several causes can cause.

Insufficient or inappropriate stabilization can cause puckering. It can also happen if you have hooped the cloth wrongly, which commonly occurs when you have stretched the fabric too much. When the fabric and embroidery are on the machine, they appear suitable, but they bunch up and the material relaxes when you withdraw the machine.

Excessively tight thread tensions can also cause puckering. Make sure you know what fabric you’re working with, that you’re using the right stabilizer, that you’re hooping correctly, and that your thread tensions are perfect for preventing your embroidery from puckering.

There’s much to keep in mind when it comes to preventing embroidery puckering, but as you work with your machine and learn more about it, you’ll better understand what to look for and how each distinct type of cloth reacts.

Related Article: Brother Sewing Machine Tension Problems and Solutions

Related Article: Sewing Machine Problems

Final Words

Even though embroidery machines have considerably decreased or eliminated many flaws in embroidered work, specific embroidery machine issues do arise. You can easily solve some of the problems mentioned above; otherwise, you must contact a professional.

Moreover, to make your embroidery machine work well, have a skilled mechanic inspect at least once a year. Also, clean the machine, replace the needle frequently, and use excellent thread. In the end, cover it with a dust cover when the machine isn’t in use.

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