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How to Set up Your Embroidery Machine for the Best Results

How to set up your embroidery machine for the best results.

Machine embroidery can be addictive because it’s so easy to sew gifts, personalize your home, and make your plain clothes into something totally unique. An embroidery machine is an expensive but worthwhile investment. We’re sharing a few of our best tips to make sure your embroidery designs look better, sew easier, and ensure you get the most out of your embroidery machine.

1. Basting with water soluble thread
You may have heard about water soluble thread, but did you know it could make a huge difference in your machine embroidery? We stitched out this design with two layers of stabilizer on the backside of the fabric. However, because the design has a lot of sharp points, it creates a lot of puckering around it.

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Embroidery design without water soluble thread.

To stop this from happening, we’re going to stitch a circle of Rinse ‘n Gone water soluble thread through the fabric and stabilizer before stitching out the design. This holds the layers together much more tightly than the embroidery hoop will and stop the fabric and stabilizer from shifting.

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Embroidery design with a ring of Rinse ‘n Gone water soluble thread stitched around the edge of the design.

Once the design is stitched out, the thread can be scrubbed out with a wet toothbrush if you don’t want to wash the whole embroidery. After a quick press, you can see how flat it looks in comparison to the embroidery design without the water soluble thread.

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2. Using the best bobbin thread

Machine embroidery uses a lot of dense stitching in a small area, meaning your choice of bobbin thread will make a huge difference in how flat your embroidery design sits, as well as how much the bobbin thread will show through. We highly recommend using a finer bobbin thread, such as DecoBob 80wt, because the fine thread doesn’t add any extra bulk to the dense stitching and blends into the fabric better than a 40 or 50wt thread will. In the left part of this embroidery, we used a white 50wt bobbin thread. You can actually see the bobbin thread showing through the design. However below, we switched to a white DecoBob 80wt bobbin thread. Even though the thread is white, it can’t even be seen in the design.

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Simply changing your thread can make a huge difference in the quality of your machine embroidery, but you can still take it one step further. In the left half of this embroidery we used a bobbin self-wound with DecoBob 80wt thread. On the right side, we used a pre-wound DecoBob bobbin. You can actually see how the left side has larger breaks in the embroidery while the right side lays flatter with tighter stitches. These pre-wound bobbins are wound perfectly evenly at the factory. This gives you a consistent machine tension that noticeably affects the quality of your machine embroidery.

To find out what bobbin size your machine takes, you can consult our Bobbin Guide by clicking here.

3. Apply a Wonder Guard™ for even tension and prevent unravelling

A Wonder Guard is this handy little thread guard that can be used on any spool of thread that requires a vertical feed. To apply it to your spool, wrap it around the spool snuggly but not tightly, with the feed of the thread coming from the top. This is a perfect tool for slippery threads that tend to pool around the base of the spool. It will also even the tension of the thread which will make a huge difference in the quality of your machine embroidery stitches.

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If you’re embroidering with metallic threads that have a curl to it, also known as having a high memory, it will also help pull out those curls out before it even comes off the spool. And as an added bonus, the wonder guard will keep your threads tidy, clean, and even prevents it from drying out when you’re not sewing with it.

4. Using a Thread Tamer for perfect tension.

A Thread Tamer is a multi-purpose thread stand that offers a number of features to give you the best results in your stitching. If you’re sewing with a metallic thread that carries a lot memory, you can weave the thread through the extender slots to help pull out the tangles before the thread even reaches your machine.

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At the same time, it’s tall enough to clear the top of the machine so it doesn’t drag along the side, changing the thread’s tension. It also allows the thread to relax before entering the machine, which is beneficial for finnicky threads or metallic threads. This combination of things will give your machine embroidery better tension, resulting in higher quality stitches.

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Follow these tips for gorgeous, professional looking machine embroidery with any home embroidery machine!

Let us know in the comment section below if you have any machine embroidery tips you always follow, or share with us if these tips are things you’re already doing in your embroidery projects. Inspired to sew? Find WonderFil products in a store near you at


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