A quick tip for thread transporting when you stitch

So I was embroidering here and thought that maybe not everyone knows about this little trick of thread transport. At times, if not done correctly, this can be one of the factors contributing to puckering!

Puckering reasons

Before proceeding, I would like to remind the two common factors for puckering: loose tension of fabric when stitching and shrinking of fabric after washing it.

Today we will focus on the first issue, fabric tension. You've probably come across the recommendation to have your ground fabric drum taut in an embroidery hoop or frame when stitching a lot of times, haven't you?

However, we all know there are seamstresses and embroiderers who prefer working without any hoop or frame at all and have excellent results without any puckering.

So, then... what is the real problem?

The real problem is uneven thread tension, actually, and not the fabric tension.

When the fabric is held taut in an embroidery hoop or frame thread tension is usually even by default. That's why these tools are often strongly recommended as a type of prevention measure. Even fabric tension usually equals even thread tension.

But... not always.

As a matter of fact, there are still some little details you have to be aware of and be able to manage them correctly to avoid fabric puckering. And those embroidery artists and seamstresses who are not fond of hoops and frames have simply mastered all these little tricks and now don't have to worry about anything.

One of these tricks you will find out below.

Thread transport

What I mean by the thread transport is when you are working a certain element and then you need to start the same thread at another place.

A quick tip for thread transporting when you stitch

Like in the picture above, where I'm working a petal, finishing it at point A, and have to start another one at point B.

There are a few solutions to this situation.

1) You can end thread and start it at point B from scratch. Well, don't know about you, but very often I'm too lazy to end and start the same thread when the next point is so close. I just don't want to do all this extra work when I literally need this very floss again, it just seems such a waste. So then we have the second option.

2) You can transport your thread. The easy way would be to simply bring the needle through at the next point. And that's all. Easy, right?

A quick tip for thread transporting when you stitch

In this case, you would have quite a long thread stretch from one point to the other, like in the picture above. Does it look familiar to you?

If it does, it is actually a problem.

In fact, this kind of thing should be avoided. Easy isn't always good.

These kinds of thread extensions are what can contribute to the puckering. Because if the tension of this thread stretch doesn't match the rest of the work, it may easily distort the fabric. And when you remove your needlework from the hoop puckering may occur. And, on the contrary, if this stretch is too loose then your next stitch will be loose as well, you know what I mean?

All in all, this is really not a favorable thing for us, no matter how you look at it. And the stretch you see in the picture is not even that long. If you didn't know about the trouble it could cause, chances are you could be making longer stretches across the whole work, here and there, and all of that can result in worse distortion.


There are two ways to transport your thread to the necessary point without the stretch though.

The first one I explained in this post a long time ago. The purpose of this trick was to hide thread on the backside, but it also works for simple thread transport. In short, what you need to do is to secure the loose end of thread under some previously laid stitched until you get to the point you need. You don't have to slide under every single stitch you made before. Skip them as you like. The main goal is to guide the thread to the next point, securing it one the way few times to avoid a long stretch.

A quick tip for thread transporting when you stitch

If there are no stitches yet to help you on the backside, then make few teeny tiny stitches while traveling to the point you need, like in the picture above. I could actually lay the stitches on a straighter line between A and B because the whole shape is going to be covered in stitching. But I sort of forgot and followed the drawn line, haha. But it's cool because that's how you do that sometimes, transporting the thread subtly on a line that will be worked later.

As for the backside, now there are few shorter stitches there which hold the same tension, so puckering is very unlikely :)

So the tip is to secure your thread a few times on the backside and avoid a long stretch of thread. If there are already stitches, then slide the needle under some of them. If the direction towards the next point is still empty from stitching, then make tiny anchoring stitches that can be covered later. If neither of the options is possible, then better end the thread and start it over at the next point.

You may think that it's not really necessary and only makes things too complicated, but I believe it would be better if you at least consider it and make a mental note to yourself. If one day you face puckering despite having your fabric evenly taut and will be confused as to what the problem could be – a little blooper like this could be the answer.

Puckering is such a thing that can spoil even the best work, so let's do our best to protect our needleworks :)

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