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Hi Everybody,
I pulled my hair out long enough and I really don't have any to spare.
The zigzag border on this embroidery design is not lining up along the edges.  Anybody know why that would be?  It looks fine on the computer.
It was sewing out okay but I went back to tweak it and something changed.  I don't know what I did to make it not line up.
I then started from scratch and redid the design and it still doesn't line up.
I attached a picture of just the "J" but all the letters are doing it. I have the file but couldn't figure out how to attach it.
Thanks for any help,


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It looks to me like a problem in the hooping or the pull of the fabric.  Can you try to sew the design on felt or just 2 pieces of cut away backing (no fabric).  If the design is OK on the backing then it is a hooping or pull compensation problem.  The fabric can move in the hoop when sewing.  Are you using the smallest hoop possible to fit the design?

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I'm still a beginner at this embroidery lark so I'm doing more of this sort of problem solving than production!   Its all very frustrating, you have my sympathy . . . and I'll throw in a few untutored and inexperienced ideas, let us know what works please

is the stitch tension enough to be pulling the fabric through the hoop?

I use a piece of taylors chalk and run that around the inside of the hoop to see if its causing a problem, it marks the fabric temporarily and you can then tell if it gets pulled inwards. Usually find its more of a problem on big designs (loads of tension) on shiny flat woven fabrics rather than knitted.

a few solutions come to mind if this is the problem

- tighten the hoop up harder after hooping, if we tighten after pushing it on we seem to get less hoop burn

- something grippy on the inner hoop :  somebody on the pulse list once suggested Equine Tape and I am eternally grateful. We got some from the local tack shop (horse riding gear shop) but there is similar sold for human use (that costs 3 times as much). Its a self gripping, slightly wrinkly and tacky, stretch bandage.

- check your thread tensions, are they too high?

- change the complex fill, use shorter stitches as they can have less tension, avoid long runs, also maybe reduce density so not as many stitches pulling

is the backing too light?  -  is it tearing? is it stretching? are stitches pulling through it? is it one layer of directional backing, or have you put 2 layers of directional on in the same direction?

another possibility is the fabric creeping across the top of the backing, are you using any underlay?, underlay on the fill area would pin it to the backing and prevent the fabric creeping across during the fill. I'd be tempted to try a contour followed by a lattice or a perpendicular, but I'm just guessing. When I run out of hair I copy the segment and paste it (Control C then Control V) so I have 2 copies of it in the design in the same place, I can then turn the first (lower) copy into a manual underlay layer and try wierd stuff like setting up a grid to pin the fabric to the backing (for a belt, braces and piece of string approach I'd try say . . complex fill with a 2.5mm density satin, with quality control set at random split max 3mm, plus a perpendicular and a contour underlay, with stitch direction 45 degrees to the top stitch layer, the top stitch layer then does not need any underlay)

what order are you doing the stitching? if you do the fill on all the letters and then come back to do the steil then the cumulative movements due to all the tensions can be big, in that case best to work a letter for fill and immediately do the steil before moving on. Its heavy on trims and needle changes but keeps the alignment tighter.

that's enough of my silly rambling thoughts . . . let us know what works please

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I use binder clips from the stationery store. Like the binder clips used on cap hooping, only bigger. Use 4 clips on each comer of the hoop, usually only needed on bigger hoops like the 30cm. It solved all the problems with hoops separating from the vibration of sewing. Just have to remember to clip before starting.

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