Embroidery on sweatshirt makes Popping sound

by Gayle Ballinger
(Bothell, Washington, USA )

I found a sweatshirt at Walmart, which had a cute Reindeer on it. I instantly saw how doing some stitching over the screen printing would bring it to life.

As I was on vacation and eager to get started, I picked up a hoop, DMC floss and embroidery needle there and then.

I had cut-away Sulky Stabilizer with me. I am using three strands and Thread Heaven.

Every stitch I take, I hear a snapping or popping sound as the eye of the needle passes through. I am worried about breaking the knit strands of the sweatshirt. The pattern is done in a small V shape and I am stitching over the V in the same way, to give a 3 dimensional look.

I do not see any unravelling, but cringe with every snap as I stitch. Suggestions? Now that I am home, I can get a different needle, but after reading your information here, I could not begin to guess what I should get. Help? Thank you very much!


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A different needle may solve the issue
by: Carol

I am so sorry for the tardy response, Gayle.

When working on knit/sweatshirt fabric, I would advise using what is known as a ballpoint needle. This resembles a tapestry needle in that it is not pointed, but blunt. It should then slip between the fabric threads rather than piercing them.

The noise you are hearing may also signify that you are using a needle that is a little too thick for the fabric. You might find that using a smaller one would lessen the noise you are hearing.

The stabilizer was a good move. It is still important not to over-stretch the sweatshirt fabric in the hoop though.

Another possible reason for the popping sound as you stitch could be due to the type of printing on the sweatshirt. Does the motif have a plasticky surface? That could increase the likelihood of the sound as you stitch.

You may have already finished your piece by now, but I am publishing your submission anyway, as it could help others.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, hopefully wearing your reindeer shirt. :0)


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