How to Fix Embroidery Coming Loose: A Complete Guide

Embroidery is a tricky business as often the threads might come loose, unravel, get snagged, or even frayed. This is a common problem. 

So, the question is, how to fix embroidery coming loose?

You can apply masking tapes to the fabric edges when embroidering. Or you can coat the fabric edges with fabric glue or fray check. You also can use pinking shears to trim the weaves. Otherwise, you can sew the unraveling threads if they come loose from the embroidery. 

No need to freak out now. Embroidery problems are pretty common with simple solutions. Read on to know how to fix the issue. 

Easy Ways to Fix Embroidery Coming Loose

There are non-sewn and sewn methods for your unraveled or frayed or loose or snagged embroidery cloth edges. Let’s have a quick look at both of the methods before diving into the in-depth solutions to the problem. 

Non-Sewn MethodsApply fabric glue/fray check to the fabric edge to stop unraveling. Glue or melt the loose threads together.
Use pinking shears to trim the weaves. 
Use a QSnap frame for embroidery with a grime guard to protect the embroidery from unraveling. 
Sewn MethodsAdjust the thread quality of the fabric. 
Check if the thread length is right.  
Use the right needle & stabilizer. 
Diagonal-cut the thread ends. 
Sew the unraveled thread back. 

Non-Sewn Method 1: Fabric Glue/Fray Check

Embroidery problems can happen naturally. The embroidery on your jacket or shirt can be unraveled. You can fix it simply with fabric glue or a fray check.

Fabric Glue
Source: Wayne Arthur Gallery

Step 1: Place the fabric on a protective surface like a paper plate. 

Step 2: Coat the frayed or unraveled or lose fabric edge with fray check or fabric glue

Step 3: You can also melt the loose thread ends together to fix the loose embroidery issue. 

If you’re unsure of how to do it precisely, here’s a video you can watch. 

Non-Sewn Method 2: Pinking Shears

Even if you’re not a sewer and do not know anything about embroidery, pinking shear is a tool worth having. This is a special scissor you can use on fabrics, especially for loose or unraveled embroidery. 

Just trim the larger weaves unraveling from the embroidery with the pinking shear and that’ll stop the progress of unraveling. Pinking shears are a pretty much available and cost-effective way for your loose embroidery solution. 

Non-Sewn Method 3: QSnap Frame & A Grime Guard

QSnap frames are quite handy and lightweight too for a good hoop. Although it is a bit more expensive than regular hoops, it offers PVC plastic tubing with snap-on holders for each side of teh square frame. 

On the other hand, QSnap with a grim guard can really fix the loose embroidery problem. Grim guards are a stretchy cloth cover that holds tight the edges of the embroidery hoop. As a result, the unraveling error is eliminated. 

Sewn Methods:

So, the non-sewn methods are pretty much handy and worth a try. Now, let’s go over the sewn methods for the unraveled embroidery situation.

Solution 1:

First and foremost, you need to check some factors to fix the unraveled, snagged, loose, or frayed embroidery issue. Follow the points below to fix the issue. 

Step 1: First, adjust the fabric with your thread’s size, type, and quality. Wrong-sized thread on thicker fabric will cause the embroidery to come loose or unravel. 

  • Use the right & fresh set of needles and stabilizer. Check if the needle is too small or even damaged. 
  • Tape the fabric together while embroidering with masking tape. This will help keep the stitching intact and the fibers from unraveling. For extra protection, you can fold the tape over the stitch’s edges before taping it down. 
  • Diagonal-cut the thread ends. Instead of a straight cut, a diagonal cut after you’ve finished embroidery will help stop the progress of loose threads. 
  • Always use embroidery stabilizers on the back of your fabric. It will help to keep the fabric stretched and taut thus preventing it from unraveling.
  • You can also use an Iron on embroidery stabilizer with an iron or a heat gun. This only takes a few minutes.  
  • Try placing the stabilizer on a thicker or sturdy surface like a thicker fabric or a wall. Also, stitch slowly and carefully so as not to stretch the stitch too much. 
  • If nothing works, try ripping off the embroidery and start fresh. 

Now, if you’re wondering why does my skirt stick out at the back, it is probably because the skirt is loose at the waist, or you haven’t tied it properly, or even it has no tie at all. It will   

Solution 2:

In this method, you’ll need some materials to weave the loose embroidery together. 

Materials Needed:

  • Sewing needles. 
  • Scissors such as pinking shears. 
  • Threads that match the fabric color. 
  • Thimble for extra protection.
loose embroidery
Source: Wayne Arthur Gallery

Now follow these steps to fix the loose embroidery issue. 

Step 1: First, thread the hand-sewing needle. 

Step 2: Insert the threaded needle within the snag’s loop. 

Step 3: Drag the needle through until the loop is closer to the thread’s tail. 

Step 4: With the thread’s tail, establish a knot around the loop. 

Step 5: Now, cut the extra thread loose from the knot. Do not cut the loop accidentally. 

Step 6: Before inserting the threaded hand-sewing needle into the loop’s base, make sure to get closer to the base. 

Step 7: Pull the thread all the way to the fabric’s wrong side while taking the loop with you. 

Step 8: Now, untie the knot from the thread or cut it using scissors. 

By following the above steps, the loose, unraveled, snagged, or frayed embroidery issue should be fixed now. If you’re confused, watch this video below. 

Solution 3:

One of the common reasons your embroidery is starting to come loose is that the yarn is stretched out. Use a knotting method to add increased tension to the embroidery stitches when you’re finished with them. If you’re wondering what are knotting methods, try watching the video below. 

Do not overstretch the yarn at all or it will start to come loose. Store your embroidery work properly so as to prevent the yarn from getting tangled or matted down and becoming less elastic. 

Reasons Why Your Embroidery Coming Loose

Now, there are several good reasons why your embroidery is coming loose, unraveled, snagged, or even frayed. Let’s go over the reasons briefly. 

  1. Incorrect thread length, type, and quality. 
  2. Incorrect thread tension and needle selection.
  3. Incorrect tension in the machine stitch.  
  4. The upper thread is not threaded properly.
  5. Incorrect bobbin size or damaged bobbin.   
  6. The bobbin case and bobbin winder are not installed properly. 
  7. Incorrect use of stabilizers. 

Now, you need to remember that tension assembly on sewing machine ensures that the top and bottom thread is interlocked properly. Thus, strong and attractive embroidery can be created.   

How to Prevent Embroidery from Coming Loose? 

Now, there are some preventing steps you can take to prevent your embroidery from coming undone. Let’s go over the preventive steps. 

  1. Do not wash the embroidery cloth like regular cloth. It will damage the embroidery and the threads will come loose. And also do not wash them with clothes that have zipper, plastic, or metal bits. It’s best to wash the embroidery with your hand for a softer touch. 
  2. Cut any loose ends of the fabric or any ends that might come undone. But do not pull the loose ends as it will damage the embroidery by speeding up the unraveling process.  
  3. Tie the loose ends off which cannot be cut short. If the loose ends are too short, use a lighter to melt them and then press them down with the fabric.  
  4. Iron the embroidery to tamp down the loose ends. But before ironing, turn the cloth inside out so that the embroidery does not get damaged because of the iron heat. 
  5. Now, you probably unintentionally pulled the loose ends and now have a hole in your embroidery. Good thing it still can be salvageable. Try filling up the hole with fresh embroidery if you like it. 

Now, using a quality sewing machine is an advantage for quality embroidery. In that case, a discussion of Singer 6380 vs 4432 is a popular one and might be worth looking into for your quality embroidery venture. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Which Stabilizer Is Best for Embroidery?

The Cut Away stabilizers are the best stabilizer for embroidery as they are stable and permanent. They will help support your embroidery project from start to end without any problem. These are also good for embroidery projects that will be washed and worn constantly. 

How Does Tension Affect Embroidery?

Good embroidery entails proper bobbin tension. Too much tight tension will result in your fabric showing unwanted bobbin threads. Also, tight tension results in regular thread breaks. The perfect bobbin tension should be between 18 to 22 grams and 25 grams for caps.  

What Can I Use Instead of A Stabilizer?

You can use flannel, fleece, sweatshirt materials, or cotton instead of a stabilizer when embroidering. Although stabilizers are an important aspect of embroidery, you can use a thick fabric or sturdy surface instead. 


So, now you know how to fix embroidery coming loose. Next time any threads unravel or embroidery comes loose, try the solutions you’ve been given. Don’t freak out about your embroidery mistakes as you can easily fix these in many different ways. So, have fun with your embroidery venture.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *