In the previous post, What are Birdnests? we looked at what a birdnest is and the potential damage it can cause. In this sequel we’ll look at five common causes of birdnests so we know the signs and can avoid them. Also, I’ll cover some tips on how to repair minor damage. As with many problems, prevention can save you time, money, and frustration.
Common Causes of Birdnests
Improperly inserted or threaded bobbin or no bobbin. While the absence of a bobbin is not technically a classic birdnest, it creates similar problems.
- Incorrectly threaded upper thread. Check all thread guides; a common cause of birdnests on home embroidery machines is the thread jumping out of the take up lever, which severely reduces the tension on the thread causing it to be easily pulled to the bottom of the hoop. An unthreaded take-up lever will result in a birdnest every time.
- A tight bobbin tension coupled with very loose needle thread tension can cause a birdnest.
- Flagging, which is the hoop bouncing up and down during sewing. This can happen if the fabric is hooped too loosely, the fabric slips or stretches in the hoop, or if the fabric doesn’t release from the needle and is instead pulled up with the needle on it’s upstroke. The latter can happen when sewing through adhesives that build up on the needle.
- On commercial machines, trimming malfunctions and hook timing or hook positioning are also frequently sited as causes of birdnests.