Fix the Loop!

Don’t you hate when this happens? You are doing an embroidery design, or a monogram, or even an applique and your thread “loops” up on you. I’ve struggled forever with this and what causes it. There have been times where I’ve totally blamed the spool of thread. It was a bad spool or the thread was not twisting off the spool correctly. Recently I did some knit toboggan hats and my monogram looped on every.single.one.of.them. I emailed my sewing machine guy and he said it was a density issue. For example, knit hats + dense monogram = the thread/needle does not penetrate the knit properly and therefore loops. Sometimes I think my machine is dusty or dirty, so I change all my needles and clean the bobbin area to get rid of any dust or pieces of thread.

Below is a “Footprint” embroidery design I’ve recently sewn on 3 dozen burp cloths for a local ministry, Footprints Ministry. As you can see by my arrows on the photo below, the thread looped up on me in one spot. If this happens, don’t cut it! That may cause your design to unravel. What I USED to do was stick a regular needle or straight pin through and then try to pull the thread to the back by pulling on my bobbin thread in that area with a needle. It worked most of the time. Now if your monogram loops terribly and you’re looking at 15 places where the thread is loopy, then you might need to remove the monogram and back up and sew it again. But, if it’s just a loop here & there, I have a great tool for you.

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It even has a cute name ~ Dritz brand Snag Nab-It!! I got mine at JoannΒ and it looks like this. It’s basically a needle (just shy of 2.5″ long) with 1 sharp end and the other end resembles an emery board. It’s jagged like sandpaper. They are $2.99 and are considered Notions, so catch them on sale or use a coupon. I also found some on Amazon.

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So here’s how it works! You stick the Snag Nab-It in to your garment where the loop starts or finishes. You may notice the needle is pretty thick, so it can be a little tough to pull the needle all the way through (especially pulling the jagged end through). If it leaves a hole, then spritz a little water on your garment and it should be fine.

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As you pull the needle through, the rough end grabs the loose thread and pulls it through to the back of your item (back there with the bobbin thread). You could then apply a little Fray Check on the back of the item or leave it as is. The thread would have to be pulled to come back through to the top which is unlikely.

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Here’s a closeup of the end.

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As you can see below, the loop is gone! I successfully pulled it through the burp cloth to the back of the design. Yay!

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Here is another example! I monogrammed this bib today and the thread I was using is an off-brand thread that I never use. As you can see, it didn’t “loop” too terribly bad, but the monogram is not as tight as I would like.

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Again, I stuck the Snag Nab-It through the bib where the loose thread was (on the very edge of the satin stitch) and pulled it through.

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As you can see, it tightened that loose thread by pulling it through to the back side of the bib. Ironing also helps “set” the monogram. I keep my iron on medium heat, no steam. I have heard that rayon thread can melt, but I use 100% polyester embroidery thread so ironing it quickly only “sets” the monogram. I typically use Isacord (www.sewingmachine.com) or Exquisite thread (www.kenssewingcenter.com) which are almost identical.

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Hopefully this helps with that frustrating looping problem! Do you have any other cool tools you use? If so comment and share!

Comments

  1. Debbie Clark says:

    Thank you for sharing this tool! I’m excited to check those out!

  2. Have you had any broken threads when using this tool? I have used it with metro thread and it always breaks the thread. Instead of saving the embroidery, it ruins it. Any other tool you can use for weaker thread?

    • I have not! I use Isacord or Exquisite thread and have not had any issues. Is Metro polyester??

      • Thanks for replying. Metro It is polyester. I might need to change brands but sometimes it is hard to find the same colors in other brands. With Madeira polyneon I never have this problem. But they don’t have some of the colors Metro has.

  3. Are the baby feet your design? They are really cute

    • The baby feet were sent to me to do the burp cloths. I’m not sure if that is the design the ministry had digitized or if she bought it! I will see if I can find out.

  4. Cynthia S. says:

    I love this tool! Thanks for reminding me where I probably got it. ;o) I want to get a couple more incase I loose the one that I have.

  5. I’ve used a fine metal crochet hook with great success. I have one that was my g’ma’s with all my sewing tools!

  6. Is the footprint design one of yours? If not where did you purchase it?

    • No it’s not one of mine. I did those for a ministry here in town and the girl in charge sent me the file! I am not sure if she had it digitized or if she bought it somewhere. I will see if I can find it!

  7. That’s so AWESOME!!! I will be getting mine tomorrow!!! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  8. Rosemary – Thanks so much for your great post. That is a helpful tool to know about. When I use off-brand threads, especially metallic that I get seduced into buying at JoAnn’s, I also turn down my machine speed to keep things under control. It is comforting to know that even experienced embroiderers like you still confront this problem. For a long time I kept thinking if I just got better, it would stop happening – NOT!
    Best wishes – Joanne

  9. I sometimes use a tiny hook to pull threads through to the back. It has a latch, similar to a knitting machine needle. It’s ideal when a thread has caught and as it’s smooth, no issues with burring the item.

    I live in the UK and I haven’t seen nor heard of Snag Nab It’s but they sound useful. Thank you.

  10. Tisha Williams says:

    Great information, thanks so much for sharing!!

  11. Sandy Clark says:

    Thank you for this information. Can you tell me where you buy your thread from and what brand needles you use? I have major trouble with looping. Much worse that those pictures. Mine bogs down and loops so bad. I have had it worked on 2 times and it works for a while and then starts again. Very aggravating. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Sandy

    • I use Exquisite (kenssewingcenter.com) and Isacord (sewingmachine.com). I use Schmetz 75-11 embroidery needles. You might also consider your stabilizer? Solvy on top will help if the thread is bogging down.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this! I know exactly where I am headed tomorrow! πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Rosemary
    Thanks for the great tip, I use a very fine crochet hook that I used to use to make crochet lace before I had my embroidery machine, but will definitely keep this in mind as the eyes aren’t what they used to be. I live in Australia and although I have not heard of Snag Nab It, will definitely keep a look out. Most likely be easier to purchase it from Amazon, Lord knows I’m most likely get it sooner rather then later then. πŸ™
    This footprint design is one I have used many times also. I hope this is ok to put here, I don’t wish to cause any ructions I purchased the designs in an heirloom set from Hatched in Africa the link is below:
    http://www.hatchedinafrica.com/detail.aspx?id=1511&c=&sc=
    Like I said I do not wish to upset anyone just thought it would be of use to you in replying to the queries re the design.
    Best Wishes
    Lonnie

  14. Love this tool. Gotta have one!!

    Mimi

  15. Speattle says:

    Thanks for this great tip! I have one of those tools, but never thought to use it for loose embroidery threads.

  16. If it’s a smaller loop like the second photo you showed, try rubbing your finger nail along the back of the stitches. It should fix the loop pretty easily. So far it had worked for me every single time! πŸ˜‰

  17. Melissa says:

    Thank you for this! I too have been using a pin or needle and will have to give this new gadget a try!

  18. I’m trying to fix something I bought at a store with these loops in the embroidered team logo. I have no sewing or embroidery experience and I’m wondering if experience in those areas is necessary for this tool to be useful or if it should be something I can fix on my own by following the directions. What do you think?

    • I would think anyone could use a Snag Nab-It to fix any pulled thread! I’d use it on a shirt or whatever if a thread got pulled. No experience necessary! πŸ™‚

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