Machine embroidery borders’ alignment

Only patience and practice make perfect borders’ alignment

Only patience and practice make perfect borders’ alignment

Professional embroidery machines with their big framed hoops make such tricky process as borders’ alignment be a piece of cake, but not everyone has such an apparatus. Moreover, embroidery enthusiasts’ creative imagination never seems to suffice with the size of hoops, always wishing for a little bit bigger space to embrace all the wonderful embroidery designs. Decorative cushions, say of ample 50 x 50 cm. size, or vast borders of table-covers would remain in the realms of dreams but for the ingenious art of borders’ alignment, helping to attach designs to each other in a harmonious pattern.

This technique could be divided into two types: logical and “techno-logical” (i.e. one, using the help of special marks). Mark is a dot of some kind, put on the fabric for orientation in the positioning of next element. I am not really fond of marks, because logical alignment seem easier to me.

Logical alignment

This technique will be shown on Machine Embroidery Design Indian Purpure Lace border. It is a classic design, perfectly suitable for such method. It is embroidered without stabilizers and is really easy to align.

Machine Embroidery Design Indian Purpure Lace border

First step is to determine the starting point of the embroidery. It could be done by checking with the design program for your embroidery machine. Here such point is circled with red.

Here such point is circled with red

When the design is finished, you should take off the upper part of the frame, without detaching the hoop from the machine. Put the needle on the starting point to attach the end of the finished element to the beginning of the new one; hoop and embroider.

Make sure the angle of the hoop always is perpendicular to the design placement.

Correct angle (red frame represents a hoop)

Correct angle (red frame represents a hoop)

Incorrect angle (red frame – a hoop)

Incorrect angle (red frame - a hoop)

There is also such a great thing as the Endless Hoop. This hoop makes all the process of borders’ attachment quick and easy. Pfaff and Husqvarna produce embroidery machines with the Endless Hoops.

Endless Hoops

Here in the picture you can see the Endless Hoop.

This hoop is very helpful with designs, repeating themselves for a longer stretch. I am a happy owner of such hoop, but they seem to work best only with firmer fabrics, which don’t require stabilizers, because the hoop doesn’t provide strong grip on lighter textile, even with the use of special insertion, preventing the fabric from shifting.  However, this may be an inconvenience only due force of one’s habit of working with hoops of other machines.

Here you can see the Endless Hoop in work.

Another example of logical alignment: Machine Embroidery Design Oriental border

Machine Embroidery Design Oriental border

This design shows the starting point of a new design, which would be connected to the last point of the previous design.

In case there is no such obviously logical point for designs’ alignment, “techno-logical” method, i.e. markings in the program of your embroidery machine, is the only option.

Such marking placement is strictly individual procedure because every single embroidery master has their preferences regarding direction and placement of each design. Some need a design to go leftwards, others – in the opposite direction. That is why design manufactures don’t put any such markings in the program. This also shows what a huge role plays embroidery machine’s software in the needlework process. Pure joy of creation of machine embroidery embellishments is almost impossible without the right software.

Lyudmila Konovalova
Designer Royal Present

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