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Why won’t the yarn stay in the cloth?Updated 2 years ago

If your yarn won’t “stick” in the tufting cloth, try following these tips: 

  • Push your machine harder and hold it in position more consistently against the tufting cloth. The foot of the machine should stay in direct contact with the cloth at all times while tufting.
  • Make sure you’re tufting with enough yarn; if not, your piles won’t be adequately dense, and yarn might slip out of the tufting cloth (or machine). As a general rule, we recommend threading your machine with two strands of either Reflect Wool or Eco-cotton simultaneously. If you’re tufting with a thinner yarn, like Reflect Recycled Wool or Banana Silk, you’ll need to bulk up these yarns or combine them with more substantial fibers. Learn more about yarn quantities and combinations here
  • Make sure you’re tufting in the right direction. The important thing to remember is that the machine can only move in the direction the curve of the foot is facing. 
    • For example: if the tufted line starts on the left side of the frame, the machine will need to be rotated horizontally with the curve of the foot heading to the right of the frame. If you want to continue the line heading towards the left, you will need to stop the machine, rotate it so the curve of the foot faces left, and start the machine again heading in that direction. Check out this video for a basic tufting demonstration.
  • Check that the cloth you’re using is appropriate for tufting. The specific size and sharpness of a tufting machine needle requires tufting into specifically designed fabrics, like the Primary Tufting Cloth we sell. Lower-quality tufting cloth, like monk’s cloth, does not have enough stretch or a high enough weft count to accommodate the tufting machine needle. This causes the machine to poke holes that are too large, causing the yarn to fall out, or the fabric will just tear. Until you’ve established a good tufting technique, it is worth it to use a durable fabric made to be tufted on.  
  • Confirm that your tufting cloth is stretched tightly enough across the tufting frame. The cloth should be very taut (think: the way you’d stretch a canvas) to accommodate the pressure of the tufting machine. It is normal for the edges of your tufting cloth to separate a little bit. Remember, you can adjust the cloth throughout the tufting process, just make sure to keep a two inch border from the frames edge. Learn more about how to attach cloth to your tufting frame here

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