The Last Stitch: How to Finish Your Hand-Embroidery

comments (0) June 29th, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Heres a pretty daisy I stitched to show you how to secure your thread.
Weave the thread back through the stitching you just completed.
Gently pull the thread through, being sure that its firmly in position without pulling too tightly.
Neatly clip the tail.
Heres a pretty daisy I stitched to show you how to secure your thread.

Here's a pretty daisy I stitched to show you how to secure your thread.

Photo: Jen Stern

Be confident when you get to the end of your rope...or in this case, thread! Securing the thread tail is easier than you think. Even though I know that, I always feel a little trepidation when my thread starts to get a little short. I find myself trying to squeeze out a few more stitches because I don't want to deal with knotting the end and starting a new thread. Sometimes when I'm clicking along, making good progress, the last thing I want to do is break the rhythm to stop and end the thread.

When I first started hand-embroidering, I would make small, tight knots to end my stitching. Sometimes this caused my fabric to pucker where the knots were. It also distorted the stitches because they became too tight. Then someone told me that it was better to weave the thread through the back of the embroidery. Without seeing an example of what that meant, I weaved the tail into the threads in the back of my project...a little to the left and a little to the right, zigzagging back and forth, pulling snugly as I went. This wasn't an improvement to my knots—zigzagging back and forth caused my embroidery design to distort even more!

I decided that I needed professional help, so I visited my friend Marybeth, and she showed me how to weave the thread back on itself—straight back the way I came! I pulled my tail so that it was secure but not so tight that it puckered and distorted my design. I was in I could work on embroidery designs with 100 color changes if I wanted to!

If you're not sure how to secure the ends of your threads, check out the photos above.


posted in: embroidery, tie off thread, Secure thread

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