Small lettering - Holes in garment

Small Lettering: Have Holes In Your Garment? Here’s Why & How To Avoid It!

Excerpts of this post written by Joyce Jagger from the Embroidery Coach.

Has this happened to you: You have just finished embroidering small lettering on your first (or more!) garment, when you notice small holes around the letters or segments… You hold it in the light, and sure enough… there are those pesky little holes which have ruined your garment. Why did this happen?!



Holes around small lettering or segments, though frustrating, is usually easily fixable. The needle is most likely the problem, due to a bad quality, or wrong type or size needle. Besides bad needles, heavy density on the small letters could also result in holes around your design.

Check the inside portion of the small letters such as a, o’s p’s and etc.The image below is an example of holes on the inside of the small lettering. Also, you’ll notice that there is a looping of thread at the beginning of the “H”.

You never know when you might damage a needle, so before you start your job, make it a habit to always first sew out your design on a piece of fabric similar to the one you’re going to use for your garment.

Here’s some tips on machine embroidery needles:

  1. If your needle makes a burr sound or the tip has been damaged in any way, remove immediately and replace it.
  2. Don’t EVER touch the tip of the needle when you change a needle and place it into the machine. If you do, throw it out and start over. This is a very important tip.
  3. Do not run your needles until they break! This is a practice that far too many machine embroiderers are in the habit of. Needles need to be changed about every 2 million stitches or 8 consecutive hours of sewing. Much of the needle changing depends on the speed of your embroidery machine, the type of fabric and backing that you are using and how many times you have actually run that particular needle bar. Sometimes this is very hard to calculate. We have found that if a large job on the same needle is run for several days, it’s a good idea to check them at least once every couple of days.

We hope this post helps in extending the life of your embroidery machine to ensure years of faithful service!