Madeira FAQs


When to use rayon/viscose and when to use polyester threads?

CLASSIC No. 40 is a rayon viscose thread with standard weight 40. The lower the number, the thicker the thread. Therefore, threads with weight no. 60 are thinner than the standard weight.

The different threads are available as spools and cones in 1,000 m or 5,000 m presentations.

When using basic colours, we recommend that you work with cones; when working with colours that are used less frequently, spools are recommended. It is recommended to reserve a fixed place for black and white threads on the machine to reduce set up time.

Using standard thread weight no. 40 and a stitch length of 4 mm, around 200,000 stitches can be embroidered with 1,000 m. With 5,000 m cones, 1,000,000 stitches can be embroidered.

As a rule of thumb, thread usage per 1,000 stitches is: upper threads approximately 5 m, bobbin threads approx. 3-3,5 m.

How to avoid thread breakage

MADEIRA threads are very robust and break rarely. There are different causes and solutions for threads breaking:

·         Erroneously used or damaged needles should be exchanged.

·         If the stitch density shows as too high or if too many stitches lie on top of each other, the embroidery programme should be changed to stitch less densely.

·         A high machine speed should be reduced.

·         Check whether the upper thread tension is too high; if necessary, it should be adjusted again.

·         Threading should be checked to find out if it is wrong or incomplete.

·         Damaged or sharp-edged threading elements can also be a reason for thread breakage. If this is the case, the thread path should be polished.

·         Needle strikes can lead to ridges in the looper. If this is the case, the looper should be polished or exchanged.

If the thread bunches up in front of the needle, there are two possible reasons:

1.      If the needle weight is too thin, the eye might be too tight. One solution is to pick a stronger needle or a needle from system DBxK5 with an enlarged eye to keep the needle weight as small as possible.

2.      If the material is woven or knitted too tightly, the stitches should be punched longer or a stronger needle should be used.

There are several causes for skipped stitches. A few of them are related to the needle:

·         Check the needle first to see if it is damaged and exchange if needed.

·         If there is no damage to the needle, the needle may be of the wrong weight.

Always choose a needle weight that fits the embroidered material and the thread being used. If the eye is too wide in relation to the thread weight, it can cause skipped stitches.

Check if the needle was set in right. It should be set in the right direction and up to the stop in the needle shaft.

If you can’t find a cause for skipped stitches at the needle, the following reasons are possible:

·         The threading may be wrong or incomplete; if this is the case, please correct it.

·         On difficult materials, the direction embroidery may not be the most suitable for the fabric. In this case, the sample or material should be rotated 90° and/or the embroidery direction for satin stitches and step stitches should be punched differently.

·         Check the looper settings and adjust them so that the head grabs the thread loop safely.

If the thread forms loops during embroidery, the cause is often that the thread tension is too low, the stitch length is too wide or the stitch direction is unfavourable. Correct the maximum stitch length in the punching programme and make the thread tension higher. Avoid diagonal or reversed stitches or use an additional underlay to reverse them.


There are many different base materials to embroider. Some of them, like knitwear and woven fabrics, are very flexible and tend to pucker during embroidery. It is always recommended to use backings to get a perfect embroidery result and prevent puckering.

In particular, if the stitches do not cover the entire embroidery surface it’s recommended to use stabilisers to protect the embroidery during washing and to make it more durable.

The number of g/m² specifies the weight of the backing. As it is always recommended to match the weight of the backing with the weight of the base material to embroider, following this number will help you to get the perfect embroidery result.

MADEIRA’s newly created backing configurator offers a general overview of the backing range and is a useful selection guide. The search can be started with the type of backing (tear-away, cut-away, iron-on, etc.), the type of fabric or the quality level (premium, standard or basic). In the tabular overview, you can see which backing is suitable for which base material or purpose. Examples of frequently used textiles make it easy to choose the backings. For iron-on backings, there are also details about the fusing temperature, as well as time and pressure guide values for safe processing.

The linked backing configurator includes backing brands available on the German direct market. Upon request, we can help you to find the right backings available to your market.

Anyone who wants to save time in production preparation should draw on pre-cut formats. This will help you to reach the perfect embroidery result in no time. Due to their handy size, the pre-cuts can be placed close to the production machine. For those who prefer rolls, MADEIRA offers pre-cut narrow rolls for premium backings.

The bad news: there is no one universal stabiliser available that can handle all the different embroidery projects and base materials. To get the perfect embroidery result for all the different and ever-changing orders, you should always have a selection of tear-away backings in 50, 75 or 80 g and one type of cut-away backing at hand.

It can happen that some fibres from the backing are pulled up by the needle and show through the fabric. To get a flawless result, it’s always recommended to match the colour of the backing with the colour of the base material, so the backing won’t be noticed.

It’s a myth that multiple layers of backings improve the embroidery’s result. We recommend using a single layer, as multiple layers can cause hard and inflexible embroidery, which also doesn’t look very nice.

For flexible fabrics like functional materials, it’s recommended to use a cut-away backing. For strong materials, it’s better to use tear-away stabilisers. Fusible backings are an alternative to both of the previously mentioned backings, but it requires an extra work step.

For embroidering terry products, t-shirts, piqué, and knitwear, it’s recommended to use a thin layer of (AVALON) topping to prevent individual stitches and letters from sinking into the fabric.


If material damage happens, the cause is often to found at the needle. If this turns out to be defective, it should be changed immediately. Check the needle tip if possible. This should always be adjusted to the material.

Another possible cause is a too-high stitch density. Reduce the stitch density, work with shortened stitches in the innermost parts of the design and ensure that the stitches are offset from one another. This prevents damage to the embroidered fabric.

The main reason for hard embroidery is connected to the choice of backing. Further causes can be a too-high stitch density or too strong a thread. Use the softest backing possible and adjust the punching programme to the thread weight. Ideally, the stitch density should be corrected.

There are many reasons for puckering. In each case, you should first check the embroidery programme and correct a possible wrongly chosen embroidery sequence or reduce the number of stitches. Additionally, a thread tension set too high can be a cause for puckering and should be corrected. The embroidered material should be framed correctly. If the fabric isn’t framed strongly enough, it will pucker (apart from knitwear, which shouldn’t be framed with too much stretch.) It is recommended to stick the fabric and the backing together. To do this, iron-on and adhesive backings or adhesive sprays can be used. The choice of the right backing is crucial. In addition, you should always choose the smallest needle possible.

If the embroidery displays inaccurately, the settings of the stitches should be checked first.

·         Change the stitch direction if needed. To do this, you will have to reframe or punch again.

·         If the stitch length is too wide or too small, it must be corrected in the punching programme.

·         Stitch density and thread weight should be compatible. To correct this, you should either adjust the thread to the punching programme, or punch again to use the present thread.

Another cause for inaccurate embroidery could be:

·         A missing underlay or an underlay that doesn’t serve the purpose. Check the punching programme. When embroidering writing, contour underlays are recommended. For surfaces, please underlay a grid.

Furthermore, the smallest needle possible should be chosen and the thread tensions should be corrected if necessary.

With pile fabrics or terry cloth, it can happen that stitches sink into the material. Solution: punch with an underlay or use an AVALON topping to counteract this.


You should improve the framing method to avoid puckering while embroidering. In addition, you should use different backings to find the ideal backing for your embroidery. Plan for puckering while punching and compensate for distortion in the punching programme.