Putting Your hands in the Embroidery Area when it’s Embroidering

Hands in the embroidery areaYou’re watching your embroidery machine perform its magic and notice…

You need to put your hands in the embroidery sewing area. Maybe you’ve noticed a thread that needs snipping. Or a piece of appliqué which isn’t lying flat. Or part of the project is creeping into the hoop.

You need to do something – now.

The needle and thread quickly penetrates the fabric around 800 or more stitches per minute. And you think about safety. Do you dare put your hands in the sewing field while the machine is running?

What you’ve heard about putting your hands in the embroidery area.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. “Don’t put your hands in the embroidery area while the machine is running!”

Some of the classic reasons include:

  • You don’t want to get stabbed by the needle, it really hurts.
  • You don’t want to break a needle
  • It’s unsafe
  • You don’t want to damage your machine
  • You’ll get your hair caught and it will rip out.
  • Your clothing will get stuck in the machine and cause problems.
  • It’s just not a good idea for you or your machine.

In reality, all of these warnings are a little inflated. I’ve safely put my hands in the embroidery area plenty of times without any incident.

But you may be wondering…

Why would you want to put your hands in the embroidery area?

From an outsider’s point of view, it doesn’t make sense. As an embroidery crafter, it’s part of everyday crafting. After all, you just can’t resist when…

  • You see an end thread needing to be snipped — quickly.
  • A piece of applique needs to be held down while the machine sets the first run stitch.
  • Part of the project creeps into the embroidery area so you move it.
  • You see something randomly laying on the design area and remove it.
  • And yes of course if you’ve made a really cool pattern and just want to feel it.

It’s part of your DNA, you see an issue with your embroidery design and must do something about it. Even if it means putting your hands in the embroidery area because you know the reality of what you’re doing.

The Reality of the Embroidery Area

Yes, you want to be safe whenever you’re operating your home embroidery machine. But there are a few things you need to think about.

The needle only penetrates the fabric in an up and down motion within the embroidery foot. In the newer machines, the space between the needle, foot and what you’re embroidering is tiny. And most likely your fingers aren’t going to fit under the needle.

If you don’t believe me, try putting your finger under the needle when the machine isn’t running. There isn’t much room.

There’s plenty of room to work on either side of the needle in the embroidery area.

Most machines let you slow down the stitches per minute manually. This allows you more time to work in the design area.

Remember, there is a safe way to work within the embroidery area.

Deciding when and how to put your hands in the embroidery area safely

You only want to put your hands in the embroidery area when it’s safe for you and your machine.

Make sure you know how the design is being embroidered. You don’t want the machine to change directions and have the hoop run into you. This can ruin your machine and hoops.

Make sure nothing is dangling near your machine. You don’t want anything to get caught in the needle, hoop, under the needle or around the foot of the machine. This includes your hair, tools, fingernails, earrings, a sleeve, scarf, glasses etc.

When snipping thread, make sure the foot is not close to the thread you’re snipping. This avoids the chance of the scissors getting stuck under the foot.

When holding the side of a project, make sure the hoop stays flat.

Make working in the embroidery area planned, not a reaction. For instance, you carefully snip a thread. Or you gently hold down the side of a project.

You assess the situation before putting your hands or any tools in the embroidery area while it’s running.

It’s Safe — You Can Now Work in the Embroidery Area

Contrary to what you’ve heard, you might be able to have your hands in the embroidery area. Even while your home embroidery machine is running.

Before placing your hands into the embroidery area make sure it’s safe for you and your machine. Be mindful of how the design embroiders. Rid yourself of loose or dangling clothes and hair. And make working in the embroidery area planned not a reaction.

You can now get the “never put your hands into the embroidery area when the machine is running” out of your head. And make a decision for yourself in each situation.

Now go embroider and work in the embroidery area… only if it’s safe and you really want to.

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