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Why Won’t My Sewing Machine Sew Hook and Loop Tape?

You may be surprised to know that “hook and loop” is the generic term for “Velcro,” which is a brand name, just like “Xerox” or “Kleenex.” Hook and loop tape is a great alternative to buttons or snaps as a fastening method, but if you’re considering using it, there are certain considerations you’ll want to keep in mind.

For example, you might find that your sewing machine won’t sew hook-and-loop tape correctly without the right materials and tools. Here’s how to avoid this problem.

Get the Right Hook and Loop Tape for Sewing

Perhaps the best place to start is to ensure you use the right hook-and-loop tape for sewing projects. So, what type of tape should you use? You want the hook-and-loop tape to be thin enough that a needle can pass through it easily. Generally, high-quality tape will be thinner.

Use Stronger Needles

Even with proper hook-and-loop tape for sewing, a needle can still bend when you try to stitch it to your garment. You need at least a 16-gauge needle if not a 14-gauge needle.

Upgrade Your Machine

It’s also possible that your sewing machine isn’t up to the task. If you have an older machine, for example, it might not be able to handle even a thin hook-and-loop tape. Quality modern sewing machines will have the motor strength to get the needle through thick material.

Use a Shorter Stitch Length

Shorter stitch lengths can also be helpful. To avoid skipping stitches, keep your stitch lengths as short as 1.5.

Try a Zig-Zag Pattern

Certain patterns work well with hook-and-loop tape. For instance, a zig-zag pattern will securely hold the hook and loop tape.

Use Robust Thread

Opt for strong, high-quality thread. You don’t want your thread to break as you sew. Polyester thread or another similarly strong material will make your stitching more durable.

Getting the Best Results

Once you have all the right materials and you know your sewing machine can handle the job, it’s time to sew on the tape. To get those stitches right the first time, keep these key tips in mind:

Test Your Settings

Use scrap hook-and-loop tape and a sample of your garment’s fabric to do a test run. That way, you can check the results of your stitching to verify that it will go smoothly before attempting your actual project.

Slow Down

Lower your speed whenever you sew heavy material. Slower stitches are stronger, and you don’t want the tape to come loose.

Pin Your Hook and Loop Tape

Pinning your fabric is a good idea in general. The hook-and-loop tape can move as you try to sew it, so secure it in place first. If you prefer double-sided tape, that works, too!

Use Edge Stitches

While a zig-zag pattern can add strength, the edge of the hook and loop tape is the thinnest portion and easiest to penetrate. Edge stitching also looks neater since you won’t be pinning down any hooks or loops. Use a zipper foot if you plan on doing straight stitching only.

Consider Your Colors

Color is also important. Unless you want the threads to boldly stand out against the hook and loop tape, make sure you choose a thread that matches the color of the tape.

Try Hand-Stitching

Whether you want to add extra security after sewing with the machine or just want to do the project entirely by hand, you can go the traditional route and do 100% hand-stitching. For optimal strength, use backstitching.

Use Fusible Hook and Loop Tape

You may want to avoid sewing the hook and loop tape entirely, and thankfully, that’s an option for modern-day sewists. You can purchase fusible tape that you can simply iron in place.

It’s not as secure as stitching, but if you don’t need the tape to bear much weight or plan to sew it in later, it can save you time and trouble.

Find Everything You Need at GoldStar Tool

Are you ready to tackle your next sewing project? Find everything you need at GoldStar Tool. From sewing machines to needles, we carry a wide range of high-quality sewing supplies, and our expert team can help you choose the right materials for your project. Shop our collection to get started today!