How to avoid a thread “nest” on the back of your sewing.

Let me explain what you see in the pic above as you may be wondering:

  1. Bottom strip of fabric with BLUE arrows showing a bunching or thread nest at the START of sewing – this is the back of the sewing showing in the pic. I clipped off the thread tails at the end of the sewing as it is not relevant to this. I left the little tail at the start as is – it is short as I usually use my thread cutter on my Janome machines so it would be short from being cut before I sewed this little sample.
  2. Top strip with same thread, same everything with RED red arrows except it shows NO thread nest at all. I followed the very good advice in the video below – courtesy of Janome Australia. VOILA! no thread bunching or nesting!! Watch video below to see how you too can avoid those “bunchies” that none of us like very much. Trust me, this works!

Ever sewn a top stitch on a collar, sleeve cuffs, or other sections of your project where the stitching is visible, turned it over, only to find bunching of threads at the start of your stitching?

Want to know how to avoid this forever?

Watch this informative video courtesy of Janome Australia.

Good information? ….Yup I thought you might like that. Thanks, Janome Australia.

Another great tip which many of us forget all about: When you thread your machine do you do so with the presser foot in the down position? In one word: DON’T! You should always thread your machine with the presser foot up as then the tension discs are open and the thread will go where it is meant to go – between and not on top of the discs. If you don’t follow this, you could get even nastier thread bunching underneath…..don’t say I did not warn you!

AND the good news is that if your Janome sewing machine has the LOCK function….you know the key icon you are supposed to touch before you thread your machine. If you do as you are supposed to do, then you will not have issues as the machine is set up just .perfectlu and AUTOMATICALLY for the best conditions for threading: tension discs slightly open, machine locked so you cannot accidentally start sewing; presser foot down and out of the way of threading/threader action. Please can I encourage you to use the LOCK function if you had it……trust me it will make the world of difference to your sewing experience. Please note: it may seem confusing that the presser foot goes down when you use Lock function. This is correct: the tension discs are still partially open in order to thread correctly – and the thread is also held and does not pull out loosely as when the presser foot is up and there is zero tension on the discs.


About Liz Thompson

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for over 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to sew, read, knit , crochet, travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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10 Responses to How to avoid a thread “nest” on the back of your sewing.

  1. debra harrower says:

    So my machine usually doesn’t leave a long tail because of my thread cutter. So I have to use something to reach under my presser foot and pull this thread out so i can now hold it. What’s the point of having auto thread cut if I’m still going to have a long thread? Surely there must be a better solution. I paid alot of money for my 9400 and i do love her. But this is a problem and there should be s better fix.


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Debra,

      I just watched the video again as well as re-tested the advice from Janome Australia on my Janome. There is no mention on the video of pulling up your bobbin thread as you suggest. In fact, it only shows holding the top thread out to the right and sandwiched under the foot. And I just used my thread cutter immediately prior to sewing a short line of stitching more than 20 times using several different straight stitch options. It works! Perhaps you might like to watch the video and try again?



  2. In the last section on threading, it says to “always thread your machine with the presser foot up” in the second to last paragraph then “presser foot down and out of the way of threading/threader action” after using the LOCK function (last paragraph). I’m confused. Which is correct? I use LOCK and want the presser foot up so the threader will work.
    Thank you.


    • lizafrica says:

      Thank you for your query. It does seem a little counter intuitive but the lock function (on models which have this feature) drops the foot BUT also keeps the tension discs slightly open so that they can be threaded correctly/properly. Yes, the presser foot should definitely be up on models which do not have the lock function. Lock should be used on machines which have this feature. Hope that clarifies things.



  3. kristimcgree says:

    Thanks for the info!!


  4. Linda says:



  5. Lynda says:

    Brilliant tip! I’ll be putting my top thread to the right from here on…,.Thanks Janome Australia and you, Liz for sharing this!


  6. Thank you for sharing this, since the thread nesting has been one of the things that bugs me. As a quilter, I’ve used a leader/ender or “spider” to counter the thread nesting too, but this little tip would save thread.


  7. Judi says:

    This is all fine and good, but some feet do NOT hold the thread tightly enough for this to work without also holding the thread with fingers or tweezers.


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