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Why Won’t The Rug Yarn Stay In The Tufting Cloth? | LetsTuft

Why Won’t The Rug Yarn Stay In The Tufting Cloth?

Novice tufters and even those with intermediate tufting experience might find it hard to get the rug yarn to stay in the primary tufting cloth. They often complain that the yarn will not stick to the cloth and often unravels as fast as the tufting gun stitches the yarn in. 

Some of the reasons why yarn won’t stay in the cloth have to do with the way you hold the tufting gun while others have to do with the backing cloth itself. Read on to find out the main reasons yarn won’t stick to the cloth and how to prevent that from happening.

Why won’t the Yarn Stay in the Cloth?

The concept of rug tufting is quite simple. You have a design in mind or on paper, and you want to use yarn and cloth to turn that design into a rug. So you have three elements to consider: the cloth, the tufting gun, and how you handle the tufting gun. These reasons can be summed up as follows:

1. You’re not applying enough pressure on the tufting gun. That doesn’t allow the needle to penetrate the cloth far enough to attach the yarn firmly to the cloth.

2. The yarn you’re using is either too thin or not dense enough to remain attached to the cloth. The yarn strings are too small for the holes that the needle of the tufting gun makes which keeps them loose and easy to unravel.

3. You’re not rotating the tufting gun in the direction you want to go correctly. The foot of the machine has to be aligned with the direction of the needle at all times.

4. The tufting cloth is of inferior quality and won’t hold the yarn during or after the tufting is done.

5. The tufting cloth is not stretched tightly across the tufting frame. Any slack in the cloth will impact the force the needle penetrates the cloth resulting in loose yarn.

How to Make the Yarn Stay in the Cloth?

Loose or unraveling yarn is a frustrating problem. It wastes hours of hard work and makes you doubt your skills and abilities. But the issue isn’t always your lack of skills. As I explained before, you might just be using the wrong yarn or low-quality tufting cloth. Here are a few tips to help you make the yarn stay in the cloth.

Good Quality Tufting Cloth: Always use good quality tufting cloth that will not rip or tear off and will hold the yarn firmly. You can find many choices of primary tufting cloth in our online shop.

Use the Right Yarn for the Job: If you take a look around our shop, you’ll find different types of yarn. Some yarn types are thicker and sturdier than the other types. If the yarn is too thin, try threading the needle with two or more strings to give the yarn enough texture to hold it on the yarn and make the pile denser.

Pay Attention to the Foot of the Machine: Beginners often treat the tufting gun like a clothes iron. They move it around and perform complex maneuvers with it without paying attention to the foot of the machine. Always rotate the foot of the machine to face the direction you’re moving the machine before you start tufting in that direction.

Apply Enough Pressure: The tufting gun needs to have steady pressure when you move it to keep the yarn from falling off the cloth. Move the machine slowly while applying even pressure all the time. 

Keep the Cloth Tight: Stretch the cloth on the frame tightly and make sure there’s no slack in it. To test how taut the cloth is, throw a coin at it. If it bounces back at you, it’s good to go. If the coin falls to the floor, you have some slack in the cloth and you need to reattach it to the frame.


If you have trouble keeping the yarn attached to the cloth while tufting, check that you’re using good quality tufting cloth and that you’re using enough yarn. Apply steady pressure on the tufting gun and always rotate the foot of the machine in the direction you’re moving.

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