What is pull compensation?
Pull Compensation is the adjustment made to compensate for the inevitable pulling in, or shrinking, of your design, which occurs when the design is stitched out. It is just one of the factors you need to consider if you want your design to have a professional finish.
There is always some drag on your fabric as the hoop moves and the stitches are formed. The shrinking always occurs in the direction of the angle of the stitches. This can result in gaps in your stitch out and outlines not where they should be.
The amount of drag or pulling in depends on a number of factors including:
- The type of fabric you are using. Stretch fabrics and softly woven fabrics pull in more than firmly woven fabrics.
- The type of stabiliser you have applied. You should use an iron on or sticky stabiliser with stretch fabrics.
- The size of the design. Designs with large areas of fill will pull in more.
- The type of fill stitch being used. Long Satin stitches pull in more than short stitches.
- How well the fabric has been hooped. Your fabric should be hooped firmly, but not stretched, and
- The type of underlay stitching used. Underlay should be applied to large areas and where possible the underlay should run in the opposite direction to the final stitching.
Check your software’s manual for adjusting pull compensation. It may be that you do this by choosing the type of fabric you will be stitching on, or you may be able to put a value in. Better software packages like Bernina Designer Plus allow you both options. This means you can have different pull compensations for different objects in the design. This is very useful if you have different fill stitches in different areas. A test sew will reveal any areas which would benefit from fine tuning the pull compensation.
The video below shows you how to adjust pull compensation in the Bernina software. I made it a while ago, so it was done in version 5, but it is the same in version 6. I also touch on the reshape tool as sometimes it is necessary to tweak the shape of objects as well.