Troubleshooting Resources for the HCH-701 7-Needle Journey

Browse this page to find resources for troubleshooting the HCH-701 7-needle Journey.


In this section, you’ll find helpful troubleshooting tips for new operators.

Thread Breaks

Here are some guidelines for troubleshooting and eliminating the causes of thread breaks for new operators:

    • Thread break error/thread not actually broken:
      • check for empty bobbin
      • is the thread break sensor is properly threaded? It must turn easily as the thread passes through it. Test-pullthe thread.
    • Thread actually broken
      • Check that the thread is properly routed at all points. Refer to THIS THREADING DIAGRAM for your machine.
      • Check that the needle is oriented correctly – with scarf facing backwards and groove facing forwards, turned straight-on or so that the eye is slightly right of center.
      • Thread quality: Use high-quality thread (suggested brands like Rapos and Madeira which can be purchased from TEXMAC DIRECT. Quality thread has long shelf-life (with proper care) and higher tensile strength to withstand tension tolerances on commercial embroidery machines.
      • Thread condition: Thread should be handled and stored carefully. For best performance, thread on the cones should be touched by hand as little as possible and stored in a way that the machine wind isn’t physically touched/damaged. Thread should not be subjected to extremes of humidity and not stored in direct sunlight.
      • Good troubleshooting technique for thread: move the thread cone to another needle position and/or swap for a new cone of thread. If all the above basics are followed, and thread breaks continue wherever the cone is placed, that particular thread cone can be considered suspect.


A term used to describe a buildup of thread on top of or under the garment, often underneath the needle plate. Generally causes the machine to stop and indicate a thread break, sometimes E-018 main shaft error. Generally, birdnests are caused by either:

  • Bobbin case not threaded properly or bobbin case not inserted / not completely inserted in the machine
  • Gross imbalance of tension – bobbin either far too tight compared to upper tension, or, more likely, upper tension is far too loose.
  • Hoop is not moving the garment far enough to the next location of the next stitches. This can be caused by:
    • Item hooped too loosely
    • Garment falling out of the hoop causing it to remain motionless as the machine adds stitches in the same spot
  • Too many stitches stacked in 1 spot in the design – this is rare, especially if the design is created by a skilled digitizer

Sewing Quality Issues

There are many possible causes for sewing quality issues, most of which can be addressed with proper procedure including proper threading, tension, needle and stabilizer choice, proper hooping technique to secure the garment properly, digitizing quality and matching the digitizing technique to the type of fabric or item being embroidered. Below are some common quality issues matched with possible causes:

  • Looping / loose stitches: improper tension (usually not enough). Machine may also be out of adjustment if it has not been maintained over a long period of time or has been subject to an incident (hoop strike / birdnest event, etc.)
  • Rough edges, design details not “crisp” – check:
    • Hoop arms securely screwed / fastened to the machine. Hoop securely locked onto hoop arms.
    • Item hooped securely with no slack
    • Poor-quality digitizing
    • Improper stabilizer – rough edges, uneven sewing may be the result of underlying texture of the item, such as pile on a terrycloth towel or the “grain” of a pique knit. Water-soluble topping must be used in combination with proper underlay for crisp detail on textured fabrics.
  • Distortion of design or detail in the design
    • Overstretched fabric in hoop – fabric must be hooped taut without any slack, but not stretched in the hoop
    • Improper stabilizer or digitizing technique – stretchy fabrics such as knits must have adequate stabilizer matched with proper digitizing technique which stabilizes fabric enough to allow detail to sew crisply without distortion.

Error Codes

If the machine stops due to faults or errors, an error code will often show on the screen. Refer to this error code list for possible causes and courses of action. Often, error codes will offer 2 options:

  • AUTO – press this button to allow the machine to try to resolve the problem automatically
  • MANUAL – choose this option to try and manually resolve the problem