June '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 J U N E P R I N T W E A R 2 1 lustrous work of machine embroiderers is well within the ability of hand embroider- ers, the defining characteristic we're usually after here is roughness. For most customers I've served, this is characterized by thick, visible stitches and rough textures. They imagine woolen, twisted threads used in crewel, cotton floss and counted motifs seen in cross-stitch kits, or the shaped motif stitches of folk embroidery. BULKING UP Achieving this unrefined look is simpler than it may seem. If a customer isn't con- cerned about sheen or you simply want to stick with standard 40-weight thread (which can be particularly useful if your piece mixes fine detail with this primitive style), it can be as simple as repeating each individual stitch to build to what looks like a thick floss stitch. For run stitching, this is often referred to as a 'bean stitch'. In such, each stitch is repeated in an odd number of passes so as to progress from a start point to an end point on a defined line rather than returning to the start. Each 'bean' is usually composed of three, five, or seven passes of thread, with each stitch sharing roughly the same penetration points at the beginning and end, thus building up thickness and giving the appearance that the 'bean' is a single thick stitch. Some software applies a similar method to satin-stitch columns, through the 'satin count'. This setting lets you repeat the straight pass of a satin stitch much like a 'bean stitch,' with each trip across the column made up of an odd number of stacked stitches while the angled 'return' remains a single pass, connecting the thick

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