September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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W ikipedia defines appliqué as "ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. It is commonly used as decoration, especially on garments." Now, how is reverse appliqué accomplished? Exactly the opposite. Contrasting fabric or other material is placed be- hind the main fabric (or inside a garment like a T-shirt or sweatshirt, and after stitching the desired shape, the main, or top, fabric is cut away and the edges finished off to reveal the fashion fabric within. The designers at stock design company Anita Goodesign turned to reverse appliqué as one solution to the challenge of getting beautiful embroidery onto sometimes-fussy knitwear. Senior digitizer Hannah Godfrey explains, "The stretch of knit fabrics, while oh-so-comfortable to wear, makes it a challenge for embroidery. Embroidery designs on knitwear really ought to be digitized for knitwear, with that specific fabric in mind. That way the design can be kept light, or we can use digi-tricks to make it less dense. A dense design is going to warp, bubble, stretch, and ultimately impact the structure of your knit fabric. We recommend looking for low-density de- signs for stitching onto garments like T-shirts and lightweight sweatshirts." LOWER STITCH COUNT When embroidering on a knit garment, always first consider the density and stitch count of a design. Where either presents a potential problem, reverse appliqué may be a logical solution. A high stitch count design may be a non-issue. For instance, if the knit is stable and the design is large, those stitches are then spread out over a larger area. And even with a big design, the right tools and materials to support your design can make it work. FOR A UNIQUE EMBROIDERED LOOK A L I C E W O L F Top: Reverse appliqué involves the step of cutting away a part of the garment which can make pricing work in your favor. (All images courtesy Anita Goodesign) Above: Hearts are used to decorate this tunic top. To recreate, appliqué fabric is placed on the backside of your hoop. When trimming, you are actually trimming your knit fabric away from inside the tacking stitch. 2 0 1 9 S E P T E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 4 7

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