October '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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5 8 P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 E mbroidery can be a challenge for those just start- ing out. There's a lot of variables in the necessary products that vary by substrate. To make it an eas- ier process, we'd like to try to provide an overview of information that should serve as a summary of what thread, needles, and stabilizers should come to mind for almost any given project. CHOOSING THE RIGHT THREAD Thread choices have migrated over the years. Where rayon was once the choice of embroiderers worldwide, the price and stability of polyester has pushed it to the forefront. But, based on the garment or fabric you are working on, you'll still find rayon pop up in a couple of surprising places. While in most cases, you've got a pretty even choice between using rayon or polyester embroidery thread, we always sug- gest that before you choose your thread, think of the fin- ished product (and, of course, the shelf life of that product with your customer). If there is any chance that items you are embroidering, such as uniforms or table linens, will end up being tossed into a washing machine that contains bleach, stick with polyester thread. In all other cases, rayon will hold its color in extremely hot wash water. Also, rayon is a soft, reliable thread that will lay flat in any direction, which works well for intricate designs. It is soft against skin, and when it comes to performancewear, eco-friendly rayon is the way to go! WHICH STABILIZER GIVES BEST RESULTS Stabilizers, or backings and toppings, are probably the most ago- nized over of all embroidery choices. This is probably due to there being so many from which to choose. The above chart summarizes which way to lean, depending on the item or fabric you need to stabilize during the embroidery process. Fabric types also suggests stabilizer choices: • When fabric is stable, use a tearaway backing • When fabric is stretchy, slippery, or unstable in any way, use a cutaway • When fabric is lightweight, never overpower it with backing or you'll create the badge effect • For a large design with thousands of dense stitches, use a heavy- weight stabilizer HOW TO… Choose the Right Thread, Needle, and Stabilizer A L I C E W O L F GARMENT - FABRIC THREAD STABILIZER NEEDLE SPECIALTY PRODUCTS BADGES/EMBLEMS Any Heavy Tearaway Sharp Point Crinoline TOTE BAGS - CANVAS Any Medium Tearaway Sharp Point BATH ROBES - VELOUR Any Washaway Ballpoint Topping BELT/DOG COLLAR - NYLON WEBBING Any Stick-On/ Peel & Press Sharp Point BLANKETS - FLEECE Any Washaway Ballpoint Topping CAPS - STRUCTURED Polyester Heavy Tearaway Sharp Point CAPS-KNIT - HEAVY KNIT Any Washaway Ballpoint Topping DRESS SHIRTS - BLEND Any No Show Cutaway Ballpoint DRESS SHIRTS - COTTON Any No Show Cutaway Ballpoint GOLF SHIRTS - KNIT Any No Show Cutaway Ballpoint Topping GOLF SHIRST - PIQUÉ Any No-Show Cutaway Ballpoint Topping JACKET - DENIM any Medium Tearaway Sharp Point JACKET - FLEECE Any Medium Cutaway Ballpoint Topping JACKETS - NYLON Any No Show Cutaway Ballpoint JEANS - DENIM Any Medium Tearaway Sharp Point LINENS - LIGHT WOVEN Any Washaway Ballpoint PERFORMANCEWEAR GARMENTS Rayon No-Show Cutaway Ballpoint SWEATSHIRTS - HEAVY KNIT Any Heavy Cutaway Ballpoint Topping SWEATERS - HEAVY KNIT Any Medium Cutaway Ballpoint Topping SWEATERS - LIGHT KNIT Any No Show Cutaway Ballpoint Topping TOWELS - TERRY Any Washaway Sharp Point Topping (Chart courtesy Madeira USA)

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