March '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 2 0 2 0 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 2 0 EMBROIDERY Erich's Embellishments E r i c h C a m p b e l l Three Considerations for Womenswear With thin, stretchy fabrics and cuts that create difficulties in decorating the usual lo- cations, womenswear can challenge unwary or inexperienced decorators. Moreover, it's been my experience that fashion-forward customers that favor these styles are more likely to request decorations and finishes seen on womenswear in stores than those who favor the boxy, stable garments. That said, by paying attention to the wearable qualities of our decoration, utilizing materi- als and design creatively, and pursuing new placements for branding, we can not only avoid problems, but increase the perceived value of our work to create happy custom- ers and an opportunity for higher profit margins. BE A CONSULTANT NOT A COMMODITY Embroiderers too often become blindly focused on the complete reproduction of our clients' source images above all other W hen I first started as an embroidery operator, the busi- ness-to-business market had a dearth of womenswear options as it came to our decoration staples. Luckily, we have since seen not only the rise of fitted garments for those who want them, but now have options that create a comfort- able middle-ground between the boxy garments that once made up the bulk of our decoration staples and the slim-waist- ed options that arose when suppliers first started to provide coordinating apparel for women. We now have apparel that applies to every body type and dress code from upscale office wear to fully-functional athleticwear. That said, with the rise of womenswear with fine, flowing fabrics and the overall ac- ceptability of technical materials during the athleisure boom, embroiderers have found themselves tailoring their processes to address these often difficult to decorate garments. Top: This piece required a very soft hand, being created for a natural T-shirt that would have only water-solu- ble stabilizer that would be entirely washed away in the final work. (Images courtesy the author) Above: This design relied heavily on making the most of limited, light stitchwork for the design's background coverage.

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