March '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 2 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 2 0 2 2 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 2 0 EMBROIDERY Erich's Embellishments the time to stitch samples. Settings like stitch angle, underlay style and density, stitch length, and topstitch density can be changed to create ideal frames for each kind of fabric. For instance, on thin and stretchy womens- wear, adding structural underlay and using longer top stitches can allow you to reduce density and distortion in your designs. This tactic provides better coverage with less stress on the garment, and can potentially even re- duce the amount of stabilizer you need to use. Testing on the actual fabric with the ideal single layer of performance stabilizer will help you find the best possible settings. Though some decorators may find it up- setting to create or commission multiple digitized files to suit different fabrics and garments, the value proposition is high when your garment not only looks as good or better as your competition's, but also feels and wears better. The customer will as- sociate that premium experience with your shop's brand. are the expert that your customers need, and you are working in their best interests; particu- larly when working with the difficult fabrics and placements we often do with womenswear. WEARABILITY This overemphasis on replicating images without alteration has some decorators sacrifice one of the most important qualities of a garment to better recreate the art we are provided. If we make our stitches too dense to avoid any show through, make our designs too large to preserve the relative size of small text, or ignore the way that the decoration lies on a real human body to maintain the same file or layout we would use on menswear, we can end up producing garments that don't feel good or look right when worn. When working with sheer or flowing garments, using excessive density in your design or reinforcing the decoration area with excess stabilizer to combat issues with existing designs can leave your customer wearing a logo that looks like applied cardboard. When working with such womenswear, we should use the least density we can and still cover the ground of the garment while using as little stabilizer as possible to avoid excess stiffness and weight in the decoration. We should reduce designs in size for smaller people in general, but with the tight spacing necessary for petite women's clothing, particularly if they have a special cut to the neckline or collar, it can be worthwhile to create a special layout specifically to accom- modate those pieces. ENGAGE IN EXPERIMENTATION One of the best things you can do for any embroidery category is to systematically test settings and materials. For any material with which you expect to work repeatedly, you should take 1: This retail piece was on the racks at the same time a customer came in with this pistol and flowers concept (6) for a jacket. 2: This kind of multi- process decorating and unique, along-the-zipper placements were never part of my work in business-to-business decoration or traditional menswear offerings. 3: The resurgence of bohemian and folk embroidery florals in apparel gave rise to a desire for more florals in some of my own work outside of the corporate sphere. 4: Unique placements and novel combinations can rule the day with womenswear pieces, such as the space on an athletic racerback tank. 5: Though one must price accordingly to make exceedingly custom pieces make sense to produce, they wow and please the customer who wants something different. 6: It's not surprising that the traditional florals in this piece hit the spot when a rash of similar floral decoration was making the rounds with popular brands. 7: Womenswear comes in many styles depending on region and context. For this real estate agency, glitter and glam options were always in style, though the same couldn't be said for other real estate agencies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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