July '20

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A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G 8 2 G R A P H I C S P R O J U L Y 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M MASTER THE TOUGH STUFF AND STAND OUT HOW TO HANDLE THE CHALLENGE OF SPECIALTY EMBROIDERY PROJECTS S T I T C H S O L U T I O N S | J E N N I F E R C O X M ost embroidery professionals are more than proficient at produc- ing quality traditional embroi- dery, such as left chest designs, full front and full back designs, monograms, and even ballcaps and headwear. In fact, it is likely that the majority of your busi- ness falls into these mainstay categories, as they are what most of our customers want and need. What do you do when an order comes your way that requires a special touch? Maybe it is a custom tote bag with an unusual design; or a shaded design that blends from one color into another in ink beautifully, but is challenging to create in thread. You can turn away the job because you are unsure of how to accomplish the desired outcome, or you can tackle some- thing new and add one more unique layer to your business to help you stand out from the other people that offer embroi- dery in your area. Specialty embroidery includes any kind of order that pushes you beyond using your normal hoops and hooping meth- ods, tools, stabilizers, products, materials, digitizing methods, or threads. If it causes you to pause and think, "I'm going to have to try and figure something out to get this to work," it is specialty embroidery. The good news is that, A) there is a solu- tion, usually; and B) you can charge more for this order because it's more challeng- ing. Here are some examples of embroi- dered goods where the embroidery profes- sionals went past the typical right into the land of crafting special and unique solu- tions to create orders that pleased their customers. IT DOES NOT EASILY FIT ON THE EMBROIDERY MACHINE Kevin and Tamara Boyer, owners of Threadart and Everything Promotional, had a client that wanted their logo on large, insulated catering bags. The only location they could get the embroidery to work was on a pocket on the side. In order to get these bags on the ma- chine, they had to remove the tables and hold the bags up with totes. This kept the weight of the bags from dragging down and impacting the quality of the embroi- dery and the design registration. Once they came up with their solution to sup- port the bags, they were able to crank out the order without risking ruining any of the bags. We ran into a similar issue when we hooped heavy winter jackets. The weight of the jackets pulled on the hoops, even popping the hoop off while it was sewing, which becomes an expensive mistake in just a second or two. We rigged a support system using adjustable sawhorse stands and a wide board in front of the sewing heads to keep the jackets on the same level as the sewing area, with the ability to move easily and smoothly, but remain clear of the sewing field. SLIPPERY OR DELICATE FABRICS Bridal robes, silk scarves and handker- chiefs, and satin pillows and other prod- ucts that are made of thin, delicate, or slippery materials present unique hoop- ing and sewing challenges. If you are us- ing plastic hoops, the fabric may not hold tightly enough when hooped, and it can slide right between the hoops, making it difficult to get consistent tension in the sewing field. Here is a solution that may help you do these jobs with a minimum amount of risk and frustration. Construct and use hoop- ing donuts to create a soft surface that will hold the fabric in the hoop tightly yet not damage the fabric. Cut a circle of thick cutaway stabilizer backing about 2 inches larger than the hoop size you need. Then fold it in half, and in half again, so that you have some- The client wanted a logo on large, insulated catering bags. The only location to embroider was a pocket on the side. In order to get it on the machine, the folks at Threadart had to remove the tables and hold the bags up with totes. (Image courtesy Threadart) This hooping solution works well with thin and silky fabrics that are hard to hoop. (Image courtesy Jennifer Cox) This design was digitized using a blending technique with different colored threads to replicate the look of the shaded ink in the logo. (Image courtesy Rocking My SewJo LLC)

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