July '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 8 5 count and run time, providing actual value for your shop through an efficiency increase you can leverage for increased profitability. It's easy to justify higher prices to your cus- tomer with measurable value adds, and it's a no-brainer to use sleeper specialty threads when the efficiency increase saves you more money than you expend in stock and spe- cial treatment. Unlike actual value, perceived value is sub- jective and hard to assess. When something has a higher perceived value, customers be- lieve it to be worth more than another of- fering, regardless of added utility or invest- ment on your part. continued on page 90 specifically meant for the different types and sizes if you can't turn aesthetic benefit into money in the bank. Luckily, specialty threads increase the value you give to your customers, both in their perception of your product and actual use. Some specialty threads offer actual value, meaning that the thread provides measur- able utility to your client in the use of the garment. One is fire-resistant thread; there's no doubting the value of added safety for a person who is around fire, direct heat, or a potential electrical discharge. Matte finish threads also provide a quan- tifiable value, making outdoor embroidery colorfast in bright locales due to their high level of UV resistance. Benefits like these are easy to explain, allowing for higher price points and simpler conversions. High-utili- ty decorations are demonstrably better than the same design without the characteristics of the specialty threads. Some specialty threads that don't use dif- ferent fibers and are almost imperceptible to the customer, like the thick, standard- sheen 30-weight rayon, simply reduce stitch of color due to a relative lack of extreme highlights and shadows seen in standard polyester or rayon thread. Matte threads are perfect when we want a design to look flat, painted, or uniform in color, no matter the stitch angle or lighting conditions. Specialty threads can change the sense of what a design means without changes in the color palette or shapes in the design. Used in combination, they can produce stunning contrasts that subvert or build on their na- tures. These combinations can create depth and interest without additional processes or equipment. Specialty threads open a rich world of creative possibilities to the savvy decorator looking to reinterpret a design and to bring something novel and delightful to their cus- tomers while evoking a feeling that engen- ders identification and trust. VALIDATING VALUE As much as I love the look of the various threads' finishes, there's little reason to take on the cost and effort of digitizing designs, stocking a selection, and threading needles LET'S TALK THREAD ANATOMY! LEARN ABOUT THE DIFFERENT EMBROIDERY THREADS WITH THIS BREAKDOWN FROM KRISTINE SHREVE, FOUNDER AND CEO OF KRISTINE SHREVE CONSULTING, HERE: The matte finish thread in this simple border is a standard thickness and only has a lightly fuzzy finish, contrasting with the thick wool blend thread seen on the spools. Thick threads can make for a chunky, hand-worked look, but require special needles and tension ad- justments. (Image courtesy Celeste Schwartz)

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