October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Whenever I embroider designs on knit hats, I find that when the customer puts on the hat, the logo holds the ribs in the center, warping them around the stitched logo. How do I avoid this? If you've got a perfectionist customer and you want the perfect amount of stretch, the trick is to put the cap on a head blank or an average-sized person and measure the amount of stretch. Take a fabric tape measure and measure the distance over a set number of ribs, let's say four of them. If those four ribs are 1/4" in total width, simply stretch the hat so that 4 ribs are that same 1/4" width when you hoop. It may look a little strange when it's relaxed and packaged but, on the average head, it will be smooth and there will be much less of that distortion. I've used a similar technique with ultra-stretchy athletic garments as well, simply using two pieces of removable tape and measuring the stretch between them. Erich Campbell, Black Duck Inc. What is the best way to embroider performance wear or moisture wicking apparel? I want to avoid puckering but maintain a soft and comfortable garment? Performance wear or moisture wicking apparel is probably one of the most difficult applications we face in the embroidery market. For one, it's because performance wear is soft and slick. Also, there is a variety of textured knits available, and weights are numerous, which also play into the issues. Step one is to address the slickness of the materials. This property allows the knit material to shift back and forth inside the hoop during the stitching process. Stopping this movement is not difficult; the key here is to use a backing that offers a gripping surface. There are specialty backings that address the associated issues of shifting and compatibility on these types of garments. Wash away/tear away products with a water dissolvable adhesive not only adhere the surface to the backing to help eliminate the shifting, but the adhesive is also designed to minimize needle contamination. This can also be achieved (Images courtesy Madeira USA) 2013 October Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 91 | 91 9/18/13 11:56 AM

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