October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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headwear embroidery continued from page 60 Digitizing dilemma Last, but not least, in my list of headwear heartbreaks is the difficulty decorators face with headwear digitizing. The sad truth is that caps are a little unstable, even under the best conditions. Rippling, flagging, registration errors and, in the special case of knit hats, lost stitches and warped logos, are all common complaints. As complicated as these problems can seem, most can be mitigated by changing the way we look at the design's sequence and applying a couple of simple strategies to add stability to the stitching process. No matter the design, you should start with this phrase in mind, "Bottom up, center out." This is the first rule in sequencing stitched elements in any cap design and holds true for every type of cap except for knit hats. Starting at the bottom center means you work out from the most stable and tightly-hooped part of the cap front— the attachment of the brim—and move in each direction, as best as you can manage, away from that point. Imagine that you are smoothing the hat out over a basketball, sticking it down as you go with the presser foot of the machine, pushing a wave of fabric from the center panel out, from the brim up. True, there's a sacrifice in efficiency as you jump from the outer edge of one side as you finish elements, and break up color changes to stitch outlines and details on each side. Start again from the center to stitch the other, and you'll eliminate the ripples, bunching, and trapped fabric, as well as registration errors. If your design can hide it, start with a 'tree' made of rays of straight stitches radiating up from the bottom center-point of the design running out to its edges. This ensures that the crown of the cap is stitched down to the stabilizer before you start the heavier topstitching in your design—another key tactic in taming the unstable crown. Though no single article can give you all you need to know to make headwear design and decoration second-nature, simply having these concepts in mind will ease the process in any cap order. With an understanding of cap-friendly design, easily-achieved retail decoration options, and stability in your digitizing, you'll be able to focus more on expressing the customer's message than on tackling technical problems. pw Get Info from the suppliers you're reading about in Printwear Magazine. Get Info to make connections and grow your business. It's free and easy to request valuable supplier information customized for YOUR business. Select from the categories listed, or for supplier specific info, enter the INFO# from their ad or editorial in the spaces provided. Then FAX this form to 1-800-775-0424 or MAIL it to GET INFO, PO Box 1416, Broomfield, CO 80038. For faster service, please use the online form at: NAME COMPANY MAILING ADDRESS STATE CITY ZIP PHONE COUNTRY FAX* E-MAIL* * By providing my email address and/or fax number, I authorize you to send information about NBM publications, events, industry related products and services. YES! Send me product information from the following categories: n n n n n n n n n n n n Apparel Digital Direct-to-Substrate Embossing/Engraving Embroidery Headwear Heat Transfer Non-wearables Promotional Products Screen Printing Services Sublimation Supplies Enter advertiser INFO #s here: 1.______________ 9._ ____________ _ 17._____________ 2._ ____________ _ 10._____________ 18._____________ 3._ ____________ _ 11._____________ 19._____________ 4._____________ 12._____________ 20.____________ 5._ ____________ _ 13._____________ 21._____________ 6._ ____________ _ 14. _ ___________ 22. ____________ 7.______________ 15. _ ___________ 23. ____________ 8._ ____________ 16. _ ___________ 24. ____________ 2013 October Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 111 | 111 9/16/13 5:00 PM

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