May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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70 | Printwear M ay 20 1 4 20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 71 A Thread of a Different Color Utilizing specialty embroidery threads b y C a s s a n d r a G r e e n W hat do you do that's different? Customers everywhere are asking this question of their apparel decorators. Gone are the days of boring logos and plain promo- tional Ts. Instead, customers want bright colors with glitzy designs, something that won't get lost in the sea of advertisements and personal statements. Take embroidery, for example. While logos and monograms stitched in single colors are still in demand, embroiderers now face the task of taking the expected to the level of unexpected. One way to do so is to use unique threads to differentiate any design. A cone of thread can make a huge dif- ference in an embroiderer's business; even more so when it is specialty thread—me- tallic, variegated or mixed, for example— that carries the pop that many customers are looking for. The "SpeCiAl" in SpeCiAlTy There are quite a few specialty threads with many different features that make each unique. It could be the texture, color, sheen, or even what the thread is made of (think polyester versus silk) that makes the particu- lar cone exceptional. When comparing gen- eral-use thread to specialty, it's easy to see the differences. "I believe most all embroiderers would consider their forty-weight embroidery thread to be for general purpose, everyday use," states Alice Wolf, Madeira USA. This category of thread includes polyester and rayon, which, because of its versatility and the available array of colors, makes it a very common thread type among the majority of embroidery shops. "It is when an em- broiderer or their customer is looking for a unique effect that they turn to what the industry would consider specialty threads." A few threads that come to mind when first thinking of "specialty" are metallic and glow-in-the-dark. "Metallic is one of first truly 'specialty' threads," says Mark Hat- PW_MAY14.indd 70 4/17/14 9:51 AM

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