November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 N ov e m b e r Printwear | 63 If you experience loops regularly, trou- bleshoot your thread path. Tighten the bobbin or loosen the top tension if the loop is on the face of the fabric. If loop- ing appears on the reverse, the top ten- sion is too loose. Looping can also oc- cur if thread is too large for the needle. Match your needle to your thread—and the point to the fabric. Backing as protection If you use a wide satin stitch, fabric glue can secure the threads, and consider a fill or split satin for your next project. Do this step before applying any fusible backing over the reverse of the design—a nice idea if the design contains metallic or other scratchy specialty threads. There are even some ultra-soft styles just for babies. Cus- tomers will appreciate the skin protection, so be sure to point it out. clip the threads I like embroidery scissors with upward curving blades, and not cutting anything else with thread trimmers helps them stay sharp. Lint rollers are great for finding threads—just roll one across the design, front and back, to find any hidden tails. You can also use the lint roller to clean the shirt, or sew a few pieces of the sticky side of Velcro to an oven mitt and pat away of- fending threads. Don't forget to trim the threads on bag or luggage embroidery. Clipping threads between design segments can prevent the bag stuffing from damaging the design. Always check for long bobbin threads on the back of garments so the wearer doesn't catch his or her nose or ears. You want to prevent the customer from trimming threads incorrectly and bringing ruined embroidery to your door. Finally, be sure to check for threads that may have been trapped under sections of the design, especially if they are a different color. remove hoop marks The best answer for hoop marks is avoidance. Heavy hoop burns can cause broken or bruised fibers that can turn into holes and runs when goods are washed. You can spare delicate fabrics from hoop burn by not using a top hoop and securing the goods in other "hoopless" ways, such as sticky backing or adhesive spray. Sometimes certain dyes invite marks no matter how careful we are. Natural dyed fibers may show marks that polyester/cotton blends don't. Consider using a piece of backing or tissue paper on the top with a window cut out for the embroidery. Wrapping the inner hoop with athletic or painter's tape can prevent hoop burn. Again, lint rollers can work wonders on dark-colored goods. Rub the side against the fabric with a sideways motion and erase light hoop marks with a spritz of fabric sizing or plain water. A mix of white vinegar and water will also remove contact shine. Another trick is to rub the fabric with itself or a piece of like fabric. Steam will remove some impressions, and a soft toothbrush can brush up any nap. Keep a bottle of water near the machine to spray hoop marks. They will be dry and ready for inspection before they reach the finishing table. remove topping If you use topping, you can remove it with a microwaved wet cloth. Keep a slow cooker in the finishing area with a terry sponge for removal. Save the scraps you remove and moisten them to blot subsequent topping away. Beware of fabric sizing used to remove hoop marks when tackling topping. It will create a slimy mess. A steamer will remove wrinkles and creases from your garment and can be used to remove topping. Consider, too, a hangtag that will cover any topping you miss: "We use the best topping on your garments to ensure high-quality embroidery. Any topping remnants will disappear after washing—just one more way of showing how much we care—and how much care we take." those extra touches Ask your customers if they would like the shirts sorted by sizes, color, or names. Embroidery can often be done without removing garments completely from the bag, but if asked to bag the product, make sure your price reflects the extra service. Touch up your embroidery with a heat press before you steam and fold for delivery. Pat Baldes of Personalization Solutions of Fair Haven, Michigan, recom- mends a temperature of 300 degrees F for 10-12 seconds with a Teflon sheet cover. "It relaxes the thread and locks in the design. Most embroidery will outlast the garment and pressing will result in no puckering or pouching after laundering—a great selling point," she advises. My hugs go out this November to our new Printwear editor, Carly Hollman-Long. Welcome aboard. Happy Thanksgiving to all! HHM pw

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