March '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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7 0 | PRINTWEAR M A RC H 20 1 5 OTHER TYPES OF BACKING Hard-to-hoop items may be the bane of any machine embroi- derer's existence, but they don't have to be. Adhesive backing was developed precisely for this situation. An adhesive backing is what the name implies—a stabilizer with adhesive. This backing generally has release paper that can be scored to provide access to the adhesive. For a small embroidered item that can't be hooped, hoop the backing with the adhesive side showing and stick the embroi- dered item to the backing. Adhesive backing is also a vital com- ponent in some hooping systems because it stabilizes stretchy fabrics and prevents stretching. Puffy foam is a type of topping used for 3-D embroidery. Most hats with raised 3-D embroidered logos are made with puffy foam. While puffy foam isn't a stabilizer or topping in the tra- ditional sense, it creates its own unique effect. When used with a specially digitized design, puffy foam creates a 3-D decoration by raising parts of the embroidery while leaving other areas one dimensional. Excess puffy foam is either torn away or melted with a heat gun, leaving a 3-D embroidered design. Another option for 3-D embroidery is Q-104, which creates a more distressed look with looser stitches. A felt-like topping, Q-104 requires little specialized digitizing because the best ef- fects are mostly created with wide satin stitches. Q-104 is water soluble, so submerge your design in water once it's complete. For best results, wash your finished project in a machine. Q-104 can create a variety of effects. The length and tightness of the stitches determine whether the designs are small, puffed letters SPECIALIZED BACKINGS Some water-soluble materials can be stitched directly to create free-standing lace, embroidered ornaments, and other decorative items.

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