June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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56 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 5 Ed Levy is the director of software products at Hirsch In- ternational and owner of Digitize4u, an embroidery and digitizing operation. A 23-year industry veteran, Levy has owned screen printing, embroidery, and digitizing business- es. In 2001, Levy began consulting and founded EmbForum, a professional Tajima DG/ML by Pulse software users group. THREAD ... ACCORDING TO ED B Y E D L E V Y Embroidery Business Appliqué Applications Enhance your embroidery with appliqué results in production of approximately three pieces per hour. The same 10-hour day achieves a daily production of approximately 30 pieces. This type of stitch count reduction can quickly change production capabilities and overall profits. Appliqué also creates a soft hand. Have you ever noticed that a lot of infant and toddler designs incorporate appliqué? These de- signs are often smaller in nature, yet the reduction of stitch count is not a major factor. By using appliqué and minimizing actual stitching, the back of the garment that touches the skin is much softer and less abrasive to sensitive baby skin. CUTTING APPLIQUÉ A common misconception about successful appliqué is that it requires special equipment; however, appliqué can be produced with nothing more than a traditional embroidery machine and a H ave you ever noticed how much appliqué is in the mar- ketplace? Next time you visit any store that offers embroi- dered apparel, take a moment to look around and notice the many uses of appliqué. This method has long been a staple of embroidery before comput- erized machines existed. Embroiderers used to attach each piece of material by hand, but with modern technology, the tedious part of appliqué is history. BENEFITS OF APPLIQUÉ Appliqué offers a greater perceived value, which commands a high- er price than traditional embroidery and many other embellish- ment processes, as well. Appliqué also significantly reduces stitch count by 80 to 90 percent. This is particularly useful for a small embroidery company with a limited number of heads because as stitch count decreases, volume can increase. For instance, a back design on a jacket with 100,000 stitches requires approximately two hours of machine time for produc- tion. An embroidery shop with a single-head machine can pro- duce five to six pieces in a 10-hour work day. In the time it takes for this order, no other orders can be produced because the ma- chine is tied up for days to complete a 36-piece order. The same design with appliqué could easily have only 15,000 stitches. This Reverse appliqué is a process where the appliqué material is sandwiched between the backing and the garment. The actual garment is cut out, which leaves the appliqué exposed for a unique effect. (All images courtesy Hirsch International) l Beginner

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