Printwear

October '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/576637

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 56 of 118

52 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5 EMBROIDERY BUSINESS cases with non-removable fabric shells, you may opt to decorate with patches. Producing a custom patch with wa- ter-soluble backing is a fairly easy pro- cess. And when paired with a durable and permanent fabric adhesive, a patch can offer a long-lasting decoration op- tion for even the most inaccessible bags. This technique is also great for insu- lated lunch bags and coolers that lack dedicated decoration areas, and avoids damage to the all-important lining. It may also work to for applying em- broidery without compromising water- proof or water-resistant bags, provided that the adhesive isn't foiled by coatings on the outer shell. 3. Head for heat printing. For bags that can take the heat and offer an area that can be pressed, heat-applied transfers and graphics are a great option. We often use transfers to decorate zippered padfolios and tablet sleeves that have permanently attached padding, inte- grated binders, or panel reinforcements that make embroidery impossible. Even bags with difficult zippers and straps may be heat printed through the use of a heat press pillow or heat press foam to selectively raise the print area while allowing protrusions to sink out of the directly pressed area. Just make sure that any zippers or clasps can take the heat before you decorate. SNAG 2: TEXTURE Some bags create flaws in your stitching due to their tight, coarse weave and rough sur- face texture. Exceedingly coarse materials can cause files that run well on other mate- rials to appear poorly executed, with uneven edges and coverage as the thick threads that make up the ground force the needle off course. The stair-stepped edges produced aren't always pronounced or detrimental in every design, but in finely-detailed pieces or those with high color contrast, the effect can prove quite distracting. To combat coarseness and messy looking designs, follow the following advice. 1. Use a sharp needle. Where most ap- parel embroidery can be achieved with a medium ballpoint needle, heavy can- vas threads deflect ballpoints, causing the stepped edge effect. A sharp needle, however, is made to cut through these tough base fibers as it stitches, thus avoiding deflection. 2. Use structural underlay. Stepped edges are most pronounced on satin-stitches, which sadly makes designs like large monograms particularly susceptible to edge quality issues. Using a contour, or edge-walk underlay just inside the fin- ished width of your satin stitches creates a 'rail' on which the topstitching can catch. This keeps stitches from pulling within the lines of the intended shape and forces them to follow your intend- ed line rather than the grid-lines created by the woven threads of the substrate. 3. Decorate indirectly (again). With fine- ly-detailed designs, you may decide to decorate indirectly. Whereas the previ- ous indirect option relied on adhering a patch, an accessible but rough ground allows you to make use of appliqué. Start by embroidering your detailed de- Left: This purse provided many decorating challenges, as fashion pieces often do. In order to decorate the stretchy faux hide, we were forced to remove and replace an inner seam in the lining of the purse—something that is rather difficult to justify in pricing work for a client. Not only that, but the fact that traditional hooping would mar the exterior of this piece means that the only method available for hooping was the adhesive method; not the easiest for a fairly large and heavy bag. Too often, bags require babying, but if you have motivated clientele who are willing to pay the premium, you can turn a profit and produce some stunning results. (Photo courtesy Celeste Schwartz) Right: The classic backpack is everything we want a decoratable bag to be. It has a big open pock- et with an accessible embroidery area and very few roadblocks to hooping. Sadly, this is not the case with most bags. (Image Courtesy Erich Campbell) In order to decorate the stretchy faux hide, we were forced to remove and replace an inner seam in the lining of the purse—something that is rather difficult to justify in pricing work for a client. Not only that, but the fact that traditional hooping would mar the exterior of this piece means that the only method available for hooping was the adhesive method; not the easiest for a fairly large and heavy

Articles in this issue

view archives of Printwear - October '15