July '12

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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| | | | Hart of Embroidery A classy monogram or initial on a piece of screen secured in a color- ful frame makes a great place to store earrings and jewelry. Have some old bi-fold doors? Don't throw them away! Paint them black and replace the wood slats with embroidery on black screening for a dramatic and wonderful privacy screen for your porch that will let the summer breezes through! NEEDLES AND THREAD A 75/11 or 80/12 sharp needle works best, but a used needle with a little mileage left on it will perform on screens. Teflon coated needles offer a stronger blade, and adding a little silicone to the needle with a cotton swab will help smooth the way through this tougher substrate. Thread that is #30-weight will execute the design nicely with fewer stitches, but remem- ber to use less density in your design and edit for use with a thicker thread. Also, don't be afraid to use complex designs on this project. They show up better than simpler patterns and have enough stitches to keep them on top of the screen. As anything embroidered on screen will probably see a lot of the outdoors and tougher conditions, use polyester thread for its color-fastness and resistance to fading from sun and salt water. Consider winding bobbins to match the top thread for door screens or any items that will be viewed from both sides. BACKING, TOPPING AND HOOPING I use only a piece or two of water-soluble topping for backing because it washes away easily and won't leave tell-tale scraps behind. A good tear-away will also work. Some embroiderers 32 | PRINTWEAR JULY 2012 use no backing when stitching screening, but I prefer to as a protection for my throat plate and to help keep any debris from the screen from falling into the hook assembly. Also, just a spritz of adhesive spray on topping used as a backing can help prevent slips in the hoop and hold the screen in place. Another handy trick is to wrap the hoops with athletic tape or line the hoop with velvet ribbon or rubberized shelving paper. Double-sided tape under the edges of the hooped area will also help hold the screen during embroidery. If you want to stitch without actually hooping the screen, hoop the topping as backing and then spray with adhesive and attach the screen. Wrap the hoops to keep from spraying them or plan to clean them later. Waxed paper or silicone treated tear- away slipped under the hoop will lubricate

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