October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 O C T O B E R P R I N T W E A R || 59 I've learned to use cutaway backing for knit fabrics and tear away for wovens, but with all the different kinds of fabrics on the market today, how can I tell the difference between a knit and a woven fabric? Knit fabrics consist of a continuous strand of yarn or thread that is looped or knitted to create the fabric. Because of this long, con- tinuous looping, it is stretchy in all directions and is considered an unstable fabric. Most sweatshirts, performance wear, and golf shirts would all be examples of knits. The threads that make up woven fabrics are crossed over and under each other on a loom at right angles, similar to the way a basket is woven. This type of fabric is generally not stretchy, except for a slight stretch on the bias (at 45-degree angles). Woven fabrics are consid- ered stable fabrics, so they can hold up to backing being torn from a design. Examples would be denim jackets, canvas tote bags, and baseball caps. ALICE WOLF, MADEIRA How can I embroider smaller lettering and fine details yet still keep things crisp and legible? Utilizing thinner threads and smaller needles can help you to create smaller elements in your designs. For example, 60-weight thread is approximately 25 percent thinner than standard 40-weight embroi- dery thread, so you'll need to use approximately 25 percent higher densities and a smaller than aver- age (65/9) needle. There are even some 75-weight threads available that are finer, but you must keep in mind that your lettering and details will still inter- act with the garment you embroider. The grain, tex- ture, thickness, and structure of your material can have an even greater effect on these thinner threads. ERICH CAMPBELL, BLACK DUCK EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY EMBROIDERY Different types of backings are required for knit fabrics, wovens, and caps. (Im- age courtesy Madeira) Higher thread den- sities and smaller needles are needed for fine-detail em- broidery. (Image courtesy Black Duck)

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