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 || 61 I've had tons of customers come in wanting embroidered caps. I can do my own digitizing, but digitizing for caps seems kind of tricky. What should I watch out for? Should I use any special thread or needle? For caps, you are basically going from two-dimensional embroidery to three-dimen- sional; so yes, there are special considerations. Digitizers and embroiderers have writ- ten reams of material on this subject, but here are a few important points to keep in mind when digitizing for caps. Design: You will need to know the measurements of where you can place your design or logo; not every design will translate well onto a cap. You'll also need to ac- count for the center seam. You may need to apply heat or steam to the center seam of a six-panel cap in order to soften it to stitch across it with no distortion. Digitizing: Your design or logo should stitch from the center out to the sides and from the bottom to the top. This method will keep the cap as stable as possible, and prevent the cap fabric from being shifted to one side, trapped and stitched into a pleat. Specific elements of a design should be completed altogether, rather than stitching each color to completion, in order to maintain registration. Use underlay to help a design cross the center seam and to attach the cap to the backing. Backing: Even though caps are sewn from very firm and stable fabric, always use backing. Cap backing, usually a 2.5- or 3-oz. tearaway, comes in rolls or precuts. Needles: Always use a sharp needle to penetrate the cap's woven material. You could use a non-stick coated needle, a Teflon-coated needle in order to cut down on friction, or a titanium needle for increased strength. The size of the needle will depend on the thread you are using. For standard 40-weight, use a 75/11. Thread: Caps are exposed to the elements from above and sweat from below, so you'll need strong, quality 100 percent polyester thread. You may choose shiny or matte polyester: 60-weight for fine details or very small letters, but then use a smaller needle like a 65/9 or 70/10 for a smaller hole penetration. There is no reason not to try a 40- or 50-weight metallic thread on caps for delivering a special effect. ALICE WOLF, MADEIRA When digitizing for caps, your design or logo should stitch from the center outward and from the bot- tom up. (Image courtesy Celeste Schwartz) Learn the latest in embroidery from ERICH CAMPBELL ONLY IN DISPLAY ADVERTISING The Marketplace TO ADVERTISE CONTACT DIANE GILBERT AT 800-669-0424, EXT. 297 DGILBERT@NBM.COM

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