December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 31 threshold is that the needle insertion points are so close together they share the same fibers on the garment. This very common problem not only leads to thread breaks but potential holes in garments as well. EXCESSIVE THREAD TRIMS Every time the embroidery machine must trim, the continuity between the thread cone and the garment is broken. Thus, every time the machine starts up again, the chances of a thread break increases. While this is a result of the needle becoming unthreaded, the bottom line is that the machine stops and the result is downtime. Many machine models have mechanisms to grab the thread and hold it in place for the first few stitches to help minimize the risk of fallout. STITCH DENSITIES Too much density will yield too many stitches in too small of an area, with the obvious result being thread breaks. Density needs to be carefully chosen based on the material being sewn to assure proper coverage without overdoing it. In addition, large segments usually require more density, while smaller ones may need less density. The standard setting is 63.5 SPI or 4 points. Naturally, depending upon the material, more or less density might be required for adequate coverage. The key is to use as much density as needed and never more. When sewing a thread color that contrasts with the fabric color, such as white on black, it may be virtually impossible to get enough density to ensure uniform coverage without getting thread breaks. Rather than increasing density, consider using two layers of thread segments with slightly reduced density settings. STITCHING OVER STITCHING How many layers of thread can a needle pass through? It is not something that you want to find out. Multiple layers of stitching create another potential thread-break sce- nario. The first layer of thread only has the needle passing through the material. Each subsequent layer adds more for the needle to pass through, which damages the overall integrity of the thread fibers. Anything more than three layers of embroidery can spell disaster. The density settings typically need to decrease with each successive layer that is added. UNDERLAY Underlay is considered a layer of thread. It is important to understand and respect un- derlay without abusing it. Underlay serves the following primary purposes: • Secure backing to the garment. • Help provide stability to the material. • Act as a foundation for the top stitching. As with density, use only enough underlay as required. In many cases, it is the perfect combination of underlay and top stitching that produces optimal results. It takes a combination of pre-production (proper density, underlay, etc.), production (thread path, tension, needle care, etc.), post-production (machine communication), and of course the use of a quality embroidery thread to minimize thread breaks. Follow- ing these basic principles will help keep continuity between the thread and the garment and reduce your separation anxiety. DISPLAY ADVERTISING The Marketplace TO ADVERTISE CONTACT DIANE GILBERT AT 800-669-0424, EXT. 297 DGILBERT@NBM.COM Technical screen printing advice from JOE CLARKE ONLY IN

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