March '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 M A R C H P R I N T W E A R || 67 course, you'll first need to identify the fabric or substrate on which you plan to embroi- der. Knit fabrics are considered unstable and call for a sturdier cutaway. Woven fabric is usually stable enough to support a tearaway, where the pulling of the excess material will not put stress on the fabric or design. These products include tote bags, workshirts, sheets, and jackets. Examples of knit fabrics that require cutaway back- ing are sweatshirts, sweaters, golf shirts, and other piqué garments. Remember, the weight of your stabilizer should never be heavier than the fabric you are embroidering. The temptation may be to go with a tearaway to save time and elim- inate cutting errors. But, when tearaway is chosen unwisely, the desired results will not be achieved. Beyond the fabric, the size of your em- broidery design matters as well. In any manufacturer's product book, note that sta- bilizers vary in weight from 1–3 oz., with many, many choices in between. Rather than getting caught up in the numbers, rely on your sense of feel and knowledge of fab- ric, knowing that your backing should not outweigh your fabric. Match a lightweight backing to a lightweight fabric on which you are embroidering a lightweight design. Conversely, on a heavy fabric that will sup- port a high-stitch count design, you can safely choose a heavier stabilizer. COMMON ERRORS Know your fabric's limitations when it Your first step in choosing the correct backing is knowing the type of fabric on which you will embroider.

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