Printwear

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 || 71 stabilized the fabric through the embroi- dery process will disappear. Stabilizers with adhesive backs are avail- able for items that may be difficult to hoop. These prevent hoop burns on deli- cate fabrics like velour, velvet, and brushed corduroy. Available in tearaway, stabilizers with adhesive backs are a great solution when embroidering small items like pock- ets, socks, cuffs, belts, and scarves. Backing finishers consist of a soft, smooth, thin layer fused to the back of a finished design, covering both stitching and backing. These are perfect for chil- dren's and infant wear, for anyone with sensitive skin, or if metallic thread is used and there is concern about it rubbing against skin. Just when you think you've mastered the stabilizer that most improves your embroi- dery, consider the addition of a topping when there is any chance that stitches, lettering, or fine detail will not appear as crisp and clear as you would like. Topping, similar in appearance to plastic food wrap, is hooped in on top of the fabric. After em- broidering, the excess is torn away, and any remaining is removed with a spray bottle of water or steam. The difference in the result- ing embroidery is well worth this extra step. To summarize, first understand the nature of the fabric on which you em- broider. Is it knit or woven? Stable or stretchy? This will determine whether you reach for a cutaway or tearaway. Oth- er considerations are the size of your de- sign; a heavier backing may be needed for large designs. Stitch count is important; a dense design requires more support from a heavier backing. Look at stitch length; designs with short stitches benefit from heavier support. Following this chain of thought should help simplify the steps in choosing the correct backing for the very best results. Using a tearaway backing for a fabric that really needs a cutaway is a common mistake.

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