September '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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54 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 W hen a creation is a cut above, we often say that it is "more than the sum of its parts." In our embroidery world, it's never truer than when we dabble in the art of appliqué. From the French, appliqué means "to put on" or "apply." A bold style of embroidery, it uses pieces of material attached to a larger ground to create designs. In short, appliqué is eye candy. We can use a fabric like wide wale brown corduroy to suggest a country road, white fleece that whispers clouds, metallic scraps for hubcaps, and mylar and stitched-over organdy for fish scales. Appliqué can be simple or complex. How you fill your "canvas" is up to you and your customer. Create samples to dem- onstrate possibilities or just have some fun. Because in the world of appliqué embroidery, anything—stitches, fab- ric, rhinestones, prints, tackle twill, vintage linens, keepsake clothing—is fair game. THE PROCESS To stitch, hoop the appliqué fabric with backing, run the outline stitch, then cut out the piece. Next, hoop the ground fabric. I use two layers of tearaway and avoid stretching when hooping to head off puckering. Start the design. The outline stitch will mark the site for the appliqué piece and stop. Use adhesive spray applied in a box away from the machine, and then set the piece in place. Start the machine to complete the tack down stitch and finishing edge. You can also hoop the ground and ap- pliqué fabric together and then stitch, stop- ping the machine to trim before finishing. Cutting fabric in the hoop can be awkward, but there are double curved scissors that help. Program your design to stop at the top, or program a frame movement out and then back to create a larger trimming area. FINISHING STITCHES There are a number of stitches that can be used with appliqué to achieve different A sublimated design can be combined with embroidery for a photographic-quality appliqué. (Im- age courtesy Tom Farr, Buzzard Bay Embroidery) Eye Candy Helen Hart Momsen, owner of Virginia-based Hart Enterprises, has been a member of the embroi- dery industry for more than three decades. Widely published in the industry's trade press, Momsen's monthly Hart of Embroidery col- umn ran in NBM's Printwear magazine for more than 12 years. She continues to contribute to the publication as a feature writer. Momsen founded the Embroidery Line, an Internet forum where embroiderers can share ideas and offer as- sistance and encouragement to newbies and veterans alike ( She has established an education- al Facebook page, Helen Hart's Embroidery World, as well. She developed and sells the Hart Form, a business-ordering aide used by many professional embroiderers. She is additionally an authorized Wilcom Distributor. Momsen is also the author of two embroidery-related books: Professional Embroidery: Business by Design and Professional Embroidery: Stitching by Design, and a series of instructional e-Books available on the Web at Artful Appliqué B Y H E L E N H A R T M O M S E N

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