Printwear

October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Printwear 2013 Q&A Embroidery Embroidering onto stretchy, slippery performance fabrics can be tricky, but it is very possible to get good results. (Image courtesy Henry Bernstein, S.M. Cristall Company, Inc.) with a wash away/tear away and a high quality embroidery adhesive. Hooping is critical in this particular application. A hooping system definitely makes this easier and improves the process. Once the garment is pulled onto the board, lightly press the target area to the backing so that it is square to the frame. With the specialty backing, lifting and repositioning is easily accomplished in order to get it lined up. Flat hooping requires hand applying the adhesive backing into position on the backside of the garment first. Make sure the surface is flat and free of any wrinkles. Spraying your own adhesive should be done in a separate operation to minimize overspray. Over-tightening the tension ring of the hoop creates puckering when released. If you're cognizant of this and try to leave some fullness in the hoop, you create the same problem in reverse. Flat, even tension is very important so that when the garment is stitched in the hoop and released, it doesn't draw back and cause an unsightly appearance. One of the most effective fixes is the use of magnetic hoops. By not having an adjustable ring, the only tension that is created is the pressure of the hoops meeting. If you don't have one, pay close attention to the amount of stretch that is being applied when pushing the upper ring into the lower one. It may take a few adjustments to get it as smooth as possible. The adhesive backing will help to minimize this. Once hooped and secured, run your normal design (normal be- 92 | Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 92 ing an operative word here). If the density is very heavy, it might help reduce some of the stitches. If this is not possible, use a second layer of backing. A light tear away is usually enough. Another option is to double up on the specialty backing. I always recommend that your top and bottom thread tensions are even, especially on performance wear, due to its sensitivity to puckering. After embroidery, remove the backing as close to the stitch line as possible. The specialty backing will peel back for easy removal. A high-quality adhesive should do the same as well. The first wash cycle will eliminate the residual fibers and leave the garment clean and free from any irritant backing. Henry Bernstein, S.M. Cristall Company, Inc. My lettering looks scuffed or raggedy. What can I do? When the fabric is unstable, design elements may have ragged edges. Needles too large for the goods or for the thread can also cause saw-toothed columns. Try smaller needles with smaller eyes—or larger thread. A bent or chipped needle can cause the edges to look ragged, too, as the needle may be fraying the thread. Make sure the design is digitized for the thread you are using. Sometimes a stair-stepped or saw-tooth edge is unavoidable, caused by the embroidery stitch being deflected by the heavy, coarse weave of the fabric. October 2013 9/18/13 11:56 AM

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