October '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 O ctO b e r Printwear | 111 there are many disabilities that can't be discerned with the eye. Other websites list the rules of engagement for asking questions. For example, people can ask to see an animal's certificate, so we know we are not enabling those who feel entitled, but we may not ask about the disability that qualifies the dog's owner. Different levels of service-dog packages, from a simple certificate to ready-made patches, can be ordered online, but only some of these require a legitimate doctor's note for purchase. The final decision as to how we handle a request for service-an- imal embroidery is up to the individual shop owner. Is this a situation where we should require a contract after we see the certificate that absolves the shop and owner of any intent to defraud if the certificate is not based on the truth? Or should we decide not to police and just stitch? I would be equally concerned, lest my musings be considered anti-animal, if a customer approached me asking for a company name or "service department" be embroidered on a shirt or jacket when he or she didn't work for or represent that company. A photo credential is a must in this sensitive liability area. Stitching collarS and halterS Whatever your stand on the issue, your work is your best advertisement. Leashes and collars are made of polyester webbing that comes in different thicknesses with thicker webbing presenting a greater challenge. If you have a supply of webbing and the collar is especially thick, you can embroider on the webbing and then stitch or glue the resulting "patch" to the collar. If you embroider directly onto the provided collar or halter, use a sharp 75/11 needle or larger, and employ polyester thread as it stands up to the friction pro- duced during stitching. Polyester thread is also weather-proof. You can hoop the collar without backing, securing the ends with the hoop. Or hoop tearaway and use adhesive spray or backing that is sticky on one side to attach the collar to the backing. Hoop the sticky backing and then tear away the area where the name will be, attaching the halter or collar to that area. A felt-tip pen can mark straight lines on the backing, so you can position the webbing perfectly. There are also backings available with grid lines for easy align- ment. Many hoops are marked with notches or grooves that allow for straight placement. If your hoops are not marked that way, you can do it yourself, but make sure you smooth the indentations so there are no rough edges. A marker may work, but grooves don't wear away. Measure the width of the collar and subtract 3/8" to determine the letter height. Underlay gives the lettering lift. Then, add pull compensation and 15 percent more density and use a topping. Slide wax paper under the goods to prevent fray- ing, using as small a hoop as possible. Final thoughtS As for me and my embroidery shop, we err on the side of caution and ethics. I don't feel like a policeman when I ask for proof that I am performing a needed and authorized service and not enabling a customer to misrepresent the facts whether corporate or canine based. Please join me this month in sending well-deserved hugs to Emily Thompson, who served as Printwear's editor with wisdom, empathy, and charm. Embroidered cap off to you, Miss Em. HHM observation? I find most people to be somewhere between wrapped up in their own world and oblivious. When I see that, I actually smile because I know how much my own power of paying attention and ob- servation keeps me ahead of everyone else. Okay, so how do you observe, how do you pay attention, and how do you learn? My best mentor, besides my dad, was the late, great Earl Pertnoy. His mantra was "antennas up—at all times." He never missed a trick. Here's the secret: It's not just observing or paying attention. You must combine your abilities as you see things to get the maximum understanding. Combine ob- serving and: • Thinking • Understanding • Asking questions • Coming to some conclusion, idea, or aha • Comparing to what you already know to be true • Combine observing with being open, positive, and eager to learn I refer to it as self-collaboration. For ex- ample, you see something and relate it to past experiences or past lessons. Or may- be you relate it to something your parents taught you, or that you learned on a pre- vious job, or learned in school, or learned from your spouse, or learned from your kids, or learned from your best friends, or learned from a customer, or learned from a co-worker, or learned from a professor, or learned from a mentor. Get it? It's what you see—compared or combined with what you already know. Paying attention and observing costs me zero, but it's worth a fortune. It can be your fortune, too. Paying attention and observing has giv- en me the biggest opportunity for new knowledge and new information. It can be your biggest opportunity, too, if you decide to harness the asset you already possess. pw continued from page 12 Selling Smart pw Hart of EmbROIDERy continued from page 48

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