October '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 O ctO b e r Printwear | 91 I'm new to the embroidery business and only have a single head. It seems that most poten- tial business coming my way is for hundreds of shirts. I don't want to turn away business, but I can't compete on price with only one machine. What should I do? First of all, don't compete on price. It never works out well—you end up working for pennies, and that translates to little, if any, profit. But don't turn down those jobs. Find a contract embroi- derer with more machines that can be trusted not to target your customer directly for business. Work out a price structure with the embroiderer so you can take the jobs and make some money. It might not be as much as you wish, but for doing nothing more than brokering the job, it can be profitable. You can spend your time canvassing for the individual work you do as well. As a bonus, offer to take the little jobs for the contract embroider, and you both may end up happy doing what you each do best. Helen Hart MoMsen, Hart enterprises What is the best way to learn how to digitize? The best teacher is experience, so get experience by running em- broidery machines—watch good files run and how threads, nee- dles, and garments interact. Take notes. Measure the difference between on-screen elements and the way they stitch—really use a ruler and get in on it. Think like a scientist and measure variables. If you develop a curious mind, take the time to supplement your hands-on learning by reading articles and material from industry masters, connecting with fellow digitizers online and in person, and learning your soft- ware tools. You'll get there technically. The rest is learning to see the world in stitches—something you develop as you build this experience and take in your embroidery study tools. ericH caMpbell, black Duck eMbroiDery anD screen printing What is the best backing for lightweight poly- ester performance wear? When embroidering on performance wear, the key is to keep ev- erything light—from the design, to the needle and the backing. You simply cannot achieve a large stitch count design with high density on lightweight fabric. Try to keep designs under 10,000 stitches and keep the density and backing light. nancy Mini, MaDeira usa pw A low-profile backing works well on performance wear and blends into the garment. (Image courtesy of Madeira USA) EMBROIDERY ThE 2014 Q&A TROuBlEshOOTIng guIDE

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