Natalie Greetham, senior marketing co-ordinator at Madeira UK, goes into detail about how you can make your college kit embroidery perfect, time after time.
Embroidery on college kit can often involve replicating the same logo across numerous different garments and fabrics which all behave differently while being embroidered.
With this in mind, there are a few key points to consider ensuring the quality of your embroidery remains high regardless of the fabric being embroidered or the size of the design.
Selecting the correct stabiliser will go a long way to improving the finished embroidery, the more stable the material being stitched the better the finished result.
The choice is predicated by the stability and stretch of the fabric you are working with. Choose a cut-away backing for stretchy knitted fabrics and a tear-away for more densely woven fabrics without much stretch. For the popular, but extremely stretchy sports fabrics, don’t be put off as these can easily be embroidered providing you have the right backing to support your stitching. Lightweight, yet super-strong backings have been developed to assist with these fabrics, our ‘go to’ backing and a real problem solver for any tricky fabrics, is cut-away Weblon. Fabric quality can vary hugely, so running some tests before production is always a good idea.
Correct thread weight
Select the correct thread weight, while the industry standard 40 weight thread is great for everyday embroidery, for designs containing fine details or text smaller than 5mm, switching to a thinner 60 or superfine 75 weight thread can really help keep these elements looking sharp.
In some cases, it is possible to simply change your 40 thread for 60 weight in the same colour to maintain clarity, but it’s always a good idea to discuss with your digitiser which areas of the design could be further optimised by using a finer thread.
Remember, not all thread types run the same, for example Madeira’s Frosted Matt 40 thread runs more like a 50 weight so a higher density or using the new thicker 30 weight version is required for good coverage, however when it comes to lettering, it’s a great choice as the matt finish offers fantastic definition. Another option is to apply Avalon, a water-soluble topping, this will stabilise the texture of the fabric and stop stitches disappearing into the pile.
Scaling the design
Scale makes a difference to how the finished embroidery will turn out. When scaling a design, simplify the artwork as much as possible and aim to have the small lettering stitches connecting at the closest point to avoid too many trims.
Stops and trims not only slow down production but lots of tie offs will also make the back of the embroidery rough and potentially scratchy. To enhance details even more for very intricate designs or delicate fabrics try using a smaller 65/9 needle or a size 60/8 for 75 weight thread.
Running out samples with the finer threads to show customers the finish that can be achieved on different garments is a good way to help manage expectations and showcase just how versatile embroidery can be.