Get inspired with our new ‘Anatomy of a decoration’ series. This month, the GS UK in-house design team breaks down the creative techniques used in this embroidered sweatshirt

(1) Varying the stitch patterns used in a design can add interest. Various digitising software packages include standard stitch effects, but being able to create one-off, individual designs can add value to the finished item.

(3) The DREAM letters are created as 3D relief characters. A 3mm thick foam was placed onto the base garment and a satin stitch with denser settings than normal was then stitched directly onto where the foam was positioned. The wider the satin stitch used in a design, the stronger 3D effect will be achieved.

(2) The design was created using the Ethos embroidery software and embroidered using Gunold threads and supplies on a Merlin Pro embroidery machine.


(4) An ombré thread is defined as having different shades or strengths of the same colour, gradually going from light to dark. The Gunold Sulky 40 Ombré thread range used on the leaves within the design is a 100% rayon thread, ideal for creating designs that require a blended look.

(5) Combining different ‘weights’ of threads within a design rather than just varying the colours can also produce interesting results. Two different weights of thread have been used on the flowers here: Sulky Rayon, a 100% rayon 40s weight thread, and Cotty Thread, a 100% cotton that is thicker than the Sulky and has more of a matte finish.

(6) In addition to the 3D effect on the DREAM letters, they have also been embroidered using Glowy thread, a 100% polyester embroidery thread that shines in the dark. 

(7) To make the five pom poms, embroider a circle of long stitches that are quite open. Then, in the centre of the circle, embroider more stitches to hold the long stitches of the larger circle in place. Cut away the underthread stitches on the underside of the embroidery to allow the top stitches to form the pom pom.