Caroline Jones of GS UK explains how to combine laser engraving with embroidery to create subtle yet sophisticated branding on fleece

This month we’re taking a look at how to embellish a fleece garment – in this case the Recycled Fleece Snood from Beechfield – using laser engraving and embroidery.

Laser engraving or cutting into a garment adds a distinctive but subtle effect, says Caroline Jones, technical consultant at GS UK. This technique allows patterns and intricate detail, such as logos as seen in this example, to be easily incorporated into the design.

“Once the design is set up, the engraving process on the garment only takes a matter of seconds,” explains Caroline.

“The bespoke laser cutting/engraving service we offer at GS UK has meant we have an unrivalled knowledge of embellishing textiles using this technology.”

By adding embroidery after the laser, colour elements can be included in the design, adding a contrast to the ‘tone on tone’ look that laser engraving produces. “This can result in not only a ‘high-quality’ look, but also a very unique product.”

While the 100% recycled polyester snood used here is made from a lightweight fleece, heavier-weight fleeces may benefit from using a ‘topper’, such as the water-soluble Gunold Solvy, to prevent stitches from sinking into the fabric, says Caroline.

It is framed up on top of the garment prior to it being embroidered, and then torn away after stitching is completed, with any residues removed with a damp cloth.

(1) The Ethos Laser Marker Software was used to create a design specifically for the snood, using the GS UK logo and a triangular pattern that moves over the snood from a sparse to more dense coverage. This design was then ‘reflected’ to engrave the other side of the snood. Using the software, ‘scan lines’ were added to each shape in the design, which were then followed during the engraving process
(2) A Graphixscan high-speed laser engraver machine was used to engrave the design onto the product. A red ‘box’ light indicated where the pattern
would occur on the machine bed and the snood was placed within this area. An extraction system removed any fumes created when etching the garment
(3) The design was created so that there was a ‘contrast’ in the etched triangles produced. By adjusting the distance between the scan lines assigned to the triangles in addition to changing the power settings used, it was possible to engrave/etch some triangles deeper into the fleece than others
(4) The next step was to add embroidery onto the snood. It was framed up using Gunold Thermofilm as a stabiliser – this was used because it completely disappears after the embroidery process, making it an ideal choice where both sides of an embroidery are visible and no residues of any backing are wanted
(5) Next, the design was embroidered. In this example, Gunold Cotty 30 Bio thread was used, which is a 100% cotton thread. It has a matt sheen and a silky-soft feel, and the cultivation, twisting and dyeing process of the cotton used for Cotty 30 Bio is Gots-certified
(6) After the embroidery was completed, the stabiliser was removed from the reverse of the garment. Thermofilm is a heat-removable film that can easily be torn away after embroidery. Any remaining small residues can be removed with an iron
(7) If required, Gunold Stick Protect can be applied onto the reverse of the garment to cover the back of the embroidery. Stick Protect is a fusible protective gauze which can be ironed onto the back of the garment to prevent the stitching from irritating the skin. This is particularly useful when embroidering babywear, childrenswear, etc.
(8) A close-up of the finished product