With Jas Purba, managing director of ETC Supplies and GS UK’s technical consultant Caroline Jones
How big is your design?
The larger your embroidery, the more risk of puckering. Make sure you set your thread tensions low – by doing this you will not stretch the embroidery thread, which often leads to puckering. Make sure you have very good underlay stitch patterns to hold the top embroidery. You also need to ensure you do not overstretch your garment when framing it up. The use of the Durkee Freedom ring will help prevent such framing problems and garment marking.
How to embroider pashminas and scarves
With very fine fabric, such as pashmina and wool scarves or other delicate materials that have a open weave, there are some specialised products to choose from:
- Water soluble, non-woven backing
- Water soluble film, use on top and bottom
- Heat soluble film, use on top and bottom
Use a soft finish thread such as a rayon embroidery thread ticket 40 or the Gutermann Mara in ticket 180, and use an underthread ticket 120. I recommend using a needle point SUK and size 75. You must have very good underlay stitches on this type of embroidery design.
Is the garment going to be worn next to the skin?
If the garment is going to be worn next to the skin and it is a large design, I would recommend the use of Skin Soft fabric to cover the back of the embroidery. This is cut and heat applied over the embroidery on the inside to give the wearer a nice, smooth, comfortable feel to the embroidery.
How to embroider lightweight and delicate fabrics
Choosing the correct backing can be the key to producing a high quality embroidery when embroidering lighter weight and delicate fabrics such as ladies’ shirts, blouses, dresses and so on. Tear-away backings can be problematic as they can damage and distort the garments when removed. A preferred choice of backing would be a cut-away backing such as GS UK’s 2040 backing. This is an extremely soft polyester backing that easily adapts to delicate fabrics such as silk, viscose and jersey. It ensures the embroidered garment will sit correctly when worn and eliminates pulling or sagging from the surrounding fabric, which is often the result when a thicker less pliable cut-away backing is used. This 100% polyester stabiliser is also very soft when worn directly next to the skin.
After embroidering the excess backing can simply be cut-away with scissors; due to its softness it is less noticeable under more transparent or light coloured garments.