There is, says Dominic Bunce of digitiser David Sharp, an ever-growing requirement for fashion brands to offer unique clothes. He explains how best to satisfy this demand with clever embroidery

Standing out in the highly competitive retail market isn’t always easy – you need to ensure that you are constantly on the cutting edge with your designs.

Thinking outside the box and with an eye for detailing, we worked closely with Amaya Sales UK to produce this unique piece for a trade customer who was looking to get into the embroidery industry in order to fulfil their customers’ growing demands. We produced this piece using a mixture of tatami fill stitches, satins, raised satins and run stitch sketch-like details to ensure that it wouldn’t be lost in the crowd.

Starting with a brief of ‘something 3D and life-like in appearance’ on a hoodie, we came up with the concept of including shoelaces hanging from the shoe, along with raised satin stitches for the white shoelaces that are stitched on the design.

The white stitched shoelaces, which are comprised of wide satin stitches, were achieved by using the satin raised method in Wilcom to a setting of four.
This means that the satin stitch passes over itself four times, with a light satin stitch for the base layers, building up the 3D appearance without the use of traditional 3D puff foam. This was then outlined in a thick black satin stitch to really make the shoelace ‘pop’ in its 3D look.

The effect of the real shoelaces appearing to hang from the embroidery is relatively simple. When digitising, we embroidered a satin circle, with no fill, where the machine would then automatically stop to allow the hoodie to be removed from the machine.

The brief was to create a 3D, life-like design

With a sharp pair of scissors, we cut a little hole inside the garment to allow the ‘real’ shoelace to be threaded through on either side. Once that was done, we placed the hoodie back on the machine, ensuring that shoelaces were in position and laid flat. We used a flat sports shoelace for this in order to ensure it didn’t appear pinched by the holding stitches.

The shoelaces are the last part of the design to be done, which means that the main part of the design can be left to run all the way through unattended until nearly the end. This allows you to get on with other things without having to keep a close eye on the machine as it automatically stops before the holding stitches, giving you the chance to thread through without missing the moment and stitching over the area.

The final design measured 240mm by 203mm and used 76,277 stitches, five colours and 33 trims. It took approximately 85 minutes on a Melco EMT16X embroidery machine from Amaya to stitch the Gildan Heavy Blend Hoodie.