With advice from Jamie Kiekebelt, Philip Gold, Gary Layzell, Andrew Stocks and Jim Nicol

Jamie Kiekebelt, marketing manager of Pulse Microsystems


What’s the secret to successful embroidery on trousers?

”It’s important when embroidering on trousers to consider the material you’re dealing with. Digitising software can offer predefined recipes that apply settings optimised for the material you are stitching on. This ensures that you have the best possible density, underlay, push and pull compensation setting for the material that you’re working with. Recipes can be altered if you find a certain setting works better on your machine. You can then save these settings so your software remembers them the next time you work with that fabric.”

Philip Gold, chairman of Golden Finishes


How do I attach a badge to trousers quickly and cheaply?

“No secrets here: the most successful method of attachment is the good old faithful needle and thread. It is possible that a sewing machine can help, but be prepared for it being attached by hand depending on the position wanted. Fortunately trousers are not often required to have badges attached. Without question, the most effective and cheapest way would be a direct print or embroidery.

“Gluing presents many problems; I would not recommend applying a fabric badge with an adhesive. It almost certainly presents more issues than benefits: it may require a heat press to apply the badge, causing damage; badges often fall off because sticking material to material is difficult; and washing or dry cleaning the trouser also could cause problems.

“The needle and thread has been with us for a very long time and is the friend of all. Good luck!’”

Gary Layzell, Result’s brand ambassador


I often get asked to print on trouser legs, but find this incredibly awkward and time-consuming. What’s the best way to tackle them?

Trousers are the bane of a printer’s life… a bit like a long sleeve print, but a whole lot worse! Often a normal sleeve platen isn’t wide or long enough to cope with a trouser and the unprinted leg trails along the floor and picks up any dust or dirt that may be laying around. This problem is exaggerated when using an automatic press, along with finding a long enough flash curer. Many printers using a manual press will have a platen made especially for trousers and fix it to the arm of their carousel, making the job a little more achievable.

“With all this in mind, trousers are really best suited to the transfer pressing room. This keeps them away from wet inks and the usual lint and dust found in the print shop. The solution here is to fashion a leg “pillow” or base out of the neoprene foam used to line the base of your transfer press. Most press manufacturers will supply this in sheet form, which you can cut to size. By inserting this pillow into the leg you can work on a flat area and also avoid pockets, d-rings and any stitching detail.

“No faster maybe but a whole lot easier to control. ‘Keep calm and print on! (The trouser leg, that is.)”

Jim Nicol, TheMagicTouch’s managing director


What type of transfers work best on trousers?

”Over recent years TheMagicTouch has witnessed a steady growth in demand for the transfer decoration of trousers and shorts in the corporate, fashion and leisurewear markets. From way back in the 1970s when sewn-on patches were all the rage, it appears to have gone full circle today where designs and images are being incorporated onto a vast range of trousers and shorts.

“As with most T-shirts and traditional garments, the range of fabrics and colours for trousers is growing and having TheMagicTouch transfer products that can be applied at low temperature removes the risk of damaging or scorching whilst applying using a heat presses. As most of the logos and insignia being applied are small, the economics of being able to produce full colour transfers for less than 20p each is a reality.

“The other massive growth has been as a result of the number of sports where the shorts are now able to be decorated with sponsors’ logos.”

Andrew Stocks, director of Stocks Sewing Machines


What is your advice on choosing the right trouser frames?

Once you’ve decided on the correct design, the underlay, the thread and the needle, the next problem to solve is figuring out how to frame it. Panic not, Andrew has the answers.

Trouser Frame The majority of manufacturers will offer their own frames that are specific to your machine. The picture here shows the trouser frame for the ZSK Sprint 6 and has magnetic clips to hold the trouser in position and keep it stable and in tension.

Fast-frames Fast frames are a popular option for all types of hard-to-hoop applications. They are designed to be used with sticky backing. Simply select the frame size, apply the backing, then peel back the protective paper layer to reveal the sticky back. Load on the machine, position the trouser and go.

Mighty Magnetic Trouser Hoops Mighty hoops are a new type of magnetic frame that require no tensioning of the frame. Super Magnets apply a powerful gripping pressure around the frame at all times, meaning you no longer have to adjust between different weight fabrics, and there are no pesky hoop burn marks.

Pocket frame Many manufacturers supply the option of a pocket frame when using the cap system. The big advantage of the ZSK system pictured here is the extremely narrow arm of the Sprint 6. With an outside diameter of only 45mm, this means trouser pockets can be embroidered. The system requires the use of the machine cap driver and has an option of three sizes of frame.