Because our parent company does embroidery and has for a number of years, we often get questions about how to embroider a certain material. Over the years, we’ve probably embroidered almost every material you can imagine, and we like to share our knowledge. That’s why we’re starting a new series, “Embroidering Specialty Materials” on this blog. The first installment dealt with embroidering performance wear.
EnMart’s corporate headquarters is in Northern Michigan, which is beautiful but can also be beyond cold in the Winter months. For that reason, a lot of us up here are huge fans of fleece. An embroidered fleece jacket can make a great fashion statement, but the material can be a bit tricky to embroider. If you’re tackling embroidering fleece for the first time, here are a few tips that might make your project go a little more smoothly.
Tip 1: Fleece stretches – Like a lot of specialty materials, fleece stretches. You need to make sure the fabric is adequately stabilized and is hooped so the fabric is taut but not stretched.
Tip 2: Fleece can be crushed – Unlike some fabrics, fleece has fibers that can be crushed. If you hoop too tightly, your fabric will have hoop marks when your embroidery is completed. You should pay more attention to how taut the fabric is when hooped, and less attention to how tight the hoop is on the fabric. It is also recommended that you hoop your fabric and stabilizer together. If you do have hoop marks they may be eliminated by running your fingers over the hooped area once the hoop has been removed.
Tip 3: A hoop my not be necessary – If you’re afraid of hoop marks, you can embroider your fleece product without hooping it. All you need is an adhesive backing or some regular backing sprayed with an adhesive spray. Hoop the backing and then position the fleece on the adhesive. Use a topping to ensure your stitches don’t sink into the fabric and embroider.
Tip 4: Topping is a must – Fleece is a plush fabric, and your stitches can sink into it easily if they’re not stabilized. Use of a water soluble topping will help keep your stitches on top of the fabric.
Tip 5: Your density may vary – When it comes to the density of your design, opinions vary on how dense is too dense. Some designers recommend that your design should be less dense, and others recommend more density. The best way to know if a design will work on your fleece is to do a test run on a scrap sample.