Want to broaden the array of decorating options you can offer your customers? Then check out the collection of specialty decorating technologies discussed here and find out how you can use them to expand your bottom line.
With the ongoing popularity of glitz in the fashion market, as well as hip-hop, cheerleading, dance, and spirit wear markets, sequins have been increasing in popularity as a way to add some sparkle to screen-printed or embroidered designs (Figure 6). Offshore, sequins are sometimes applied by hand, but in the United States, a number of embroidery machine makers offer a sequin attachment that automates the process. Up to two sequin attachments can be placed per embroidery head.
Some manufacturers prefer to install sequin attachments in the factory, but they can be added to the machine on-site. Attachments will not go on all machines so make sure your model is set up to have one added before you buy. There is some training involved in how to use the attachment, which also requires special digitizing software. This software is generally packaged with the attachment. How the sequin is tacked down is dependent on the effect desired. Most machines support many different tack-down methods.
Sequins themselves come in a wide range of colors and sizes ranging from 3 mm up to 9mm. Available varieties also include flat, iridescent, and Mylar sequins. The sequins are provided on reels that look similar to movie reels.
Chenille is not new, it’s been around for a long time; however the way chenille is produced is changing. Originally, chenille was done on a specialty machine that was not automated. The operator guided the needle to create the shape or pattern that was desired. Today, manufacturers offer machines that automatically sew chenille or machines that do both chenille and embroidery. These are called tandem machines.
Chenille is done using a special thick yarn and a chenille machine can create two effects. One is the traditional loops that create the fuzzy, towel-like effect that is used for patches and award letters for Varsity jackets. A chenille machine also does a chain stitch that is often used to create names or words or to create decorative accents (Figures 7 and 8).
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