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Scoring More Sales With Specialty Garment Decorating

(November 2008) posted on Thu Nov 06, 2008

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.

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By Henry Bernstein

Chenille can be sewn directly onto a jacket or it can be sewn on a scrim felt backing, like a patch, which is then sewn down on the jacket. Most companies do chenille patches because it is difficult to hoop bulky jackets and get them on the machine. Some jacket manufacturers will sew cut parts directly and then finish assembling the jacket.

While the biggest market for chenille is school and team varsity style jackets, it also has applications in the corporate world. Any company looking for something different could easily have a logo or design done in chenille or chain stitching. It’s also used for leather motorcycle vests and is showing up in retail fashion. Companies like Adidas are adding chenille logos to sweat shirts and jackets for a unique look.



Another special effect that is out there is called taping. This involves tacking down ribbons in patterns to form designs such as floral motifs or abstract decorations. It is not used much in the decorated apparel industry but more so in Europe and Asia for ready-to-wear fashion. However, for any decorator looking for something different, taping could have applications in many of the same markets that are currently interested in sequins and rhinestones.

Taping requires a specialty machine. It is not an attachment that can be added to an embroidery machine. The ribbons can be purchased on reels, similar to sequins, or you can wind your own.



Cording is another special effect similar to taping, but one that uses cord instead of ribbons. There is a specialty machine designed specifically for applying cording, or you can purchase an attachment similar to a sequin attachment for your embroidery machine. Again, this is not wildly popular in the decorated apparel industry; it is used primarily in fashion and home decorative markets. Most often it is used to create abstract, scroll-type designs.


Cash in with specialty decorating

Laser appliqué and etching, rhinestones, sequins, chenille, and the other specialty decorating options discussed here offer screen printers a way to make their products stand out in a crowded market. While some of these options require additional equipment and some training, the added capabilities they allow and their ability to be combined with your existing decorating methods can make them valuable additions to your production floor.


Henry Bernstein is the North American director of Seit Laser Systems for Hirsch Int’l, Hauppage, NY, which is the exclusive distributor of Seit in North America. Bernstein also is the newly appointed director of the Hirsch Solution Studio in Solon, Ohio, a full-service center demonstrating a complete range of apparel decorating technologies. Bernstein can be contacted at To learn more about Hirsch Int’l, visit





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