Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 35

Combine digital printing with embroidered
appliqué to create unique items ideal for
added profit margins.

I

To view a
short video of this
process, please visit
impressionsmag.com/
digitalapplique.

One approach when taking on appliqué
is to consider fabrics that are a natural
companion to the design. This "Maui"
design features tropical and floral
fabrics to go with the nature of the
lettering's message.

A SUPPLEMENT TO IMPRESSIONS

n the world of apparel decoration,
perceived value is what sets the bar
on pricing, not a formula. People
only are willing to pay what they think a
product is worth. Thus, the path to higher
margins is paved with creative decoration
strategies and unique applications.
Digital appliqué certainly can be that
ticket as it takes the 3-D texture of embroidery and combines it with the visual impact
of full-color printing to create something
totally different and unique.
Embroidered appliqué has been around
a long time and most embroiderers have
dabbled in it at some point in their careers.
For most, using it as a tool for reducing stitch
counts in large designs, the focus has always
been on economy rather than creativity.
Certainly, appliqué has proven itself in
this area, because covering a large area with
fabric rather than stitches can significantly
cut down the stitch count and the associated cost of a design. Of course, it's not really
that simple as appliqué generates some new
costs, such as:
* The cost of the fabric
* The cost of cutting the fabric
* The cost of applying the fabric
However, as long as you factor that in to
the total production costs you will be OK and
you most likely will find a cost-savings due to
the reduced stitch count.
But the reality is that appliqué is a creative
form of apparel decoration that can be used
as an artistic tool, rather than simply as a
method of stitch reduction. A big part of that
is using the fabric insert to add a higher level
of vibrancy and originality to the design.
Unfortunately, the fabric portion of a
typical appliqué virtually is ignored during
the design process, as it's treated like filler
material rather than a vital component
of the overall presentation. But with the
right approach, the fabric insert can add
an unparalled element to the design,
and literally become the core focus of the
final decoration.

One approach when taking on appliqué
is to consider fabrics that are a natural companion to the design. For example, if you are
working with a large sailboat design, consider using appliqué for the sails, then look
for a material similar to sailcloth to use in the
fabric sections.
A different approach is to identify ways
to bring the fabric sections themselves to
life so they are a focus point rather than
a background element. One method is to
add embroidery details on top of the appliquéd fabric, but typically that just adds a
few extra details and limited texture while
doing very little for the overall design.
Printed fabric appliqués can have eyeopening results with very little effort and
cost. Precise graphical details, vivid colors
and photorealistic images all can be added
into an appliqué via printed fabrics. That's
something that can't be accomplished with
embroidery alone.
For example, we used fabric with an
exotic animal print for a design targeted at
zoos, making the appliqué fabric the prime
focus of the design. We ended up with a
very simple design (embroidery-wise) that
was stunning because of the unique fabric
pattern. This concept was so successful that
we created other appliqué designs that featured specialty print fabrics, such as nautical prints for the tourist industry.
It sounds easy enough, but there is one
small complication: finding the right fabric. The reality is that most fabric stores
won't have what you need. And if you do
luck out and find the right print, chances
are it's in a limited quantity and only
available for a specific time. If you go
directly to the manufacturers, you will
find a better selection, but also will have to
buy in very large quantities and even then
there is no guarantee that the same print
will be available when you need more. So
the best solution is to create your own fabrics in-house as needed, a process I call
digital appliqué.
SUMMER 2015 § 35


http://www.impressionsmag.com/digitalapplique

Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015

Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015
Contents
First Impressions
How to Optimize Digital Dark Shirt Printing
Prepare to Launch! Minimizing the DTG Learning Curve
Sublimation Rising: The Super Spot
What Does Digital Mean to Screen Printers?
Beyond the DTG Printer
Top 5 Color-Correcting Methods for Customer Photos
Digital Appliqué — the Best of Both Worlds
Digital Decorating Products
Shop Spotlight: Dragonfly Graphics
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Cover2
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 1
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Contents
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 3
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - First Impressions
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 5
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - How to Optimize Digital Dark Shirt Printing
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 7
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 8
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 9
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 10
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 11
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 12
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 13
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Prepare to Launch! Minimizing the DTG Learning Curve
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 15
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 16
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 17
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 18
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 19
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Sublimation Rising: The Super Spot
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 21
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 22
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - What Does Digital Mean to Screen Printers?
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 24
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 25
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Beyond the DTG Printer
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 27
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 28
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 29
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Top 5 Color-Correcting Methods for Customer Photos
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 31
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 32
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 33
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Digital Appliqué — the Best of Both Worlds
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 35
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 36
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 37
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 38
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Digital Decorating Products
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 40
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 41
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 42
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Shop Spotlight: Dragonfly Graphics
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - 44
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Cover3
Impressions - Digital Decorator - Summer 2015 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201503
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