Stitches

Five Steps: Create Multimedia Lettered Applique

With the use of a special glitter appliqué material, metallic thread and rhinestones, it’s easy to bling-up lettering. The advantage of this special material is that you can create appliqué without purchasing precut pieces or a cutter.

Step 1

Create the artwork for the appliquéd word “Delta” in a vector graphics program like CorelDRAW. Then, import it into an automated appliqué software program such as TwillStitchPro Plus. This creates the design’s sew file to be sent to the embroidery machine.

Step 2

Using a vinyl cutter, template material, rhinestuds and Roland’s R-Wear Studio, create a rhinestud transfer as an outline to go around the lettering. You also can order a custom rhinestud transfer if you don’t own a cutter. It would be easy to add a name underneath this design with a rhinestone transfer.

Step 3

Sew the outline stitch onto the hooped garment and use this to gauge the size of your heat-transfer material. CAD-CUT Glitter Flake, which comes on a plastic carrier, is used here. Cut the material first; then peel away the carrier. Cut so that you have a 1” margin around the edge of the design. Spray the dull adhesive side of the material with spray adhesive and position it in the hoop.

Step 4

When sewing the satin-stitch border, the stitch length should be between 3mm and 4mm. This ensures there are enough needle perforations to cut the fabric. If you want to lessen the sewing time, lean toward lower density. Once sewing is complete, pull off the excess material; use tweezers to extract the material from the design cavities.

Step 5

Unhoop the garment and take it to the heat press. Before application, place a heat-printing pillow inside the garment. This is to ensure a good bond and accurate pressure for the heat-transfer material and rhinestuds. Once the shirt is on the heat-press platen, position the rhinestuds transfer over the appliqué lettering. Both the appliqué and the rhinestuds can be applied in one pressing, which in this case is for 15 seconds at firm pressure.

Tips: Because there’s no positioning of individual letters using this type of appliqué material, it’s possible to use a wider range of typefaces than with traditional appliqué. The machine sews the entire letter in place so even if it’s a script, there are no issues with letters getting out of registration. If you want to speed up appliqué production, this type of material saves the labor involved in individually placing letters and spraying each one with adhesive spray.