Images Magazine Digital Edition February 2019

KB BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 38 images FEBRUARY 2019 Erich Campbell is an award-winning digitiser, embroidery columnist and educator, with 18 years’ experience both in production and the management of e-commerce properties. He is the partner relationship manager for DecoNetwork in the USA. Make it multimedia Combine your embroidery with a screen or digitally printed background, sublimate a pattern directly on a design stitched with white poly threads, or drop in some rhinestones to create texture and shine beyond what thread can manage. Multimedia treatments can achieve surfaces, colours and qualities that embroidery alone simply can’t. Even simple, smooth, printed gradients and photographic images paired with a pop of dimensional embroidery can make for an impressive presentation, let alone what applied materials or rhinestones and studs can offer in the way of textural variety. Digitise for dimension For those of you stitch-slingers that create your own files, the difference can be made entirely based on design interpretation. Take that flat-filled area and break it into satin elements, alter stitch penetration patterns, create overlay shading, and manipulate stitch angles to alter the way that light plays over your stitched surface. Every silhouette has a chance to become a All images are courtesy of the author unless otherwise stated low-relief sculpture, and every block of stitches a chance to play with texture and light. The time you take in the initial interpretation won’t add to your stitch count, but it will add to the sense of artistry in your work. Engage and experiment No matter the market for which you embroider or how you choose to create, there are options beyond the materials and methods that make up most of your work. Keep your eyes open for inspiration, whether you follow retail decoration or high fashion, home décor or the crazily dedicated cosplayers – there are people in the craft market, in fibre arts and even in high technology making embroidery that you might not even recognise. Absorb what’s around you, take time to play and stitch, stitch, stitch. Only when you let your imagination run and take risks will you be able to show your customers the true, jaw-dropping potential of embroidery. Make an impression on them, and even if they return to the staples and standards, they’ll see your creativity and raise their perception of your work above decoration as a commodity. Speciality fabrics, such as this textured, faux alligator skin, can create a great deal of interest in large filled areas, particularly when they are such a great fit for the subject as with this lizard character Even a simple monogram can be vastly altered through thread choice. Tonal colouring creates a subdued look, while metallics garner shine, and a variegated ‘zebra’ thread creates stripes, all without a single change to the file Thin threads can create smaller text and finer details – moreover, with a thickness of roughly 25% of that of 40wt thread, 60wt thread can be used to take an existing design down by 25% of its original size without adjustment, provided the minimum stitch lengths aren’t overly small after the resize. Keep in mind that material matters; what looks like a sweater here is actually a fairly fine knit sweatshirt fleece