BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 30 images FEBRUARY 2018 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. Attach your patch The technique is simple: run the placement line and place the patch so that it covers those lines, using a little adhesive spray to secure it. Then run a tackdown stitch to hold down the patch, following with an edge-cover or secondary attachment stitch if you so choose. The following is a run-down of some popular attachment stitch types and methods. Zig-zag: A zig-zag matching the width and colour of an existing border is a great way to secure pre-edged patches so that edges lay flat and won’t catch when worn. Sadly, some classic patches vary enough in shape that this style can fall sloppily outside the border. Full satin: For flat, non-edged patches and pre-edged patches alike, covering the patch edge with a fully filled satin border gives the smoothest flat edge, making the patch look more like direct embroidery and completely preventing edges from catching or curling. Unfortunately, it can be hard to align with irregular patches; also, some prefer the classic floating look of a patch with loose edges. Blanket stitch: With laser cut or sealed-edged flat patches that won’t fray, the blanket or ‘E’ stitch can add interesting texture as the tines of the ‘E’ break into the patch area to attach the edge. With hand-edged patches, alignment can still be a problem. The tines can also reach into the central design area if you don’t leave an easement at the edge. Straight stitch: A pre-edged patch’s easiest option is two to three passes of straight stitch matching the border colour. Placed just inside the inner edging of the existing border, this stitching can blend in, particularly on overlock-edged patches that naturally have a textured ‘lip’ in this area. Doubling or tripling the run makes the stitching secure, but a bean or triple- stitch gives the attachment a thick, hand-stitched look. Adhesive: For shops with a cap- specific heat press, adhesive saves time and trouble as stitching placement lines isn’t entirely necessary. Moreover, adhesive allows decoration in places you can’t stitch, like the peak. Outsourced patches can be ordered with heat press adhesives, but in-house patch makers can add their own, making this viable for any patch-making method. Just be mindful that your cap can stand the heat and allows the adhesive to stick. Lightweight and weather-proofed caps aren’t invited to this party. For decorators considering liquid patch- adhesives, make sure to ‘torture test’ a sample first; not all adhesives are as strong as heat press varieties. If you’re like me and love this no nonsense, vintage style, I implore you to give it a go. It’s a touch of embroidery history and it might just save you a difficult run on those stiff, hard-to-stitch crowns in the process. This patch-styled appliqué [left] shows a full-coverage satin amended by a multi-pass satin stitch on the inner edge of the satin to approximate the look of a classic overlock-edged patch, compared with the look of its sister-cap [right] with the raw edge and thin straight stitch attachment. These show the difference that the edge texture can make on the look of the finished piece These sublimated patches show how you can produce one patch for multiple styles of decoration. Without the difficulty inherent in direct embroidery, a single patch with a size appropriate to all uses can cover many garment needs [Images courtesy of Tom Farr, Buzzards Bay Embroidery] Covering the patch edge with a fully filled satin border gives the smoothest flat edge