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embroidery on thinish knit t-shirt

Moira Rogow
 

Hi all! I've got a few summer t-shirts that I would like to embroider. Usually I buy 100% cotton, medium weight, but I haven't been able to find any lately and I have substituted a light weight cotton and spandex mix. I've got an old shirt close to them that I'm experimenting on. I tried a flower, a bit dense, and the stitches were pulling away from the shirt. Is this because the design is too dense? Or is there something else I should be looking at? Any advice will be sincerely appreciated!
Moira

Mary Mills
 

Hello, go buy some medium iron-on interfacing, type used for dress making and some Solvy, a plastic type washaway.  Iron on the interfacing patch on the back area of the item where you are embroidering and place the solvy on top, I usually hoop it in a small hoop if using my industrial machine, if using a domestic machine put some tearaway stabilizer in the hoop and pin the item to it, good luck, regards, Mary in Au

Bryden Shiells
 

What I found worked really well for me with thin knits was to create a grid – lines say between a quarter and half an inch apart – stitch that first using washaway thread on the top (needle)....  this kept the knit and stabiliser “bonded” and stopped the knit from scooting away from the stabiliser.....
 
I then stitched the design and finally rinsed away the washaway thread.....   the bobbin thread used stitching the grid could just be trimmed away but most just pulled out.
 
I had really good success with this – a friend asked me to sew a design on a T she had bought and it had very narrow stems and flowers....   the whole thing turned out well.
 
Bryden
 
PS   Do make sure to keep the washaway thread sealed and marked clearly, you don’t want to do ordinary sewing with it in error.

Pixey
 

Living in Texas which has more warm months than cold ones, I do a fair bit of embroidering on t-shirts. I find that the design density can be an issue on thinner shirts, no matter how much you stabilize them. I like to use two thicknesses of no show mesh put at 45 degrees to each other. Then I use spray adhesive on the top stabilizer and smooth the t-shirt to that, taking care not to stretch it.

Don’t forget to pre-shrink the shirt by washing and drying it before embroidering. This also fluffs up the fibers and tends to make it easier to embroider. One issue you can run into over time is that the cotton fabric of the shirt will continue to slightly shrink over time when washed and dried repeatedly and this happens at a different rate than the embroidery. When this happens the denser designs end up “cupping”. To avoid it, I use a lot of more open designs or appliqué designs with cotton fabric inserts. If I am using an insert fabric in a lighter color than my t-shirt, I will put a layer of lightweight tear away behind the fabric and remove it when I cut the appliqué.

Hope this helps,
Pixey

Lou Ann
 

I've found that too dense of a design will negatively affect the outcome of your embroidery on t-shirt knits.  Besides washing and drying the shirts first, I found out that I needed to pre wash and dry the cutaway stabilizer I was using.   Someone, somewhere told me that medium to heavy weight cutaway was all they used so I bought a huge bargain-priced roll.  I did a t-shirt with applique that really puckered up badly after I washed and dried the finished shirt.  I had used old t-shirts, i.e. laundered many times, as the fabric for the applique that was backed with a specific iron-on backing just for applique so the fabric didn't curl and shouldn't have shrunk .My second trial had the stabilizer prewashed and dried and that got rid of the puckers.  I've also used the no show mesh with good success...but now I've got this HUGE roll of cutaway...  I'd say the bottom line is less dense designs that are more open for t-shirt knit and do practice pieces until you get the stabilizer/design/fabric/needle combination to your liking.  T-shirts that have been customized are really nice-when they are all done, but getting there can be challenging sometimes!

Moira Rogow
 

Wow! Thanks for all the ideas! I'm going to try them all and I'll get back to you guys and let you know what worked and what didn't. Thanks again!
Moira


On Friday, March 2, 2018, 8:51:10 AM CST, Lou Ann <louannbush@...> wrote:


I've found that too dense of a design will negatively affect the outcome of your embroidery on t-shirt knits.  Besides washing and drying the shirts first, I found out that I needed to pre wash and dry the cutaway stabilizer I was using.   Someone, somewhere told me that medium to heavy weight cutaway was all they used so I bought a huge bargain-priced roll.  I did a t-shirt with applique that really puckered up badly after I washed and dried the finished shirt.  I had used old t-shirts, i.e. laundered many times, as the fabric for the applique that was backed with a specific iron-on backing just for applique so the fabric didn't curl and shouldn't have shrunk .My second trial had the stabilizer prewashed and dried and that got rid of the puckers.  I've also used the no show mesh with good success...but now I've got this HUGE roll of cutaway...  I'd say the bottom line is less dense designs that are more open for t-shirt knit and do practice pieces until you get the stabilizer/design/fabric/needle combination to your liking.  T-shirts that have been customized are really nice-when they are all done, but getting there can be challenging sometimes!