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How To Reduce Puckering Or Pulling For Custom Embroidery

This article covers steps you can take as a designer to reduce puckering and pulling in your custom embroidery

What Is Puckering Or Pulling?

Puckering is pulling, stretching, or visible stress that can occur around embroidery. It is caused by the stitches pulling the material that it is stitched into. In an ideal world, we want to reduce puckering as much as possible. However, there is no silver bullet to stop puckering althogether. As a designer there are decisions you can make to reduce puckering. As your manufacturer, there are also thing Apliiq does to minimize puckering as much as possible.

Disclaimer: While we are committed to taking steps to reduce puckering or pulling during embroidery, it is not possible to stop puckering altogether. We will not refund or remake designs due to puckering or pulling, or because a stabilizer was used.

Base Garment & Material

In general, lightweight and thinner materials have a higher likelihood of puckering. They have less material to "hold" the stitching of your artwork before they begin to bunch up. So when selecting base garments for embroidery, selecting base garments with heavier weights will typically reduce puckering. For example, a 8oz 100% cotton hoodie may show no puckering, but the same artwork on a 50/50 4oz t shirt will show some puckering.

A Recommendation For Thin Garments

For thin garments it is best to use lightweight and open designs. Use outlines, single colors, and avoid designs that will require densely filled areas.

Size And Fill Of Artwork

Another important factor is how big and how much fill your artwork has. You can create beautiful small, thin, and delicate embroideries on lightweight garments. But a large artwork or artwork that has a lot of fill stitches would show puckering on that same garment. To reduce puckering, you should consider artwork that requires less stitiching in many cases this can be accomplished simply by using outlines instead of solid fills. In general, as an artist you want to take steps to reduce the amount of stitches as much as possible, while still creating beautiful artwork.

Color Of Artwork

The color of your artwork in relation to the color of your base garment can make a large difference in the total number of stitches required to create your artwork, and thus the potential for puckering. Selecting a base color similar to a background fill color requires a much lower density of stitches to "fill" that space because the colors are naturally similar. For example, it requires less stitches to fill a dark gray area on a gray garment than a white area of the same size on a black garment. You simply need much more white stitches to cover up the black base garment.

Use Of Backing Or Stabilizer

An important step to reduce puckering is the use of backing or stabilizer. Backing and stabilizers are fabrics or sturdy paper material placed behind your garment to provide additional support while your artwork is being created and are essential to minimize puckering. Our production team will select the best backing to reduce puckering for your design and create the best embroidery result possible.

Digitization Of Your Artwork

Digitization is the process of turning a digital file into a format that embroidery machines can use. Our artists will digitize your artwork in a way that reduces puckering and creates the best aesthetic result possible. After placing your order, our artist may reach out to you to recommend changes to your artwork to reduce puckering or provide a better result.