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3D Puff Embroidery Step by Step Instructions

Sewing 3d puff embroidery is a simple process that generates incredible results. In most cases a design must be specially digitized for 3d puff embroidery. These instructions do not cover the steps for digitizing a 3d puff design, only the application of the embroidery.

To sew a 3d puff embroidery you will need only two additional items over regular embroidery. First you will need a sew file (design) that has been created for 3d puff embroidery. Whether this is a stock design or a custom-digitized design it must be specially created for 3d applications. Second, you will need 3d embroidery foam. This foam comes in two degrees of thickness, 2mm and 3mm. In our example we use 3mm foam. The only difference between the two is the amount that the embroidery will stand up off the garment. Most thread suppliers have embroidery foam in several basic colors. These instructions will take you step-by-step through the easy process of sewing a 3d Puff two-color letter. These instructions demonstrate sewing a letter on a six-panel hat. The same instructions apply to sewing on nearly any other type garment.

Step one is to hoop the garment as you would for regular embroidery. This includes using the correct backing for the type of garment you are sewing. In our example we are using a six-panel Flexfit by Yupoong hat. We are using a single piece of hat backing in a 270-degree cap frame.



Remember, you can sew 3d puff designs on nearly any type of garment. The exceptions will be very delicate fabrics. 3d puff embroidery uses very high density to cover the foam. Very delicate fabrics can be ripped by high density embroidery. Always sew a sample embroidery on similar fabric before trying it on a garment.


Step 2

Load the hooped item into the embroidery machine and sew the first color. Remember in our example we are sewing a two-color puff letter. The first color is regular embroidery at the standard density.



The first color that runs will be the outline color. If you are sewing a single color 3d puff design you skip this step.



Step 3


Once the first color has been completed, stop the embroidery machine. Next cut a piece of embroidery foam large enough to cover the design you are sewing. The foam color you use should be as close to the color of the thread you will be stitching over it as possible. Foam come only in basic colors. Therefore it is impossible to match all possible thread colors. Some people use only two basic colors: white foam on all light colors and black foam on all dark colors. In this example, red foam with red stitching will be shown. Use tape to secure the foam over the embroidery area. The tape only needs to hold the foam in place while the stitching begins. If you are sewing garments flat (not hats) you may not need to use tape at all. Simply lay the foam over the embroidery area and start the machine. Likewise if you are sewing only one hat, you can hold the foam in place while you start the machine.


Once the machine has been started, the stitching will hold the foam in place.


When sewing embroidery on foam, reduce the speed of the embroidery machine to approximately 400 stitches-per-minute. In most cases, embroidery on foam will proceed as smoothly as regular embroidery. At this reduced speed you should not have any more thread breaks then you would expect without foam. During our sample run, there were no thread breaks for the entire design.





Step 4


When the embroidery is complete, remove the item from the embroidery machine.



Now remove the excess foam from the hat. This comes off very easily. The embroidery will perforate it, making it easy to remove.





Once the excess foam has been removed, the job is nearly complete. The last thing to do is to remove any small pieces of foam that still remain. Loose pieces of foam can be brushed away using a soft brush, cloth or tweezers. There may still be small pieces of foam poking thru the foam. You can use a sharp object, like a pin, to poke those piece back up into the stitches. Once you poke them back into the stitches, the stitches will move over the pieces to cover them. Another way to remove small pieces of foam is to use a heat source, like a hair dryer, to heat the embroidery. The heat will shrink the small fragments of foam making them disappear under the embroidery. ALWAYS test the heat source on a sample before trying it on a garment.




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