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How To Choose the Right Backing

General Guideline: Choose a backing that is slightly heavier than the garment you are sewing. Hoop the garment tightly and make sure the surface area of the garment in the hoop is extremely taught, and the backing is pressed tight to the garment.

2oz Light: This white embroidery backing has a soft feel with the ability to handle High Stitch Count/High Density Designs. It is great for knit caps, appliqué, double knit, light golf shirts, karate belts, turtleneck shirts, umbrella's and webbing/belting.

2.5oz Medium: This white embroidery backing is great for loose knit golf shirts, pigue golf shirts, high density stitching designs, varsity/wool jackets, and shetland sweaters. It has a soft feel with the ability to handle High Stitch Count/High Density designs

3oz-3.75oz Heavy: This white embroidery backing is great for high density stitching designs, varsity/wool jackets, and shetland sweaters, thicker garments. It has a soft feel with the ability to handle High Stitch Count/High Density designs

When it comes to selecting backings, knowing what backings other embroiderers use with a particular garment is a good start. Unfortunately, this information may not provide all of the answers or, for that matter, any of the answers for your particular machine or design. Stability of the garment fabric, stitch density, color, stitch length, stitch speed, size of the embroidery, and stability of the design are some of the variables that can influence backing selection.

Fabric stretch is probably the most important factor in selecting backing. No matter what type, backing has to be stable enough to prevent movement during the stitching process. There are many different fabrics and many qualities within those types. Experimentation is often needed even when changing blank suppliers of what appears to be an identical garment. A fabric’s structure (weave or knit pattern) is apt to be a better indicator of stability than weight alone. This is particularly true of golf shirts.

How well you hoop your fabric has an impact on the finished product. Poor registration can occur from loosely hooped or insecurely hooped garments. This is not a backing problem. A secure grip on thick or slippery materials can be gained by using higher hoops. Fabric tension in the hoop can be checked by pushing your finger across the fabric. If you see wrinkles, your tension may be too loose.In general, a large detailed design with filled areas embroidered on an unstable knit might use a heavier backing than a small design on a stable woven fabric.

Most cutaways range in weight from 1.5 to 3.5 oz/yd2. Cutaways, in general, tend to be more resistant to needling perforations than tearaways. In choosing a cutaway, most embroiderers consider ease of cutting, wash stability, hoop stability, and perforation resistance. Cutaways tend to have more bulk than tearaways. Softness, ease of cutting, and stability can often be mutually exclusive properties for cutaway backings. In some cases, the embroiderer needs to determine which property is most important for a particular design. The softer backings tend to have more hoop stretch and, accordingly, will not allow as crisp a design as stiff ones.

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