I can’t imagine anyone will find this interesting but wanted to discuss a few embroidery specific topics every once in awhile. Today’s lesson is on backings and toppings. I took a nice pic below of some embroidered fleece jackets we were running for a ski team today. Of course then i realized that the solvy was still on the logo and someone may wonder why. Solvy is what we call a ‘topping’ for embroidery. It is water soluble and we typically steam or spray water on it to get rid of it before shipping. **that is why you may find some garments a little damp when they arrive** Anyway, the point is to hold the embroidery stitches up on top of the garments. On fleece Jackets and even more so on less dense fleece, the embroidery has a habit of ‘sinking’ into the garment. Solvy prevents this from happening.
Underneath, we put a backing called simply a “cut-away” and a “tear away”. Tear away backing is appropriated for twills and other wovens (like dress shirts, denim shirts, hats, jackets, etc) where the fabric is relatively stable and doesn’t stretch much. “Cut-away” should be used for all knits (polo shirts, sweaters) and fleece jackets or vests. Cut away is more stable than tear-away and gives the garment more structure behind the logo. Knits and fleece tend to stretch and the cut away prevents the logo from stretching as well. This prevents the embroidery from buckling or ultimately coming out. Basically, you NEED a cut-away for fleece and knit shirts. This should be soft and get softer with washings but should always be behind your embroidered logo. So, check your shirts or fleece next time. If there isn’t a piece of fabric behind your logo (on the inside), beware.