How to choose the right backing and needle for embroidery.
Our customers are often ask for advice on picking embroidery needles and backing for various jobs. We find that most jobs fall under just a handful of categories, the cart below will help to identify those so you can pick the right tools for the job.
For example, if you are going to sew on a pique knit (a typical collared golf shirt) you would use a 75/11 ballpoint needle (Chrome needles are fine) and a stable CutAway backing like our 8835. The reason for this is the 75/11 ballpoint will push right between the pique knit of the fabric without damaging the weave. The 8835 Cutaway Backing will provide strong stability so the logo on the cotton fabric stays crisp, even after multiple washes.
Another example would be working on caps, specifically structured caps where the front of the hat is stiff. This is a situation where you would choose a sharper needle to easily penetrate through the firm front of the cap. This can reduce friction and the number of thread breaks compared to using a ballpoint. Caps also will use a tearaway backing. There is not a need for firm stability because the cap is already structured and its also a challenge to cut backing from behind a cap. Tearaway will still provide the additional stability needed, while making the job easier. If you want the job to be particularly easy, then get pre-cut sheets of cap backing. This will save even more time!
There is just one more thing to discuss that isn’t on this chart. What about toppings? There are really two types of toppings you will run into: Material that covers the top of the embroidery, and others that cover the back of the embroidery. Solvy is an example of a topping. This material can easily tear and rinse away to provide additional stability for the top of your embroidery. Why would you need this? Well, when working with a knit towel some of the loops could poke through your embroidery, causing extra clean up at the end. Use the Solvy to keep your embroidery neat and clean.
Then there is CoverUp, this is used to cover the backing and bobbin thread behind your embroidery work. This is often associated with children’s clothing but is very useful for any apparel embroidery. If you are creating apparel that is going to have direct contact with skin, then CoverUp will give your customers a better experience and increased satisfaction.
To further explain, hereis a quick summary of different backings and topping: