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3-D Embroidery

You surely have already seen some embroidery with 3-D aspect. It can be often seen in sport caps, sweat shirts, jackets, bags and emblems. This type of embroidering catched on about 5 years ago. Foam slices are placed at the back of the parts that are wanted to be embroidered with 3-D aspect. ( see ex.1)



The foam is covered with type cord stitches. The stitches remain raised by the material foam (see ex. 2)

Ex. 2


It is necessary to take some particular aspects in consideration in order to decide which designs are convenient for this type of embroidering.

Which are the advantages of 3-D embroidering?

The designs made using foam have a more attractive and fresh new look.

With this production tool you will be able to give your logo or emblem a very particular touch, that will make your designs stand out. Today it is necessary to find important and advantageous instruments of sales to beat your competitors. In general, most of the embroidering companies offer the same standard type of materials and designs.

In this competitive market not only the price has an important influence on the success of the sales but also the originality and beauty of the embroideries.

In order to obtain an attractive 3-D embroidery , it is necessary to make much more stitches in the design and to use additional materials. Therefore its production cost will be higher than the cost of a regular design. But on the other hand, the extra value perceived of the 3-D embroidery justifies it.

How can you make a 3-D embroidery?

The elevated parts of the embroidery are made by covering with satin stitches over the foam. You can find foam material suitable for the embroidery in different thickness that goes from 2 mm until 4mm. This type of product is sold in slices with different names, depending on the company that sells it (puff, foamy etc). Several companies offer different colors. Whenever it is possible, we recommend you to select a color that has the same tonality that the thread you will be using, and also look for a product not too hard nor too smooth.

Place a 3-D slice, cut a little bit larger than the part that will be embroidered. Place it underneath the needle/presser-bars. After embroiding with satin stitches, you can rip off the remain material left around the borders of the embroidery ( see ex.3).

Ex. 3


In this example you can see a 3-D slice left after been ripped off from the embroidery.

It is important to consider a few aspects about this kind of work. First of all,satin type stitches should be made strongly tight. Secondly this type of stitches are the most suitable for the 3-D embroidery. Don`t try to use step  or run  stitches, because it usually squashes the foam.You will obtain a smooth and fluid appearance on your embroidery.

In the designs, the letters are usually the most suitable parts for the 3-D embroidery. The letters should have a 3 mm minimum width.( see ex. 4)

Ex. 4

                                http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image008.jpg  The narrowest parts in this example are 4 mm. width.

Which are the more suitable parts for 3-D embroidery?

You can obtain a more attractive design by combining some elevated parts with some flat ones. The contrast will make the embroidery more interesting. The greatest challenge will be to decide which parts should be embroidered in a 3-D form and which shouldn't.

In the second example, you can see that there are details at the back of the design that have been made with step stitches in yellow.

Very often the most attractive parts of the embroidery are the little details and not the main parts of it.

We highly recommend to select those elements of the design where is better to use cord type stitches.

Digitizing for 3-D elements

As we have already mentioned before, it is necessary to consider a few aspects in order to obtain a successful result.


Use, at least, a 0.20 density

The element should have enough stitches to perforate the foam properly around the design.( See ex. 5) 

Ex. 5


Support Stitches

We can recommend you some techniques for support stitches that will help you to perforate the foam in the boundaries of the elements of the design. These are the delicate zones where you could still find foams leftovers even though you rip it off the embroidery.

A technique to avoid it is to make run stitches underneath those delicate zones.( See ex. 6)

Ex. 6


In this example, it can be seen where it is recommended to place run  stitches.

Another recommendable alternative is to place satin stitches underneath those boundaries parts. Place satin stitches as a base on opposite sense to the ones that cover the design. The cord type stitches base should be preferably done in long/short lengths ( See ex. 7)

Don`t forget to use a tight 0.20 density also for satin bases.

Ex. 7


In the boundaries the base stitches are straight in order to make a clean perforation of the slice.

In the inner zones the stitches are long/short lengths.

It is recommended to place an irregular satin base of stitches at the back of the parts where two segments are united. In this way, it is possible to diminish the wrinkle of the material. ( see ex. 8)

Ex. 8

               http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image022.jpg      http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image024.jpg

Satin Stitiches angle

The most effective way to perforate the boundaries on the design elements that are being embroidered on a 3-D form, for ex. in the E letter, is to put the SATIN stitches in a 45° angle (See ex. 9 ).

Ex. 9

                  http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image026.jpg    http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image028.jpg

In type writing letters there are no problems in the boundaries because the length of the stitches diminishes automatically. This guarantees a clean perforation all around the letter ( se ex. 10)

Ex. 10

   http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image031.jpg    http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image029.gif    http://www.embroedery.ru/Tutorials/Tutorial1_archivos/image033.jpg

It is better that the design boundaries diminish in size .In this way, the stitches can be place in an optimal position in order to avoid the 3-D foam leftovers after ripping off the embroidery. ( see ex.11)

Ex. 11


In serif type letters we recommend to place the stitches as shown in the example below. ( See ex. 12)

Ex. 12


The digitizing and embroidery for the 3-D design can be a great challenge. Dare, the results will surprise you.

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