How to do 3d puff / puffy embroidery

How to do 3d puff / puffy embroidery

3d puff embroidery

What is puffy foam or 3D embroidery?

This is the embroidery where a piece of the art or lettering puffs out above the rest. You will usually see this type of embroidery on baseball caps, sports hats and alike. The mascot or some of the lettering might be raised to add depth and height to a design. 3d puff embroidery can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Just practice with puff material and proper digitizing. Doing this type of embroidery can help you win more customers and get more orders by doing something many of your competition won’t offer or haven’t taken the time to learn.

How do I sew a puff foam / 3D embroidery design?

The process of embroidering with puffy fonts, logos and designs is slightly different than regular embroidery, but not much harder. First off, know that there are more costs, and more stitches, in designs using 3D puff. When sewing it is as simple as:

  1. Sew all your flat embroidery first.
  2. Create a stop in the machine after your last flat piece
  3. Place puff over area you want it sewn and restart the machine
  4. Sew a border around your puff area
  5. Remove excess puff material
  6. Finish design and clean up excess puff foam material.

Some basic tips to getting started right with foam embroidery:

  • The digitizing is important. You will need to have longer stitches to make up for the space the foam is taking. We recommend using a software like Puffy Fonts to make it easier on yourself. There may be some trial and error to this part of the design, so make some time to do testing.
  • Learn how to program stops in your machine. You should be able to put a stop in after a certain color change.
  • Lay the foam down and use tape or sticky tack spray to hold it in place. Once the first stitches go into the foam, you won’t have to worry about it moving anymore.
  • Outline the area of the foam first, then sew satin stitches. This outline will help create a ‘cut’ in the foam to easily pull it off.
  • Now stop the machine and tear off the excess foam
  • Complete the rest of the embroidery and cover the foam area.
  • Once you are done with the design you can use nippers or a heat gun to clean up any excess foam. Nippers are good for a piece that didn’t tear well. The heat gun is good for shrinking the foam into place and creating that tight and clean look.
  • Foam works best on designs that have a good underlay border and satin stitches across the foam. Note that any design cannot be done in foam. For example, a heavy fill stitch over foam or too much underlay might not give the desired look.
  • Use of a sharp needle can help tear into the foam and give a clean cut. Be sure to use the backing you normally would on a design. Backing is important to give stability to this type of embroidery.

You can watch this video to see an example of 3d foam embroidery being completed on a 4 head Avancé Machine.

Just know that anything new in embroidery can be intimidating, so don’t get frustrated and practice makes perfect. If you need any 3d puff, needles, thread or any embroidery supplies be sure to visit www.colmanandcompany.com or give us a call!




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