How to Create 3D Embossed Puff Embroidery | Avance

What Is 3D Embroidery?

As the name implies 3D embroidery, also commonly described as puff embroidery, uses a technique that makes the design three-dimensional – or ‘puff’ out from the objects it’s stitched on. This effect is achieved with the use of foam also referred to as 3D embroidery puffy foams. This technique is commonly seen stitched into baseball hats. However, 3D embroidery can also be achieved on sweatshirts, beanies, and bags giving any design texture and depth.

What Is the Difference Between Flat Embroidery And 3D Puff Embroidery?

Flat embroidery is 2-dimensional or flat with no depth. Designs are stitched directly onto the surface of fabric using thread. 3D embroidery, sometimes described as puff embroidery, uses a foam backing material to make the design three dimensional. 

What Is 3-D Embroidery Foam or Embroidery 3D Puffy Foam?

This 3d foam is designed to create a raised embroidery look. Embroidery foam sheets are usually non-toxic, water-resistant and machine washable.  
 
The type of foam used should be puffy and able to tolerate the repeated punctures of embroidery needles without ripping. The repeated striking of the needlework process cuts the foam into its desired design, triggering it to increase in size and puff out. Resulting in a design that appears raised from the surface of the apparel.  
 
Standard thickness of foam used in raised texture design or 3D embroidery is usually 3 mm. To give more depth to a project, foam with a thickness of 4 mm or 6 mm can be used. Colman and Company Embroidery Foam is available in different thicknesses and colors and is perfect for creating 3D embroidery products. 
 

Cut your 3D embroidery foam to the size of your design.

What Design Types Work Best For 3D Embroidery?

3D or puff embroidery works best on simple designs. Since this technique requires the use of foam it can be difficult to achieve intricate designs. The foam thickness will also play a role in how detailed your design can be. Once cut the foam should expand in size and will decrease the depth available between objects.  

What Materials or Fabrics Work Best For 3D Embroidery?

The material or fabric used in 3D puff embroidery plays a vital role in the finished product. Lightweight or thin materials can’t support the structure of the foam are likely to buckle, wear and tear easier than thicker materials. Heavier or thicker materials are strong enough to support the foam and extra stitching needed for this technique.  
 
Incorporating this technique to your machine embroidery design will produce an element of depth and texture not found in flat or 2D embroidery.  Put your 3D embroidery skills to the test and check out our step-by-step tutorial. 

  1. Hoop two layers of tear-away backing into your embroidery hoop. (Pro Tip: Use Tempo Spray between the two layers to adhere them together for easier hooping) 
  2. Place hoop with backing onto the machine and set up the design and machine settings on the screen. *BE SURE TO ROTATE YOUR DESIGN TO SEW OUT UPSIDE DOWN* 
  3. Sew out the box border around your design onto the backing.  

4. Place a piece of embroidery puff onto the backing to cover the box border. 
5. Sew out your design onto the embroidery puff and tear away backing. 

6. Once the design is finished, remove the hoop from the machine.

7. Using tweezers, scissors, or possibly a hot knife, remove the excess puff from around your design (Be sure to leave the remainder of the design on the backing). 

8. Use the Tempo Adhesive Spray to adhere the mesh fusible backing *shiny side down* to the back of the backing.

9. Adhesive spray the front of the puff extremely well, making sure to get adhesive into all of the details of the design so that your sweater can adhere firmly to the design.

10. Insert the hoop to the inside of the sweater.

11. Use a blunt tool to rub and press the sweater into the design made with the embroidery puff.

12. Place the hoop with the sweater back onto the machine.

13. Sew the design out again. 

14. Remove the sweater from the machine and the hoop.

15. Flip the sweater inside out and remove the tear away backing. *BE SURE TO NOT REMOVE THE MESH BACKING*

16. Keep your sweater inside out, use a heat press or iron to adhere the mesh backing to the sweatshirt to lock in the embroidery puff. 

17. Flip the sweater right side out and your sweater is complete!  

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