Friday, January 27, 2012

Machine Embroidery

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Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery designs are the way to add excellence and creativity to the garments and several other form of products. It is a way to give a professional and sophisticated outlook to the textiles. Embroidery design is used to create eye-catching effects and striking images on the garments, clothing and several forms of outfits and home textiles.
Hand Embroidery
The craft of hand embroidery  has a long and interesting tradition and has bought many hours of creative pleasure to women for generations.

Machine Embroidery
Because the  hand embroidery is a time consuming process and depends largely on the human skills , at the same time it is not possible to go for large scale commercial production of the same design . These disadvantages of hand embroidery led to the development of machine and now digital or computerized machines for embroidery. There are two main types of machine embroidery. The first, free-motion sewing machine embroidery, uses a basic zigzag sewing machine. The second, computerized machine embroidery, uses an embroidery machine or sewing/embroidery machine. With the advancement of computer technology, machine embroidery is improving very fast in its look and quality

Dyed on Dyed Embroidery
When the embroidery is done on a previously dyed fabric or garment  either with in the same shade or in different shade or color combination.

Grieg on Greig embroidery
When the embroidery is done on either a greig or ready to dye fabric , which is then overdyed in different colors or shades , to produce articles of same embroidered patterns in different shades.

Selection of a good embroidery thread

Selecting the proper thread   is achieved by first determining the end-use requirements of the embroidered products. Other factors that are considered include the type of material being embroidered, the type of embroidery machines being used, conditions under which the product must perform, and cost effectiveness.

Types of threads used in machine embroidery

1.Soft cotton threads are used where dull look is required or in traditional articles to match the outfit designs.
Mercerized cotton threads
2.Mercerized cotton threads have  more lusture , more strength and clean finish , and higher dye pick up make them suitable to produce deeper and brighter shades.
3.Viscose rayon threads replace traditionally used silk threads . These have good shine, brighter shades  and clean finish .

4.Spun polyester threads give the look of a cotton thread, but provide superior strength and durability. Polyester is colorfast, resistant to chemicals, and can be washed or dry-cleaned with most common cleaning solvents.

Polyester filament threads

Trilobal polyester  is a multiple filament, twisted, high-sheen continuous fiber thread. It has the bright appearance of rayon or silk. If the desired effect is strength, durability, softness, and brightness, trilobal polyester is perfect for the job. It is wash, boil, and lightfast and also has a high resistance to chlorine and abrasion.

Others such as
1.      Metallic threads ,
2.      Aramid threads
3.      Silk threads
4.      Glowing or fluorescent threads in cotton and polyester.
5.      Multi colored or tie and dye effect threads in cotton and polyester.
6.      and polyester cotton core spun threads where core and sheath are dyed in different shades are used for specific needs and finishes.

Quality requirements for embroidery threads
  1. It should have good strength
  2. Good lubricity
  3. Low on dry and wet shrinkage
  4. Good  over all color fastness
  5. Evenly dyed
  6. Free from knots , fluffs and thick and thin places.
  7. TPI and Twist direction of thread as per the embroidery machine requirement.
  8. Non Metameric ie the shade of embroidery thread should match the base fabric in different light sources or remain same in different light sources.

Selection of dyed threads for dyed on dyed embroidery

  1. Proper Shade matching
  2. Even dyeing within lot
  3. Lot to Lot shade matching of embroidery thread as well as Fabric.
  4. No shade change from sampling to bulk production.

The dyed on dyed embroidery option is considered where

  1. When the substrate of fabric and embroidery thread is different eg  polyester or rayon embroidery on cotton fabric and dyeing after embroidery is not possible.
  2. When fabric and thread have same color but over dyeing is not possible due to smaller lot size etc.
  3. A larger length of fabric is embroidered in multiple designs with same color thread in combination with others colors or qualities of thread.
  4. In case of embroidery on finished garments .

Problems encountered in dyed on dyed embroidery fabrics

1.      Shade matching is not proper from sampling stage to bulk production due to shade change of embroidery yarn and /or fabric in bulk production.
2.      Shade mismatch in different light sources, due to metamerism.
3.      Poor colorfastness of thread or fabric resulting into cross staining.
4.      Lot to lot shade difference either in yarn or fabric or both.
5.      Unlevel dyeing of embroidery thread.

Types of threads mainly used in greig on greig embroidery

The greig on greig embroidery is mostly done for 100% cotton fabric ,with 100% cotton or rayon embroidery threads.

This is suitable when,
  1. When the fabric and embroidery yarn are dyeable with same dyestuff to produce a same shade.
  2. Larger quantities of fabric are required  with same shade of cloth and embroidery.
  3. When a same embroidery pattern is repeated in different shades , the cloth is dyed in different shades after embroidery.

Problems encountered in overdyeing of greig on greig embroidery fabrics

  1. Uneven dyeing if different qualities of embroidery threads are used simultaneously due to difference in dye pick up.
  2. Shade difference in embroidery and fabric is observed when there is difference between fabric quality and thread quality is there , such as mercerized cotton fabric and soft thread or vice versa.
  3. Shade difference between fabric and thread , due to difference in pretreatment of fabric and yarn such as greig fabric and RFD thread or vice versa.
  4. Wrong quality of thread is used such as synthetic thread on cotton fabric.
  5. Shade difference between embroidery due to mixing of different lots of embroidery thread such as different lots of mercerized threads.
  6. Uneven dyeing of heavy embroidery patterns because if poor penetration of dyes in embroidered portions of fabric.
  7. Uneven dye pick up of embroidered patterns due poor pretreatments such as scouring and bleaching and insufficient dyeing time for proper dye penetration and leveling .

Colorfastness requirement of embroidery threads
    1. Good wash fastness :- The overall wash fastness properties of embroidery threads must be superior to the base fabric to avoid cross staining .
    2. Good rubbing or crocking fastness
    3. Good fastness to dry cleaning
    4. High sublimation fastness in case of polyester threads
    5. Good light fastness
    6. Good chemical wash fastness :- fastness to chemicals such as chlorine or mild bleaching agents.


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