Let’s face it, leather jackets can never go out of vogue as long as there are bikers and rock n’ roll. A whole lot of celebs have also been spotted recently rocking the leather jacket, pairing it up with jeans, dresses, skirts and what not. This makes it a hot accessory no matter what era we’re in. And, exquisite embroidery designs covering the back, sleeves or even collar give these edgy beauties a sense of individuality.
As an embroidery digitizer, it’s but natural to get nervous when an order for leather jacket digitizing arrives at your desk. Even the most experienced in the field can get butterflies in their stomach, as a single mistake would mean replacing a garment worth a couple of hundred dollars at the very least. Also, considering that there exists a wide variety of leather in the market, including cow hide, sheep skin, deer skin, suede and faux leather among others, it can be quite daunting to zero in on the best way to go about digitizing the same.
We’ve put together a list of practical pointers that will help you ace the digitizing of these legendary garments:
Underlay – When it comes to embroidery digitizing leather, its best to keep the underlay to a minimum. Since leather is fairly thick, the embroidery does not call for much support.
Compensation – The same goes for compensation. Unless you’re dealing with leather of the soft variety, you won’t need to bother much about compensation either.
Density – Always make sure to keep the density of the stitches on the lighter side. This means you should double check on how many layers the design ends up with, especially on the cornering. Too many puncture marks will end up perforating or ripping the leather altogether. It’s highly advised to keep the density between 30 and 50 spi.
Thread – One of the best tricks to keep the density low is to use a larger 20wt or 30wt thread, so that it can cover a broader area than regular thread.
Stitches – It’s best to use zigzag stitches than column or satin stitches on leather, as they do not add to needle penetrations. Whenever you’re doing appliqué or creating borders, we suggest using zigzag stitches at a low density for best results.
Fills – As a general rule, it’s best to avoid using too much fill when embroidery digitizing for leather. If you have a large area to fill, try and use appliqué and then add a light overlay for texturing. However, if it’s absolutely necessary to use a fill, custom program it to space out needle penetrations than using a solid fill.
Trims – We advise keeping the trims to a minimum as well. Since the tie offs won’t really have much to hold on to, unraveling becomes a major concern. That’s why it’ll pay to be extra careful if you’re placing a trim.
Needles – The tough personality of leather asks for titanium needles. We recommend using a new 75/11 needle for every new color.
Designs – Avoid using stock designs when embroidery digitizing for leather unless you can adjust them for density and other elements discussed above.