3D embroidery, also known as relief embroidery, is done by embroidering shading stitches onto a thin, flexible sheet of fluffy material. During embroidery, the needle punches the sheet while the stitches cover it. The design is raised completely hiding the sheet. Excess foam peels off easily when finished.
Stitch type : Satin stitches (also called column, lace or satin) up to 12mm long. Do not use reinforcing stitches, nor do you use fill or nuance stitches: they will flatten the foil and nullify the volume effect you are looking for.
Stitch density: It is recommended that it be approximately 50% higher than normal embroidery.
Foil color: Choose a color that is closest to the embroidery thread. If this is not possible, it would at least be convenient to match it to the base fabric.
Needles: Use needles with SES type points, which cut the foil better while embroidering on it. Avoid sharp pointed needles.
Round the sharpest corners as much as possible to achieve a good result that does not expose the filler sheet.
Although a thick foam elevates the design more than a thin one, it must be taken into account that this increases thread and needle breakages and also that for an adequate covering the use of threads of thickness 30 is recommended. A thick foam will also give greater rigidity to the base and you will need the stability of a thick fabric, such as a denim.
If you want to get an even more prominent effect, try using 2 overlapping sheets. Join them with a little spray glue.
Use a 80 Nm ball point needle as it will help you pierce the foam more cleanly.
Because foam adds stiffness to the embroidered area, you should take this into account when choosing the location on the garment. When making 3D embroidery on the caps, the curvature makes it more difficult to fix the sheet, so it is advisable to use larger pieces of sheet, which give more slack.
The color of the foam and the thread should match a bit. This will save stitches to ensure that the thread does not reveal the foam.
Choose a simple design that has mostly satin stitches. An area of ??shading stitches can be embroidered with foam underneath, but the stitches will compress the foam and may not fit well.
It is not recommended to use foam in fine fabrics, unless it is located in collars or other areas that have reinforcement.
Avoid distortions on medium-weight fabrics by using meltable interlinings on the reverse of fabrics before starting to embroider.
When a design has both satin and shading stitches, embroider the satin stitches first. And before starting the embossed areas, stop the machine to place the foam and continue embroidering.
Improve results by using the foam only in some areas, rather than applying it throughout the design. Using it in nearby areas will give a nice three-dimensional look.
For the remnants of the sheet that are not easily removed, tweezers or a needle can be used.
To use 3D foam it is necessary to make a special punch so that it completely covers the foam and is visible as little as possible between the stitches.
First, it picks with high stitch density (that is, with stitch clarity) to punch out the foam on all sides, then “peels off” the excess foam. Then make a second pass of stitches with a lower density (more full of stitches) and with a width greater than the previous one to cover as much as possible the remains of 3D foam that usually remain on the sides of the embroidery.
The direction of the stitches should be arranged so that the foam is punched around the entire perimeter of the embroidery and it can be easily torn off.
The type of stitch to use is the column stitch, also called zigzag, satin, lace or scallop.
The type of fill stitch, also called satin or nuanced, is not suitable for use in 3D foam because it would pierce and completely crush the 3D foam, not achieving a good result.
The support stitches should be kept to a minimum, as the more stitches in the center of the column, the more the 3D foam will be squashed and the volume of the embroidery will be reduced.
The recommended type of support stitch is Border, since this type of support stitch would fix the foam on the side of the column, without squashing it in the center, thereby maintaining the volume of the embroidery.
Insert the stops necessary during embroidery to place the sheet and to remove the excess at the end.
Avoid support stitches: they are not necessary.
If the foil is difficult to cut, add a few short stitches along the cut line just for this purpose.
In the case of closed contours (eg a circle), loosely overlap the ends to ensure that the foil is cut.
In open contours, with open ends of the column stitches (eg the letter L), apply stitches at the ends at 90º to the column stitches to cut the sheet at those ends. Apply a ragged inside edge to these end stitches so the foil doesn’t cut through there.
Many 3D embroideries also combine conventional embroidery. Order the embroidery sequence in the most logical way possible. Usually 3D embroidery is left for last, but that may not be the most advisable in some cases.