Expert Embroidery Digitizer Advice on 3D Designs and Foam

3D foam or 3D puff embroidery has become quite the rage in embroidery circles – and not without reason. After all, it practically does make your design “stand out”. 3D puff embroidery not only lends a luxurious touch and rich texture to your embroidered piece, but also makes it pop out and grab attention.

What is 3D embroidery?

As the name suggests, 3D embroidery actually adds another dimension to any 2D design by raising it and making it puffier. There happen to be two ways of achieving a three dimensional result on embroidery. The first is layered 3D embroidery, and the second is puff 3D embroidery. In case of layered 3D embroidery, the stitch count of the design is simply doubled up to make the design thicker and get that raised look. However, in case of puff 3D embroidery, a piece of foam is placed under the stitches to get a striking three dimensional effect.

More and more businesses are opting to put puff 3D embroidery on their uniforms and branded giveaways, since it really makes the logo pop out from the garment’s surface and adds a cool, exciting dimension to the product, such as caps, bags and jackets.

The Design Story

Before you go ahead and ask your embroidery digitizer to puff up your design, here’s a few details that you should have worked out in advance:

  • 3D foam or puff embroidery works best on block letters or numbers.
  • Such letters or numbers should have rounded corners, so that the needle can perforate the corners and cover up the foam completely – leading to crisp results.
  • Get ready for an increase in size, as the foam causes shapes to expand. So, if ample spacing is not provided between elements, the letters will end up crammed. We advise a minimum 3mm gap between elements.
  • Avoid lots of details. Crests and scripted text are a big no-no. Each letter, number or element of your design should be at least 3mm in width for clean results.
  • If it can’t be done in satin stitch, don’t opt for foam embroidery. We don’t advise giving up the idea of getting 3D embroidery altogether; however, if your design cannot be digitized in satin, we’d propose looking into layered 3D embroidery or other options.

Foam Mantras

While the job of an embroidery digitizer usually ends with handing over the digitized files, we’d like to go ahead and help you with one other crucial element on your 3D puff journey to success – the foam! Foam happens to be one of the simplest, yet most frustrating elements for most people looking to get their 3D embroidered garment. Here are a few mantras that will definitely make life that much easier during production:

  • The type and quality of foam being used is extremely important. Therefore, we recommend asking your accessory supplier as to which foam will be the best bet for your design and garment, since all foams are not created equal.
  • While foam is available in varying thicknesses of 2, 3 and 6mm. 3mm is the standard advised by any embroidery digitizer, as it is easy to work with and also delivers the right elevation.
  • Choosing the right foam color is also essential. Always match your foam color to the top thread, so that any excesses are less visible.
  • It’s highly recommended to use a heat gun to nip off any excess foam sticking out.
  • For those who’re customer-centric, looking into non-toxic and water-resistant varieties is definitely worth the while.