How to Digitize for 3D Puff, 3D Foam embroidery

06Feb13
How to create 3D puff embroideryI’ve noticed a lot of people looking for information about how to design for 3D Foam embroidery or 3D Puff. At the ISS Long Beach show this was a very popular technique, and I’ve noticed it alot in retail fashion stores.
This is a great way to attract new business and add some pizzazz to sports wear and fashion pieces.
If you’re not sure how to do it, below are some simple instructions from the Wilcom Support website. The instructions are based on Wilcom EmbroideryStudio.

The digitizing technique for 3D Foam is in similar to digitizing for appliqué, as placement guide, tack and cover stitching are needed. The main difference is that the cover stitch is also used to cut the foam, and therefore is usually a high-density Satin stitch.

It is very important to choose a suitable foam material for your job. Remember that the excess foam has to be removed after the stitch-out. If the foam is too stiff and strong, it can be difficult to remove and you can even damage the embroidery. Choose a foam whose color is as close to the embroidery thread color as possible, or at least not contrasting. Also consider whether the foam is washable. Most 3D Foam embroidery is done on caps, as these are not washed very often.

How to digitize for 3D foam:

  1. Digitize a travel run placement guide just inside the boundary of the shape, followed by a Stop, and optionally a Frame Out. Place the foam over the area.
  2. Using short (1.7mm) Run stitches, tack the foam down.
  3. Any “open-ends” will need to be closed first by digitizing a narrow column across them (see illustration). This will help to cut the foam at the ends and keep the foam from poking out or lifting the end cover stitches.
  4. Next lay an “underlay” with Zigzag, stitch spacing of 1.5 – 2.0 mm, to help with holding down, cutting and covering the foam.
  5. Lastly is the Satin cover, whose density should be increased by 40- 60% above normal. This will vary depending on the thickness of the embroidery thread used, and the height and color contrast of the foam. Typical Satin density should be 0.2 – 0.4mm, with Auto Spacing Off. The Pull Compensation should be increased to 0.3mm-0.5mm according to thickness of the foam used. Any column overlaps should be at least 3 stitches to prevent the foam pushing through and creating a gap. Make sure your Tie-off stitches are secure. You could even use a 4-6 Run stitches of 1mm.

3D foam illustration

Machine Hints:

Thread tension should be loosened for the cover stitching to help the thread over the raised foam. Some foam suppliers recommend a ballpoint needle because it creates larger holes in the foam, making its removal easier.

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6 Responses to “How to Digitize for 3D Puff, 3D Foam embroidery”

  1. 1 Lollie Conn

    Good article, Thanks for offering it!
    Lollie Conn, Oregon

  2. Thanks for sharing…my business partner has been wanting to do this and now we can start experimenting! :)

  3. 3 Laughing Palm

    I do not see the Illustration referenced in Step 3…where is it??

  4. i really need this kind of help! please keep posting such article.
    Thanks

  5. 6 gooz

    What is the minimum and maximum stitch length for 3D embroidery?


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