Performance Wear


Performance wear is the fastest growing segment of the apparel industry globally, with 9 out of 10 people now wearing their sportswear for activates other than exercising. New technology has seen an increase in the variety of fabrics with functional properties used for sports / fashion garments.

With thermal, light-weight and stretchy fabrics becoming increasingly popular it’s something an industrial embroiderer can’t avoid. Such fabrics can be notoriously difficult to embroider, with holes, puckering and fabric slipping causing major problems.

How to combat these tricky fabrics:

  • Hooping – to reduce the chances of fabric puckering, don’t overstretch the fabric.
  • Needles – to prevent holes forming or Lycra from laddering, use ball point needles in the smallest size possible for the thread being used.
  • Digitising – to help prevent distortion, digitise outwards and use the lowest stitch count possible for the design, loosening thread tensions can also help to reduce stress on the fabric.
  • It’s a common misconception that polyester thread is the best to use with synthetic performance wear fabrics but rayon viscose thread actually performs just as well. Madeira’s Classic rayon thread made with natural fibres will produce a much softer finish. Classic rayon/viscose thread is not bleach resistant.

Freerider skier running downhill in beautiful Alpine landscape. Fresh powder snow, blue sky on background.

Keep things stable with Weblon, a specialist cut-away backing developed specifically for stretchy, difficult to frame fabrics. It’s lightweight, super strong and soft against the skin to minimise irritation on close-fitting garments.

Finishing touches – covering the stitches with Comfortwear will create a soft feel to the reverse of the embroidery and finish the garment to perfection.

Designs with a high stitch count may not always be successful on lightweight fabrics, managing your customers’ expectations and suggesting a more ‘embroidery friendly’ design will reduce the chances of facing some of the difficulties outlined above.

© Madeira 2020