StitchTuft is a new look in the textile industry and is expected to hit the corporate wear and casual wear industries as well as high fashion and home textiles with a bang as its new technology and methods produce embroidery with a never-seen-before quality and finish.
StitchTuft is an extremely soft pile made of countless small hairs of yarn placed side by side. Tufting is the process of inserting pile yarn into a backing material, after each penetration of the needle, a loop is formed. By cutting those loops, 'pins' or 'hairs' are formed.
In contrast to traditional embroidery, StitchTuft is not prepared on the visible face of the fabric but on the back, i.e. the embroidery material must be placed on the Tuft Master with the future visible side pointing to the bottom. A layer of puffylike foam material is placed under the embroidery material for the temporary fixing of the threads.
The embroidery head moves the yarn through the fabric by means of the needle. But the loop, which, as in normal embroidery develops on the back, is not connected to the lower thread. Instead, it is cut by means of a cutter. In this way, two small 'pins' or 'hairs' develop with each cut.
These hairs are later sheared to equal lengths. TuftMaster The machine that creates StitchTuft cuts the loops that are developed so that two loose ends emerge. They form the basis of the soft pile.
Eurostitch Magazine recently visited ZSK to see their latest product: StitchTuft®. This product, a special embroidery look, is created by ZSK's latest machine called TuftMaster. During FESPA, many visitors were surprised by the special embroidery look that is not prepared on the visible face of the fabric but, surprisingly, on its back.
At present, the machine has an embroidery speed of up to 850 stitches/minute and machines with up to four heads.
The normal stitch length of the StitchTuft is about 1 mm, with yarn consumption amounting to approximately 25 mm. In normal embroidery, only 1.6 mm of yarn is required for the 1-mm stitch.
The method of embroidery works in the way that before you put the garment under the machine, you use a thin PE foam layer, which looks like the 'Puffy' used for 3D embroidery. First, it fixes the inserted threads in position. To keep the yarn in position, the foam has to contract after stitching and hold the thread. In addition, the pile height depends on the height of the foam. As the threads are cut to the height of the 'Puffy', the thicker the 'Puffy', the higher the pile of the StitchTuft is - normally 2 to 5 mm.
Before the foam layer can be stripped off and the finished StitchTuft appears, the threads, which are first held only by the 'Puffy', must be fixed on the back. To achieve this, the threads are bonded on the back. Depending on the subsequent use of the fabric, different methods are used. At present, best results are achieved with fusible adhesive fabric.
A powerful, high-performance industrial shearing machine that does not clog because of the high amount of cut yarnends should be used to shear the hairs to equal lengths. Such a machine can be supplied by ZSK.
To melt the adhesive material to the apparel, you can use a transfer press or a flat iron. If you use a transfer press where the heat comes from the top side, the handling is easier.
For the punching, any customary punching program can be used since punching for StitchTuft shows only a few differences from normal punching. You can only use a running stitch, no tack and lock stitches are made. The stitch length and density are between 1 mm and 1.4 mm. No underlayer and connection stitches are made.
Fabrics with StitchTuft finish can be washed at 40°C and dry-cleaning is also possible. The StitchTuft-finished areas on the face and back of the fabric should not be ironed. StitchTuft can be dried in a tumble dryer, but, as in case of all other textiles, the durability of the fabric is shortened by thermal and mechanical stresses. Besides this new product, ZSK is also offering other special machines.