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Cassidy said:
When I was embroidering caps, the machine tended to bounce around a lot and distort the logo. Has anybody else had this problem?
Hi Cassidy, Sorry to hear about the distorted hat logo. I've been in the Biz 20 years this August and this little gremlin has raised it's head a few times for me through the years. I do have some questions before I "guess" what it might be though.

1. How many heads are you running
2. What brand machine are you running
3. What brand software digitized the design
4. Is it "every" hat style or just one.
5. 5 panel or 6 panel hats with full buckram or no buckram
6. Last time your machine was serviced professionally

Sorry man but each of these variables has caused one issue or another..Once I see your responses I will have a better idea of the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
1. 6 heads
2. Tajima
3. umm....
4. midprofile constructed caps
5. both...and what is a buckram?
6. every 3-6 months

I appreciate ideas! Has anyone ever heard of leaving the cardboard inside the hat vs. using hat backing? Would that prevent or distort even more? Do you guys use clips? Does speed matter?:confused:
 

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Buckram is the stiffening fabric that is pressed to the front 2 panels of a 6 panel hat at the factory. This makes that hat a "Structured" hat. If the front 2 panels look the same as the other 4 from the inside, there is no buckram and you have an "Unstructured" cap.

DO NOT leave the cardboard in the front of the hat, anyone who suggests such a thing has been hanging out in the shallow end of the gene pool. It will dull the hell out of your needes and being water soluable, will disintegrate the first time the hat is washed. It will also absorb the sweat of anyone who wears it, making for a stinky hat.

Are you using the correct needle plate for caps. Just about all machines require a seperate needle plate for caps versus flat goods. To my knowledge only the Barudan and new Melco machines do not require a needle plate change for caps.

Sometimes one layer of cap backing is not enough, I use 2 layers on all my unstrutured caps. Backing is cheap compared to wrecking hats or having your customer never come back because the caps you made for him did not hold up and looked like crap a month after he started wearing them.

Use new #75 needles. Sharps are best, but I use slight ballpoints as well with equal results. I use the titanium coated over regular steel, but this is a personal preference. I only keep titanium coated needles in the shop now, along with some "Cool Sew" needles for certain fabrics.

Slow down the machine....I usually sew caps at 700-750 spm, even slower if the design has lots of layering. I have gone up to #80 needles if the design is very dense and giving me a lot of thread breaks. Bobbin tension should usually be increased on caps verses flat goods.

An existing design for shirts may not sew well on caps. Caps generally do not require the stitches to be as as high a density as a shirt or jacket. Because you are sewing on an arc, the design will become slightly denser and lettering will become thinner than that same design on flat goods. We generally have 3 versions of each design digitized, one for wovens, knits, and caps. Test sews and trial and error with your digitizer is the best way to work out the issues.

Hooping the caps is a major issue. Probably 90% of my cap disasters were caused by sloppy hooping which allowed the cap fabric to move and distort during the embroidery process.

Keep the design low on the cap. If you go too high you move into the curvature of the cap dome on a low or medium profile cap. This adds additional distortion and twisting to the cap fabric and your edge walks will start to show through, or the embroidery will not have a clearly defined edge as the needle pokes through constantly distoring fabric.

Zarg...
 
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