The word “Applique” is similar to the English word “apply” and they’re kind of similar in a way. An Applique is a piece of cloth applied and sewn-on fabric to create a special depth or style.
We will talk about the different types of applique stitches and how to understand their specific goals so that you can have a proper idea about them and know which one to choose for your next project.
What Are the Different Types of Applique Stitches?
In terms of application methods, an applique can be of three kinds:
Machine applique refers to the process of applying and stitching applique with a sewing machine. Previously machine applique applications used to be complicated and required extra steps and fabrics to create a single applique.
But there’s an easier and modern applique method that’s gotten popular in recent years. With the increase in the availability of pre-cut appliques, people are tending more towards this method of applying applique through a zig-zag stitch.
The older method is more time consuming and can be charged higher for the manual labor involved, whereas the newer, easier method can be a good way to mass-produce applique based clothing at a much lower cost.
Although mass-produced garment clothes are now mostly done with machine appliques, the demand of hand based appliques has always remained high. Hand applique is all done manually and perfected with the craft of a designer.
Although doing applique with a sewing machine is faster and sometimes the best way to create perfect designs, a beginner should start with hand first.
Knowing the techniques of hand applique can enable a new cloth designer about the range of possibilities of an applique application. Some appliques are, in fact, only achievable by hand and not with a machine.
Adding jewelry or other adornments can easily be done with hand appliques. The possibilities are endless, unlike machine appliques.
Hand appliques are expensive and can bring a big profit for the hard work involved, but it’s a very tiring and slow process. Herein, fused applique is a combination of both hand and machine-based appliques and brings the best of both methods.
This method used a fusible web that is kept beneath the applique and ironed together to create a flat-out shape. The web helps the applique stay in shape while it’s being sewn on the fabric. This method gives the best output in the shortest time.
Types of Appliques in Terms of Style
Appliques can be divided into 5 categories according to their style. They are as follows:
Smooth Edge Applique
After an applique is set and sewn on a fabric, the sides are sewn in a thick style which covers all the edges and creates a smooth look, hiding all the uneven cutting.
A zig-zag style of sewing is done on the edges to create a thick sewing style. The process is done with machines, and it’s the most popular applique application style ever.
Multi Needle Applique
This is the least common and most complicated applique method among all these mentioned here. The process can only be done with a specialized machine that can hold 6 needles at a time and can be programmed exactly as you want.
You can set up your applique in a multi-needle applique machine through a user interface as precisely as you want. The 6 needles can hold different-colored cotton at a time and will recreate the design from a high-resolution applique model.
This method is not so popular as it requires a special machine, and not everyone has the advanced knowledge of embroidering clothes. Some hobbyist people like to collect the machine to keep at their home.
The demand for this applique style comes from the high-end shops that sell premium applique based clothing. Some clothing lines use this method too. Unlike other appliques, a multi-needle machine can create the smoothest one.
Raw Edge Applique
Raw is the cheapest and fastest applique method among all the applique styles. It can be done with both a machine or hands and doesn’t require any special techniques or items.
This applique is similar to other appliques, but the difference is that the edges are kept just as they are. They’re not sewn and left to wear out with time. Not doing the edges can help in making an applique in the shortest time possible.
Since the edges are not protected and left to wear out and fray, they’re best used for clothing or items that are not intended to be used on a regular basis. Things such as a cloth card, cushion cover, bedsheet, or window cover can be some best places to use a raw edge applique.
Decorative Stitch Applique
This is similar to a regular hand or machine applique, except the process is much less complicated. You can use pre-cut appliques or even hand-cut fabric strips and sew in a style you like. This method is suited best for people new to embroidering.
As this process is simpler than the other applique styles and doesn’t require much knowledge, people who’re just beginning with embroidering can know about possible applique styles through this method.
Reverse applique is one unique and beginner-friendly applique style. As the name says, this applique method is unlike other applique application styles and is done in a completely opposite fashion to usual methods.
The fabrics are set on top of each other and sewn together to create a layer and as it is set on a fabric, it’s cut according to the desired applique shape in a way that shows the cloth fabric from the bottom.
The possibilities with appliques are endless — the only limit is your imagination. Hopefully, this guide helped rid you of the confusion you had previously about applique stitches.
Try to use all these different appliques and decide which one suits you the best.