Original text by: Marina Belova
Every time I see a high-quality 3D Puff embroidery somewhere, I begin to envy its creator. I've never managed to make 3D embroidery look so good that it would satisfy myself. The problem is not only the design, that I fail to digitize the image properly, but the way the embroidery looks.
Not very long ago I've embroidered a 3D inscription on a knitted cap. For a long while I was sweating over the way the stitches would lie, then, after having seen the same design, embroidered by the Chinese, I changed the stitches in order to get the same good result. It turned out to be not enough. Nevertheless, the look of my embroidery is not quite the same, and the feel is different, as is the height of the letters.
Whoever works with 3D Puff I saw and examined by touch recently, the height and the softness of the underlay that creates volume are entirely different from what we can do with the materials available here.
It's either me being all thumbs and in need of much more practice or... I have a sneaking suspicion that the quality of the embroidery materials delivered here is not too high. So, you need to find an alternative. Some materials of those that fell my way I've already tested for the same purpose. You can read more about my attempt of using the paper and 3D-Puff like foam materials here and here.
Not very long ago I've come across an underlay for laminate flooring, and an idea popped into my mind: why not to try this option, too? What if it works? This material is harder to the touch than an ordinary 3D Puff, so it reminds me of all the western 3D embroidery, and more fragile, which gives me hope that it will be easily perforated along the edges and come off the embroidery leaving no trace.
So I created a design according to the rules and began embroidering: The embroidery process was no worse than with 3D Puff:
It's ready now:
I remove all the extra material, but a lot of small bits are left around the perimeter:
Basically, 3D Puff does not tear off easily, therefore, it should be steamed or blow dried (in case you have a blow drier). I steamed it for quite a long time, but the bits of the underlay are still there, and I am not able to remove them:
Besides, it turned out that the underlay shrinks noticeably when steamed, so the stitches, especially the long ones, begin to sag. But a little volume is left, and the letters are hard to the touch:
Summary: this material won't make a good cheap and accessible substitution of 3D Puff. It can be used, but the quality of the embroidery will not be high. I'll go search some more.
Edited by Irina