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Types Of Applique And Finishing Styles

Posted by Accent Banner on Jun 26, 2020 9:46:44 AM

Descriptions of Appliqué Types, Finishing Styles, and more!

Here at Accent Banner we usually use a combination of Top-Stitch and Reverse Appliqué on our banners and flags. We most often use a Raw Edge for finishing but occasionally we will use a Finished Edge to create a thin border. Please read below for a description of various Appliqué Types, Finishing Styles, and more!

Topstitch Appliqué

In this type of Appliqué fabric is sewn onto a backing. The fabric on the top layer will be the material that creates the design and the bottom layer of fabric will create the field. This can be accomplished with two different techniques utilizing either hand sewing or a sewing machine.


Multiple layers of fabric required to create the design are temporarily affixed to a single layer of fabric which will be the background. Once the pattern is
transferred onto the field it is then sewn, in turn permanently attaching the layers together. The excess fabric is then cut away to reveal the design.

Pre-Cut Patterns

Fabric is cut into design patterns and then temporarily attached to the backing. The pattern pieces are then sewn onto the fabric backing to create the desired, permanent design.

Reverse Appliqué

Fabric is layered with a background layer of fabric and a top layer of fabric. The design is stitched into the layers of fabric and the excess fabric on the top layer is cut away to reveal the design. In Reverse Appliqué either the top layer of fabric or bottom could create the field. Often there are several layers of fabric and stages of sewing used to create the final design. Reverse Appliqué can be accomplished through hand sewing or using a sewing machine.

Needle-Turn Appliqué

Here patterns are drawn onto fabric and pre-cut but the pieces include a bit of extra material outside of the drawn pattern. The pre-cut fabric is then sewn along the pattern lines to the fabric below and as the stitcher sews down the pieces they turn the excess fabric below, so it is sandwiched between the fabric on the top and bottom layers. This also hides the stitches and the extra material pushes the top layer out creating a three dimensional effect. Needle-turn Appliqué must be done by hand or by sophisticated machinery.

Finishing Styles

All of these techniques can be applied to the types of Appliqué listed above and most can be accomplished using hand sewing. However, a few stitches would require the precision of a machine.

Raw Edge

A stable but open stitch is used revealing the raw edge of the fabric required to create the pattern. A large variety of stiches can accomplish this.

Finished Edge

The raw edges of fabric are enclosed or covered by a very tight stitch. This is usually accomplished with a tight zig-zag or a satin stitch.

Decorative Edge

Here the stitch is part of the design and meant to be seen. Usually the thread is in a contrasting color to the fabric and may even be a secondary stitch. As this is a decorative stitch and there are large arrays of stitches that can be used.

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