The following Swarovski Crystal products are suitable for sewing (by hand or machine), embroidery or hand application (e.g. beading):
When sewing Swarovski products, particularly Sew-on Articles, Crystal Buttons and Beads, synthetic multifilament threads with a thread count of Nm 50 – 80 are most suitable. Monofilament and pure cotton yarns are not recommended due to their limited abrasion resistance.
In general, Swarovski products can be sewn on using a variety of stitch types.
Straight Stitch - A stitch length should be selected that allows the stitches to fall in the spaces between the cups.
Zigzag Stitch - The length and width of the stitch must be adjusted to suit the element being applied. The width of the stitch (B) should be 0.5 mm – 1 mm broader on both sides than the crystal product (A) being applied. The length of the stitch (C) should be equal to about 2/3 of the width of the stitch. In some cases the tension of the upper thread must be reduced. When applying products using a zigzag stitch, the use of an adapted presser foot is recommended.
If the upper thread tension is too tight or too loose, the resulting seam is not strong. The tension of the thread must therefore be adjusted accordingly.
Alongside sewing by hand, the following table provides a summary of possible machine application techniques.
Application using a Sewing Machine
The right choice of needle (strength Nm 70 – 100), sewing thread and thread tension (upper and lower thread) are particularly important for applications with a sewing machine. The fabric must not become gathered and the upper and lower thread should run easily and smoothly. Tests should be conducted on the original material before beginning production.
Before sewing on Crystal Buttons with a machine it is essential to set the sewing machine to the correct hole and stitch length, as well as stitch width. This prevents the crystal from being damaged during application and reduces the risk of injury.
When sewing high, multi-row products, there can be problems with the sewing machine feed, caused by a slanting presser foot. To avoid this, position a height compensator beneath the presser foot to ensure it sits parallel to the material, allowing the fabric to feed through properly.
Application using a Button Sewer
Amongst other Swarovski products, Crystal Buttons, Buttons with Plastic Shank and Buttons with Metal Shank can also be applied using a button sewer.
Crystal Buttons - Before application, it is essential to set the button sewer according to the used Crystal Button. This prevents the product from being damaged during application and reduces the risk of injury.
Buttons with Plastic Shank and Buttons with Metal Shank - Just like Crystal Buttons, Buttons with Plastic or Metal Shank can be easily affixed using a button sewer. To do this, they must be positioned in the application slot of the button holder, and the machine must be adjusted beforehand.
Application using an Embroidery Machine
The industrial application Lochrose art. 3129 can be carried out on fully automatic embroidery machines.
An innovative product application solution has been developed in conjunction with the companies Laesser and Tajima for the industrial application of Lochrose art. 3129 with fully automatic embroidery machines. If using a Laesser embroidery machine, the Laesser Crystal Stone Head must be used. The application is based on standard embroidery technology and allows the unique combination of first-class Schiffli embroidery yarns (e.g. SETAFIL®) and crystal applications in a single production stage. If sewing with a Tajima embroidery machine is preferred, the Tajima Lochrose Embroidery Device is used.
Hand Application Techniques
Some of the Swarovski products listed in the product overview at the beginning of this chapter can be applied by hand. This means a range of creative application techniques in addition to sewing and embroidery.
Please choose a sufficiently thick wire in accordance to the size and weight of the Swarovski crystals. For heavier products a nylon-coated wire is recommended. Crystal Pearls larger than 6 mm should be additionally knotted for a better hold.
Before cutting and sewing, the transparent film must not be removed. The film allows the individual crystals to be aligned perfectly, and provides Crystal Mesh with the stability necessary for flawless application. In case the Crystal Mesh is fixed on the fabric with Hotfix prior to sewing, the foil can be removed before starting to sew.
Cutting Cut the metal with scissors along the scored line, and remove the excess link rings. The Crystal Mesh is now ready for sewing. Sewing When sewing Crystal Mesh, it is recommended that the film is scored along the course of the stitching beforehand (see illustration). Note: Crystal Fine Mesh cannot be sewn with a sewing machine due to its tight structure.
It is recommended that the frayed ends are removed using heat. This avoids the support fabric entering the cutting point and consequently reducing the rigidity of the product. Alternatively, the cutting and removal can be carried out in a single process using a hot knife fabric cutter. After cutting the net the ends should be finished with flame (e.g. lighter) that the crystal cannot scale off the net.
The following table outlines common problems and their causes when sewing, and offers advice on how to avoid them.