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Applique refers to a decoration method in which pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn or attached onto a larger piece of apparel or hats. Applique provides a nice ornamental decoration.
Types of appliques include etched leather appliques, debossed leather, woven labels, screen printed and sublimated labels, and twill, felt.
Etched leather applique provides a more rugged and natural look than debossed leather. Etched leather applique is preferred for moderate to complex logos with small details that can be transferred to one-color on the applique. Logos are usually laser etched onto the applique and genuine leather and faux leather options are available.
Etched leather appliques may be stitched or heat press applied to the hats or apparel. Etched leather appliques come in various shapes and sizes such as rectangular, oval, square, diamond, and more complex shapes.
Debossed leather appliques offer a higher-end and more classic look than etched leather appliques. Debossed leather works for logos with a moderate level of detail and the logos are stamped with ink into the leather. Debossed leather cannot be heat applied to hats or apparel, but must be stitch applied. Options for debossed leather include genuine leather and faux leather. Debossed leather appliques are available only in simple shapes (square, circle, etc.).
Woven label appliques offer a clean and refined look. Woven label appliques work well with lighter weight fabrics and unstructured cap styles (i.e. softer backings) - dad hats and knit beanies are examples. Woven label appliques work best with simple shapes and the appliques are stitched down directly to the apparel or hats.
Screen printed labels and sublimated labels offer a sleek, simple, and clean look. Sublimated labels can work with more complex logos, while screen printed labels work best in one-color application. Screen printed and sublimated labels work best with lighter weight fabrics and unstructured hat styles. Simple shapes are best for screen printed and sublimated labels and multiple layers of fabric can be used to add a dimensional look.
Twill, felt applique offers a classic, vintage look, which can be done in a variety of colors and with one or two layers. Twill, felt applique is best for lettering and simple shapes. Simple shapes are stitch applied to hats or apparel and complex shapes are heat press applied. Twill, felt appliques can have a laser cut edge or distressed twill edge.