Reverse appliqué

The reverse appliqué differs from the classic one which is sewn over the garment, because it appears from below the fabric or garment to be decorated.

With this technique you can get multiple effects and you can easily play with transparencies. You can create inlays of lace or of fabric of any texture.

How is the reverse embroidered appliqué created?

You have to think in the opposite way to the classic application, that is, first the application is fixed and cut and then the base garment / fabric is laid and cut.


Here is an example of a sequence of operations:

1- place the fabric that will appear in the inlay on the support material

2- sew the the inlay material (eg lace)

3- cut with the laser bridge

4- lay down the fabric or garment and make another boundary sew

5- cut the fabric inside the seam, taking care not to damage the underlying material.

You can apply this decorative technique to any fabric and leather material.

In the case of genuine leather or non-homogeneous materials, we advice to protect the underlying material. You can place a sheet of aluminum or aluminum coupled with paper, between the base material (negative application) and the overlying material to be cut.

For a cleaner tear, we recommend making on the protective state, a seam with a very short stitch and slightly larger than the cut that will be performed later.

After sewing and before laying the top fabric, the protective part outside the cut must be removed. After cutting the inlay, it will be very easy to remove the remaining protection, because it will have been “sawn” from the short embroidery stitches.

The technique is refined. It requires a minimum of care in finding the cutting parameters suitable for the materials to be cut.

GMI staff can give the necessary support to quickly obtain excellent results. Click here.

laser appliqué

Laser embroidery techniques: the clean edge

One of the most important advantages of the “laser bridge” cutting system installed on embroidery machines is that the laser works in register with the embroidery machine. That is, the design will reproduced exactly as it was created.

This means that it is not necessary to:

  • create stitches that act as reference for laying the appliqué
  • cover the edges of the application with N-stitches to “hide” the inaccuracy of the hand-made cut and the reference stitches.

In the jargon of Italian embroiderers, the fact of leaving the edges of the appliqué visible, ie not covered by another thread, saw the birth of the term “clean cut”.

Clean laser cut embroidery appliqué give more competitive advantages:

  • save cover embroidery stitches , the time of the designer to create them and the working time of the embroidery machine
  • create highly profitable designs, because applications with clean cut edges, with articulated shapes or composed of many small pieces, are carried out at an industrial level only with a laser bridge system

Using other techniques such as cutting the appliqués out of the embroidery machine and following sewing in the machine, the above benefits are not achieved.

How to get quality embroidery appliqué

However, appliqué with clean cut edges have a downside: for best results, the embroidery stitches that fix the appliqué must be equidistant from the cut edge. This is achieved both by carefully taking care of the creation of the embroidery + laser file, and by choosing quality machinery. In addition, the machines and the laser bridge must be constantly in register.

For this purpose, GMI has developed two systems to ensure optimal results:

  • LS1 automatic calibration systems, to be installed on embroidery machines
  • the Vision system for GMI Moda Laserbridge laser bridges. See this video.
  • Stilista 3 laser driver PLUS software that control the laser machine. With this software the operatore can move single cuts on single heads, to get top precise cuts.

Further, to get optimal results, it is very important to choose the parameters of cut suitable for the type of process and material. To simplify the choice of cutting parameters, we have implemented in the laser control software, Stilista3, the pre-set parameters specific for Kiss-cutting. Start from this, it will be of great help!

In the next gallery you can see works that combine embroidery with “clean” cut appliqué, even with overlapping appliqué.

Which materials?

If you are not bound in the use of specific materials, we recommend investing some of your time to reflect on the type of design you will create and the materials you will use.

Ask your self these questions:

  • does the application material let the light through?
  • is the application material homogeneous?

If the answer is yes to one or both questions, PROBABLY you will have to interpose a protective material, such as aluminium foil, between the base fabric and the application.

Why is protection needed in some cases? Because the laser beam is made of light which, at a certain concentration, heats the surface with which it comes into contact. If it encounters a homogeneous and resistant material, its energy is exhausted on that material. Otherwise, if it encounters less thick areas or areas with holes, its energy will affectt the underlying material.

Some materials, such as cotton and wool, are not suitable for “clean cutting” because the edges cannot weld, as is the case with fabrics containing synthetic fibers.

Nevertheless, even with materials composed of cotton fibers you can create interesting effects, without covering the edges. We will talk about it in the next article. In order not to lose it, subscribe to our newsletter.

Laser carpet embroidery stitch

Another way to tufting stitch: the laser

The tufting stitch, also called velvet stitch, turkish stitch or fluffy, is a particular work that allows you to make three-dimensional embroidery and soft to the touch, as if you were touching the velvet.

This is a highly sought after technique, also appreciated by high fashion brands, which can be made directly on fabric, denim, leather or even on patches.

The traditional technique

Typically, the tufting stitch is made with specialized embroidery machines. After each penetration of the needle, a noose is formed. A special tufting device cuts the threads at very high speeds, so that two free ends emerge. By cutting these rings, the thread protrudes from the support creating the effect of a shaved lawn. The thread can also be cut by hand with an electric razor.

This process requires experienced and careful operators.

GMI offers an innovative solution

As an alternative to the traditional technique, the threads cutting phase can be done by laser, with the GMI laser bridge mounted on the embroidery machine. The work will be faster, more precise and above all it will be possible to realize large embroideries with tufting stitches.

GMI provides all its experience to embroiderers courses on laser embroidery techniques.

For more information on the vekvet stitch technique and other laser embroidery techniques that can be achieved with a GMI laser system, contact us.


CLOTHING MACHINERY 2016 fair in Istanbul from 27 to 30 April.

At the booth of our dealers KAR-DES/GOKSEL NAKIS SISTEMLERI., you can see the new laser bridge cutting machine for embroidery machines, GMI Moda Laser bridge 210w.

To know more about the show and the machine, contact us.

We look forward to see you! Hall 6, booth # 604C-614

SIMAC 2016: in Tajima booth the new GMI Moda laser bridge

From 23rd to 25th February 2016, at Fiera Milano Rho, takes place the SIMAC TANNING TECH , the international fair of machinery and technologies for footwear, leather goods and tanning industries.

At the booth of Tajima, you can see the new GMI laser bridge system: GMI Moda Laser bridge. The machine will be equipped with a powerful 210w Co2 laser source and a special galvanometric scanning head, the best combination for cutting and engraving natural and synthetic leather. An innovative technology, appreciated by the industry of leather.

Hall 14, booth L20/M19


GMI presents the new laser bridge for multihead embroidery machines at ITMA 2015 in Milan: GMI MODA laser bridge.

The fourth generation of GMI laser bridges was a great success in terms of audience and sales.

The new carbon fiber cover, sturdy and light at the same time, preserves a skilful combination of optics and laser components, chosen from the best in the market. The electronics and the software made by GMI, make the machine even more effective and powerful.

GMI Moda Laser bridge is further proof that, for over thirty years, GMI keep researching and developing new systems for the embroidery world.

For more information on the product, visit the page GMI Moda Laser bridge.