Appliqués save money
Appliqués save money because they can reduce stitch count which will allow you to decrease your production time and earn more money. For example we have had 100,000 stitch design reduced to 20,000 using the appliqué technique. One important fact is that appliqués have a higher perceived value to your customer. Decosource list the following techniques.
Four applique techniques
There are four basic techniques to cutting an appliqué. Hand cut, die cut, laser cut or water jet cut.
You should consider hand cut if your order is less than 12 pieces. To make a pattern for your appliqué you should first get your design digitized. Once you have the design digitized you should sew the pattern on a piece of heavy paper. The stitch hole made in the paper will give you the outline of your design. Cut the paper out and put the paper template on the material you are going to appliqué. Trace a cut line and now you have the appliqué which you are going to sew. This is a very simple method to use.
One tip before cutting your appliqué is to put some fusible backing which will stiffen your material and make it much better to sew on to your garment.
Set it and sew it
The second technique is to place the material you are going to appliqué on your garment. Then sew it and cut it. This looks a little tacky but some embroiderers do this.
The best way is to die cut or even better laser cut your appliqué. Did cutting requires a steel rule die and a clicker press. This technique is just like a using a cookie cutter. This is old and now outdated. Forget about it.
You should send your order to a company who specializes in laser cutting. All you have to do is send in your requirements and a template and your laser subcontractor will do the rest. He will send you all your appliqués cut to your requirements. They will be backed along with the digitized file and will be ready to go. Cut appliqués will generally cost around $2.00 each. All you have to do is spay with fabric glue, put on the garment and sew away.
Forget about water jet. It is to messy.