In reverse appliqué, you cut a shape out of top layer of fabric, turn the edges over, and affix a second layer underneath. This allows the bottom layer to show through the shaped hole you created, adding a beautiful sense of texture to your creation. The process of reverse appliqué is a little easier than traditional appliqué, and the designs are often sewn by machine.

In general, you’ll need a few basic supplies for your reverse appliqué projects:

  • Template or stencil to use for cutting
  • Fabric pencil
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Two contrasting fabrics
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
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Pros & Cons


Multimedia also is helping fuel appliqué’s growth as it is combined with screen printing, embroidery, sequins and crystals. A design may start with an appliqué as its base, then text is screen printed or embroidered inside or alongside the shape. The bright colors available in twills and crystals create the opportunity to use contrasting colors to add pizzazz to designs. Seen in boutiques and upscale department stores, these specialty multimedia shirts are retailing for $50 and up.

Another reason why appliqué is growing is an ever-expanding array of appliqué fabrics. In addition to the traditional twill and cotton/polyester patterned fabrics of the past, new offerings include polka-dot, neon, reflective, holographic, glitter, metallic and jersey. Crystals also have been added to the mix with some companies offering a twill appliqué that comes with a crystal transfer heat sealed on top of the twill. Crystals that are applied one at a time also are used to add flash to appliqué designs.

The Decorator’s Guide

Struggling to get your head around how promotional production creation works?

We know it’s complicated, so we’ve created an in-depth breakdown of all the decoration processes we use in our industry.

We’ve organised each chapter into bite size, simplified FAQ’s covering average turnaround times, insider tips on inks and techniques, and the recommended surfaces for each technique, so you can pass on your worthy knowledge to your customers.


Which product is best suited for this process?

Apparel: t-shirts, jumpers and hoodies

What products are not suited for this process? What will not work at all?

This process only works for textiles; non-textiles will not work.

What is the life expectancy for your product?

Similar to embroidery, it will last as long as the item it is applied to.

What is the benefit of using this particular method of decoration?

This method has a high-quality finish; when applying a large logo, you will have an embroidery style, but without the time and effort to complete it. As we use a laser cutting process, we can achieve a great amount of detail that could not be achieved with any other method.

What the disadvantage of using this process?

It takes a long time to achieve these results: around 24 hours.

How long does it take you to complete a project?

Two weeks from approval, dependent on material sourcing.

On average, what is the set up and running time for each job?

From finalising the digital design, to preparing our machinery; each job takes around one week.

We like to make sure everything is absolutely perfect before the process starts to deliver the best results.

Do you charge for repeat set ups?

No, it’s fairly simple as all digital files are the same, but we do like to run in batches with a minimum of 30 pcs.

Will I need to sample?

Yes, of course! We’ll send you a photograph first, so you can approve it.

What is the rejection rate?

Very little, but every now and again, something will go wrong. We will make a replacement at no extra cost..

What is the best file type?

Vector .pdf files are preferred.

What are the size and colour limitations of this process?

There are no colour limitations, however the size is limited to 280.

Are halftones or special effects possible?

Yes, you can achieve many effects through layering, slashing and both applique and reverse applique techniques.

What is the most popular promotional product for this process?



The disadvantages of using an applique during your sewing project include the cost and the time needed to create the applique. Another disadvantage is that the applique may not stand up as well as an embroidered design would.

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