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Embroidery on Driver's Uniform

Discussion in 'Embroidery' started by SqueeGee, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    We're starting my son out in a mini cup car in a winter series that starts in January. We bought an off the shelf fire suit(not enough time to get a custom one made) and I would like to get it embroidered. The dealer that we purchased it from said that using standard embroidery would compromise the safety of the suit unless nomex thread is used. Does anyone here have experience with this?
     
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  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I don't know what colors you plan on using, that may be the limiting factor, but Madeira has a line of thread (called Firefighter) that has Nomex fibers from Dupont in it. I think in total there are only 24 colors available. Typically, it usually requires special digitizing (a smidge thicker, like metallic thread, so density settings are different) and it is typically recommended to use a bigger needle (80/12), although most shops don't like to use different needles for specialty applications. You would also need to use a bobbin thread that has these fibers in it as well, otherwise, no point in using the Fire Fighter thread in the first place. And fire resistant backing.

    It is also usually better to have these things done before the suit is made, especially considering an application like this. Even with using the above mentioned thread and backing, there still is some compromise to the suit. Remember, embroidery is a destructive process, moreso, using a thicker needle causing bigger wholes and to my knowledge there is no such thing as a sealing process that is flame resistant. So there will still be some compromise when doing the embroidery on an already made suit. Although all three of those items together really do help mitigate the compromise, anything that creates holes in anything, is compromising the integrity of that substrate.
     
  3. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    I'm not an embroidery specialist but that seems like ordering fireproof shoes and the saying regular shoelaces could compromise them. I say that's kinda stupid. If the thread going to make the suit not fireproof anymore?

    see being cynical does have its points
     
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Not the same thing Bruce. In the embroidery process, you are puncturing the suit all the way through (if the suit is already together), which allows things to get through. Think of it these way, you embroidery an umbrella, if you use normal backing, the umbrella will leak where you embroidered it. Heat will get through, normal stabilizer, thread etc, can not handle the extremes that one would potentially deal with in that type of environment. If you use normal thread, bobbin, and backing, those will melt and some of that stuff will get through those holes in that specific area, well the backing will already be on your side of the suit, melted.

    Embroidery, in of itself, does compromise the fabric. But it is highly localized, in this case, more then likely around the left breast area. It won't compromise the entire suit, but it will be compromised in that localized area.
     
  5. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Wrong. Embroidering a pre-made suit punctures ALL the layers. Not something I'd even consider. And plain shoelaces on your nomex shoes is a no-no. Not a good thing to jump out of a burning wreck only to have your shoe laces blazing.

    There are SFI specs that go hand in hand with sanctioning body rules. Never doubt them. They come from years and years of testing and people having been there, wrecked that.

    Modern safety equipment allows drives to walk away from horrific crashes and fires.

    I wear a nomex jacket, nomex lined full face helmet and nomex "horse collar". Do I need all that? Nope. But it's cheap compared to the pain of skin grafts. Burns are a gift that keeps on giving.




    Final thing to remember: Why does fire burn the way it does? Because it can.
     
  6. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Patches would probably be the best thing at this stage in the game with minimal invasion of the suit (if at all depending on the application of the patch), but just for the name and using specialty embroidery supplies, probably cost prohibitive.
     
  7. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    See I have been schooled ty
     
  8. 31legen

    31legen Member

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    Firesuit.

    I've had many fire suits. I wouldn't worry about the warranty on the suit, as long as the fitment is good when you get it as well as keep the zippers in good order. Having the embroidery done will not damage the suits fire protection. I always had at least a two layer suit and had to add different sponsor logos along the way. As far as the Arena Racing, good luck to you. I hate to be a downer but it's not real racing. Your son won't learn the fundamentals of racing and going fast. A go kart or legends car is your best bet for a good start in racing. I've ran them all and hated everything about the arena racing. Just my experience.
     
  9. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    If you use the correct supplies, then yes, you should be good. Regular stabilizer, which would be on your side of the suit, melts very easily and it melts into a glob as well, it doesn't just melt into nothing like like Heat Away stabilizers (akin to water soluble stabilizers). Plus fire retardant backing is thicker then regular backing as well.

    It isn't so much as destroying the protection capability of the suit, but it adds weak points, because you do take way from the suit to add that decoration. Think about it. A regular logo crest has 7k stitches, twice that if go by the "hole count" Some logos that have fill stitching (and dense fill stitching at that) there isn't much of the original garment that is there, so you have to replace that with the correct supplies.

    You are also talking about using a thicker needle for the correct thread as well. High stitch count (which translates into a high "hole count"), with a thicker needle, yes it does add stress to a suit that is already made.
     
  10. 31legen

    31legen Member

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    Fire suit


    I'm sure your correct on the stitching and embroidery aspect. I'm referring to the need of the warranty on the Fire Suit. The type of racing he is doing is indoors with a honda 13hp engine. There is a firewall between the driver and the motor. I ran the cars for 2 years. It's safer than a lawn mower. They only get up to 30 to 40 mph if your lucky.
     
  11. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Ahhh, I gotcha now. I think of racing and I go back to my diesel modding days, this sounds like a vastly different animal.
     
  12. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    I suspect if you're on fire to a point where it's breaching the holes in the patch sewed on, you've got a much bigger problem on your hands at that moment.
     
  13. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing your expertise, Wild West. After posting this topic from my phone, I did some googling and found the following(at the bottom), which really backs up Wild West's comments. It seems like the only real option to safely decorate a completed suit is with the use of correctly manufactured and installed patches.

    In regard to the type of racing we're doing - I've been around racing since I was 8, as a crew member, spotter and driver on the competition side. I have also worked at the race track mounting tires and scooping ice cream. I recognize that Arena Racing is on a different level. In fact, that's exactly why we chose it. I like the enclosed driver's compartment and relatively low speeds. I also like that it's in the winter and indoors. Are there cons? Absolutely - as there are with anything we do. I think it's a good fit for what we want to do right now.

    We all weigh risk and reward. Some would think it's crazy to allow a 9 year old to drive one of these to start with and I completely respect their position.

    Based on the fantastic information shared here, I don't see the reward of having his off the shelf suit being decorated as outweighing the potential risk that this could cause.

    Again, thanks so much for your help!



    [h=4]Embroidery and Decorative Patch Instructions[/h] The construction of the driving or crew suit, such as the sewing and seaming methods, are just as important to the integrity of the garment as the fire retardant materials used to manufacture the suit. Quilting of the inner liner to the outer layer is standard on all two-layer (and higher) MasterCraft Safety and Impact driving suits. The purpose of the quilting is to improve air circulation and to transfer heat at a slower rate and with less force and energy. The air pockets formed between each quilted stitch pattern delays the heat from being transferred to the body as quickly therefore it is important to preserve this protective air-layer by not penetrating the inner layer of the suit with embroidery or decorative additions. For this reason, MasterCraft Safety and Impact embroider only the outer layer only prior to final assembly of your driving or crew suit.

    That being said MasterCraft Safety / Impact is one of the few manufacturers worldwide that can custom embroider only the outer layer of a suit prior to it being constructed together in final assembly. Only the original suit manufacturers have access to the outer most layer of the suit during its garment manufacturing process. To maintain the integrity of your suit, aftermarket embroidery and adornments should never penetrate the inner protective layer(s) and any additions to the garment should not interfere with its intended use and/or the thermal protection properties.


    Should you require specific sponsor branding and similar adornments added to your suit after purchase, patches conforming to the ISO 15025:2000 standard for protective clothing are highly recommended. To maintain the thermal protection rating and overall integrity of the suit, MasterCraft Safety and Impact recommend that patches and badges should be manufactured from fire retardant thread and material (such as Nomex®) and should comply with the ISO standard 15025:2000. The patches and badges should also be affixed to the driving or crew suit using a fire retardant thread (such as Nomex®) and the thread should only penetrate the outer most layer of the driving suit. Glues and other adhesives (including iron-on methods) are highly flammable and should not be used to affix the patches or badges. The backing material of badges and patches should be flame-retardant and in conformance with the original intended purpose of the suit. When affixing adornments, heat-bonding should not be use and the garment should not be cut or otherwise altered.
     
  14. Cadartist

    Cadartist New Member

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    We ran into this problem for an Daytona driver who was sponsored by US Dex. They wanted a big logo on the back and the front but there was a zipper in the front. We used a fire retardant thread with color as close as we could match on a fire retardant yellow fabric and made a full patch for the back and a split one for the front. I hand-stitched it on so the stitches would only go thru the first layer of his suit. Sorry, but I don't have a picture of the finished suit because by the time they came to us, it was a super rush job and his wife had to take it to him because he had to leave before it was ready.



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