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Vintage Jersey Lettering

Old 03-22-21, 09:17 PM
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Vintage Jersey Lettering

I love 70's era jerseys with the embroidered lettering:



Does anyone know if there's a particular name for this type of embroidery or who does it?

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Old 03-22-21, 09:25 PM
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I think the true vintage jerseys had flocked letters, and this embroidery is an imitation of that (a pretty good imitation, but an imitation). A lot of fancy sewing machines can do embroidery like this, can't they?

(with apologies for not answering your question).
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Old 03-22-21, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I think the true vintage jerseys had flocked letters
Hmmm...not sure, I believe they co-existed. All I know is De Marchi did embroidered lettering back in the 70's and they were a top quality product.

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
A lot of fancy sewing machines can do embroidery like this, can't they?
Probably, but modern embroidery doesn't look like this in my experience. There's something rustic and tactile about that jersey lettering. Maybe it's just a setting on the sewing machine? Sewing isn't my area of expertise.

I think it might be called cornely or chainstitch.
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Old 03-22-21, 11:12 PM
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It’s chain stitch. Been trying to find some one still doing it in the US but have only found a rodeo supply place in Wenatchee Wa. and have not been willing to send them a jersey for a trial. Reasonably common in Italy : I have seen it done on site at a vintage ride and outside a fabric shop. Just need the right machine, some artwork and a steady hand. Mastrofisso.com does it it Italy.
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Old 03-23-21, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
Itís chain stitch. Been trying to find some one still doing it in the US but have only found a rodeo supply place in Wenatchee Wa. and have not been willing to send them a jersey for a trial. Reasonably common in Italy : I have seen it done on site at a vintage ride and outside a fabric shop. Just need the right machine, some artwork and a steady hand. Mastrofisso.com does it it Italy.
Thanks! I'm going to have some fun on Mastrofisso. Prices seem reasonable for such a niche product - although I'm waiting to hear back on postage costs.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:38 AM
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A modern retro style jersey with sewn lettering. I also have vintage jerseys that are sewn in a similar way. My vintage ones are from the seventies.
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Old 03-23-21, 03:38 AM
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Check Oregon Cyclewear, they produce Merino Wool jerseys and work with a local vendor for custom lettering. Reasonable rates and quick service is what I experienced when I had a jersey made.
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Old 03-23-21, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist View Post
Check Oregon Cyclewear
Yeah those jerseys look awesome. The trouble is, I live in Australia and postage from the US is usually astronomical - kinda ironic seeing that the wool comes from here! Doesn't look like they do the chain stitch though, which is my current obsession.
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Old 03-23-21, 12:07 PM
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How about stomaching something from New Zealand - https://www.soigneur.co.nz/
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Old 03-23-21, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
How about stomaching something from New Zealand - https://www.soigneur.co.nz/
Yeah Iíve had my eye on them for a while now. They donít do chain stitch though, but thatís part of the reason I started this thread - if I could find someone who did chain stitch, I could get a blank jersey. Alas, canít find anyone in Australia who does it.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Markeologist View Post
Check Oregon Cyclewear, they produce Merino Wool jerseys and work with a local vendor for custom lettering. Reasonable rates and quick service is what I experienced when I had a jersey made.
Spectrum is OCWís vendor. The shop does good work but like most embroidery shops, they donít do chain stitch. Chain stitch is done on a specific type of sewing machine, sometimes called a Connelly, but made by others as well. One operator, one garment at a time. Most embroidery shops run multi head machines. Design is programmed in, the correct thread colors are set on the bobbin, and the operator can go on to the next job while the first one is running.
A modern multi head machine will given a super durable, multicolor design. Chain stitch does not hold up as well, is really hard to do in more than one color, but has a one of a kind look, because it is.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I think the true vintage jerseys had flocked letters, and this embroidery is an imitation of that (a pretty good imitation, but an imitation). A lot of fancy sewing machines can do embroidery like this, can't they?

(with apologies for not answering your question).
Sorry. Gotta set this straight. Yes, embroidery can be done with a home machine. It will give a result similar to chainstitch but a lot depends on the garment and how good the sewer is. Flocking came about as a cheaper alternative to embroidery. Itís usually a heat press process so itís pretty simple to do.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:23 PM
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I will enquire locally.
Philip
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Old 03-23-21, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
Sorry. Gotta set this straight. Yes, embroidery can be done with a home machine. It will give a result similar to chainstitch but a lot depends on the garment and how good the sewer is. Flocking came about as a cheaper alternative to embroidery. Itís usually a heat press process so itís pretty simple to do.
Cool, thanks for the explainer!

The kind of flocked letters I was thinking of are older, like a 40's - 50's, and the letters were individually stitched onto the jersey by hand.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
The kind of flocked letters I was thinking of are older, like a 40's - 50's, and the letters were individually stitched onto the jersey by hand.
Maybe it's the poor resolution photography, but old school, prior to 1950, was pretty much only chain, not flocking. At least for the Italians.

Bartali 1933 by iabisdb, on Flickr

Cinelli 12 by iabisdb, on Flickr

Bizzi 07 by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 03-23-21, 02:46 PM
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^^Yeah, I can't tell exactly what that is, but I'm sure you're right. It doesn't look hand stitched on, not at all.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
^^Yeah, I can't tell exactly what that is, but I'm sure you're right. It doesn't look hand stitched on, not at all.
You could whip stitch lettering material on top, but damn, that would some time. I'd keep my team name to 2-3 letters, tops.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:56 PM
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I am fighting a very strong urge to start perusing old cycling photos on google images right now, to see if I can find the image I have in my mind. But alas I don't have time for this right now. Carry on!
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Old 03-23-21, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I am fighting a very strong urge to start perusing old cycling photos on google images right now, to see if I can find the image I have in my mind. But alas I don't have time for this right now. Carry on!
If it helps, my hockey sweater has the numbers and logo applied the way you say.

But the difference is that flocking with a whip stitch does not flex/stretch. Not important with an oversized jersey. It does matter with a form-fitting jersey. Chain embroidery stretches.
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Old 03-23-21, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I think the true vintage jerseys had flocked letters, and this embroidery is an imitation of that (a pretty good imitation, but an imitation). A lot of fancy sewing machines can do embroidery like this, can't they?

(with apologies for not answering your question).
I do remember in the 80's people referring to lettering and logos on jerseys as "flocking".
I think that term had mostly disappeared though......
Now, people just call them just "lettering" or "graphics", no matter how they are done.
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Old 03-23-21, 04:59 PM
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for what it's worth... a early 70's Raleigh jersey with embroidered letters. The threads just go back and forth across the width of the lines that make up the letters.



for a high resolution version, go here: https://live.staticflickr.com/1471/2...1def4_3k_d.jpg

My other Raleigh jerseys use the flocking method. They are late 70's or early 80's.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 03-23-21, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Cool, thanks for the explainer!

The kind of flocked letters I was thinking of are older, like a 40's - 50's, and the letters were individually stitched onto the jersey by hand.
Since I am explaining mode, and since I rarely get to talk about something I spent years doing, the letters that you are thinking of were usually die cut felt. Fancier ones had a background. As a kid, I could walk into the sporting goods store in my town and they had a wall filled with bins filled these letters. Nowadays, you can still get similar letters, usually in a twill fabric, heat or RF cut for a clean edge. I think, and a hockey player can set me straight, these are still used for name plates on jerseys( or sweaters if I happen to be speaking to a Canadian)
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Old 03-23-21, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
Spectrum is OCWís vendor. The shop does good work but like most embroidery shops, they donít do chain stitch. Chain stitch is done on a specific type of sewing machine, sometimes called a Connelly, but made by others as well. One operator, one garment at a time. Most embroidery shops run multi head machines. Design is programmed in, the correct thread colors are set on the bobbin, and the operator can go on to the next job while the first one is running.
A modern multi head machine will given a super durable, multicolor design. Chain stitch does not hold up as well, is really hard to do in more than one color, but has a one of a kind look, because it is.
I spoke to the owner of Spectrum last year and she said that she cannot do chain stitch; however, she knows another local shop owner who did and that she could facilitate the needed chain stitch embroidery. An example can be seen on the Oregon Cyclewear old stuff page, the ďCentury AmericaĒ jersey.
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Old 03-23-21, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler_fred View Post
An example can be seen on the Oregon Cyclewear old stuff page, the ďCentury AmericaĒ jersey.
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Old 03-23-21, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler_fred View Post
I spoke to the owner of Spectrum last year and she said that she cannot do chain stitch; however, she knows another local shop owner who did and that she could facilitate the needed chain stitch embroidery. An example can be seen on the Oregon Cyclewear old stuff page, the ďCentury AmericaĒ jersey.
Interesting. . Iíll be in Spectrums neighborhood later this week and will see what they have to say.
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