Applique is a type of embroidery that employs a smaller patch or fabric to be applied or sewed onto a larger fabric or surface. It is mostly one piece of fabric in its entirety. Applique derives its roots from French culture and it means ‘something applied’ or a thing that has been applied. Appliqué was discovered first when clothes were ripped and needed fixing in order to appear decent and wearable. The craftsmen used to sew over the top of the ripped area–using patches of different materials whatever came handy, later known as patchwork.

When it comes to sewing, an Appliqué basically refers to a type of needlework technique in which, various pieces of embroidery, fabric, or other materials are sewn onto another piece of fabric to create different designs, abstract patterns or pictures. It is particularly suitable for the work or textile which is to be seen from a distance, such as in banner-making. Applique work employs a number of stitches to attach the applied pieces on to the base material. Some of the most common stitches and their uses are straight stitch. Straight stitch or running stitch is the most common type of stitch practiced while attaching Appliqué patches onto the base material.

It is usually followed on the outline of edges. Satin stitch is another popular stitch used all over to basically overlap the edges. The patch may also be glued on or straight stitched to fix its position on the fabric. Reverse Appliqué is achieved when various materials and their layers are stitched together. The upper parts of the top layers are cut away and the edges are stitched. The topmost layers achieve the largest cuts.

In today’s time, with tremendous advancement in technology, modern embroidery machines can quickly stitch Appliqué designs usually by following a program. These programs have a minimum complexity of at least two thread colors, meaning that the machine stops during the stitching to allow the user time to switch threads. Firstly, the fabric that is the background and then the Appliqué fabric are affixed into the machine’s embroidery ring.

While Appliqué is a common favorite among kids and adolescents, it can be paired with interesting accessories such as hair ties, clip, bows, headbands, belts, clunky bracelets, and chunky neck pieces. The colors of these accessories must match the color scheme of the Appliqué garment either in symmetry or contrast. There is no strict rule for the maintenance of Appliqués as once they are fused and stitched; there is hardly any damage that wear and tear can cause an applique garment.