What is Embroidery?
Embroidery is a way of decorating clothing or pieces of fabric, with thread. Typically multiple thread colors are used to create patterns, designs, and logos on textile or apparel. Embroidery can be a great way to advertise your company brand through use on jackets, shirts, and caps while maintaining a unique and handcrafted look.
What is Involved in the Embroidery Process?
Designing the Files
You can either purchase already created design files made for embroidery machines or create a compatible file. To ensure that your file is compatible with the embroidery process, it will have to be created as a vector image.
A vector file is an illustrator file that is designed and created in Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Vector images are clean, print-ready, and are able to be scaled without any loss of integrity to the image.
Inserting the Fabric
After the file has been loaded, the operator will need to stabilize the area of fabric being printed onto the machine. Wearable fabrics are often tightly placed in a hoop system to help prevent wrinkling during the process.
Depending on the fabric, a piece of stabilizing material may be required on the back to keep the design piece in the proper shape. While this piece may be visible on the back of the fabric, you will not be able to see it on the front of the finished piece.
Creating the Design
The final step in the embroidery process involves creating the actual design. The length of this process depends largely on the number of thread colors that the machine can hold.
If the machine holds only a few colors, this can require multiple changes throughout the embroidery process. Many larger commercial machines can hold at least ten or more thread colors and therefore do not require thread change during the process.
Repeated threading can add a significant amount of time on the embroidery process; therefore larger machines are able to produce products in much shorter turnaround time. Additionally, your embroidery turnaround time will also depend on the size of your design as each image is created using individual stitches.
Once the machine is threaded, it will then move the fabric along, recreating the image on the fabric with a system of stitches.
What Items Can be Embroidered?
Any type of fabric that can be loaded into the machine can be embroidered; most businesses chose to utilize embroidery to add their logo or name to a multitude of promotional pieces. Some of the most popular items that companies choose to embroider include:
- Polo Shirts
- Hats or Caps
- Tote Bags
- Athletic Shirts
- Soft Signage
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