Apr 022013
 

When most of us hear the word embroidery we think of a logo or some other design that is placed on clothing or other accessory with thread. There are many aspects to the process that we will explore here. We will cover some of the basic questions you will most certainly run into when placing an order for your own embroidery project. We will explore what this process is, how long it has been around and some of the many fun things that can be done with it.

What is embroidery? There are two basic ways to decorate apparel: Screen Printing is the use of ink to imprint a design and Embroidery is the use of thread to imprint a design. Embroidery will commonly involve something to do with a company, event or sports team. In most cases embroidery is a bit more high end than screen printing is which is why you will see it used in the way it is.

Embroidery is the application of yarn or thread onto a piece of fabric with a needle. It used to all be done by hand but these days almost all embroidery is done by a computerized sewing machine. Of course if you see your grandmother making a quilt or sewing a design onto clothing by hand that is still known as embroidery.

The history of embroidery dates back over 5,000 years ago to China. Tracing its root to that part of the world and then spreading throughout Europe and then the Americas. Early embroidery was very ornate and would often be reserved for the very wealthy or royalty in the form of decorated gowns and robes. Embroidery can involve the sewing of beads, sequins, or other similar items in conjunction with the thread and pattern being sewn. Much like art and music, embroidery techniques and designs can vary greatly from region to region. There are several types of stitching within embroidery such as running stitch, back stitch, satin stitch, stem stitch, tailor’s buttonhole stitch, and whip stitching. These are things you will not need to know when you place an order with an embroidery shop.

Getting your order ready. There are a few things you will need to know to get your embroidery order ready to pass along to the shop or business that is going to do the work. It is very important to keep in mind that being prepared with a few basic things can give your embroiderer a head start in giving you good results. When you ask a shop “How much does embroidery cost?” the questions we must ask are how many do you need and how complex is your design or logo? (We will use the term logo and design interchangeably). Embroidery pricing is based on how many items you order and something called stitch count. The stitch count is the total number of stitches in your design. You don’t need to know the stitch count but it is good to know that is one of the drivers behind the price. The stitch count in many ways is related to how large and how complex your logo is. Typically the number of colors of thread does not affect the price. The larger and more complex the logo, the higher the cost. The other factor is the quantity of items in your order. The higher the quantity the lower the per piece price.

Almost everyone will have a product ID for each item available to be sewn. This can be found on a website or in a printed catalog. Having all the product IDs, apparel colors, quantities and sizes will help both you and the shop. Also please have your logo ready to send. Our embroidery operations do not create logos so having a PDF or JPG or similar version of your logo will speed the process along. If you want a simple text only design like “Joe’s Bar and Grill,” we can create that for you. Once the logo is provided we can estimate the stitch count and give you a quote. After you approve the quote, we will give your logo to an expert technician who will “digitize” or “set-up” the logo into a digital format that is used to control the computerized embroidery machines. The digitizing process is critical to a good result and must be done by experts to achieve the desired result. The file they generate is typically a “.dst” (not .jpg or .pdf). If you already have this file we can use that directly and you will not need to pay the set-up fee.

Lastly make sure you communicate everything very clearly to your embroidery shop. This includes specifying the thread colors, the location of your logo (most common location is the wearer’s left chest), size of your logo, as well as the delivery date, and other questions you have. If you have an event it is very important for the shop to know that so they can get things done on time.

A typical modern embroidery machine may consist of a single sewing head or multiple sewing heads that work in unison. The video shows 12 embroidery heads sewing the same logo on 12 caps at one time.

We hope this guide helps you and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or if we have missed anything.

Jun 082009
 

There is a wonderful thing happening in our country these days and no matter which side of the isle you stand, you should care. This wondrous event is related to all the attention and talk about going Green. Whether you agree or disagree with the existence of Global Warming, there is certainly no harm in saving the environment and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. One way to do your part is by no longer using plastic or paper shopping bags. Your alternative is to turn to reusable shopping Totes. There has been quite a lot going on within this debate for the last few years.

According to Rolling Stone Magazine the world consumes 1 Million plastic bags every minute. (Estimated cost to retailers is more than 5 billion). And in 1999, 14 million trees were cut to produce nearly 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans in a single year. And both of these items take a very long time, if ever to fully biodegrade.

Many European countries may levy a charge for having your groceries bagged in plastic and some U.S. cities and states are following suit. Click HERE to have a look. Plastic Bag Bans Spreading Across The United States. It is a time to keep paying attention to reusable shopping totes.

Reusable shopping tote bags are still in fairly new for many people and there is a lot you can do with them other than sell them. If you think about it, just as with most decorated apparel and other accessories there are countless groups that love to show their identity with a logo or slogan. So why not do that at the supermarket, where you may already be showing off your favorite teams colors. As a decorator you may even consider approaching the actual stores to address the reasons they should be selling shopping totes. For one they may know of the impending doom to our old way of carrying groceries. Secondly it would seem like a great idea to put their own branding on the totes. This will give them much more exposure than plastic or paper because once you bring a tote home and remove all your items, they are immediately headed for the trash can. With the number of Americans that already love to show off their favorite team, vacation spot, musician, or faith on a t-shirt – why not push the next thing in promotional marketing - Totes?

Jun 082009
 

Terry cloth, also know as terry, is a fabric with loops that can absorb more water than a traditional cloth. There are many types of terry cloth in the market today. These range in size, strength, touch, and fabric used in the cloth. Most terry cloth is used in the form of towels. Some of the best towels come from Turkey. There are seemingly endless products within the terry family. These products may include: Grommeted Golf Towels, Rally Towels, Beach Towels, and Bath Robes.

Towels are a woven fabric made of Cotton or a Cotton-Polyester (Cotton-Poly) blend and are a usually loop or pile pattern. Special looms called Dobby Looms are used to weave the fabric into the finished product. Modern looms are fully computerized and make the job much easier than it was in the past.

Early in the history of Terry cloth nearly everything was made by hand. Due to the time it took to make this cloth towels were usually reserved for the wealthy. Towels were generally smaller and most were hand and facial towels. These were made of natural woven fibers. The make-up of these natural fibers made this early cloth much less comfortable to the touch than what you will find today. By the end of the nineteenth century, weaving became automated and the terry cloth industry was changed forever.

After the mechanizing of looms we started to see a greater variety of materials being used and a greater market for towels because they were less expensive. This also created a large market for Bath Towels for the first time. Like most textile cloth throughout the manufacturing process everything is bleached a bright white before it is dyed its final color. This is almost always done to the fabric in large rolls or yards before any weaving or other alteration takes place. Terry cloth is woven on a dobby loom, which means that it has two steps or processes. The first one is referred to as the ground warp and forms the body of the towel or cloth. The second one is called the pile warp, which forms it forms the terry loop or pile.

Terry cloth of any type does not lend itself well to screen printing. The primary reason for this is due to the rugged and tough surface of the cloth, as well as the repeated punishment from hot machine washing and use. In order to get a good print it is best to work with a fairly flat surface, which terry cloth is not. When we do see printed terry, it is often a single color print for something such as a sporting event. A printed Rally towel works well because they are usually not used for very long and are inexpensive. Embroidery is the solution for decorating any terry cloth. The same reasons that make it unsuitable for screen printing are responsible for making it a great fabric for embroidery or monogramming. The fabric is generally so tough that it does not require an embroidery stabilizer like backing. Furthermore if you are hosting an event in which you would like a nice gift or promotional product, the embroidered towel will be a hit. Not only will you get a long life span from an embroidered terry cloth item, but its cost relative to embroidered shirts makes it an attractive item.

There are many types of terry cloth and many more uses for it. While we mostly think of the terry cloth as a bath towel there are dozens of terry cloth products for all types of uses and you should not have any trouble find your terry solution.