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Embroidery 101

We have included information in this section to give you a basic knowledge of how the embroidery process works.

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Just exactly what is Embroidery?

It is an embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

Embroidery is generally used within the promotional product industry on apparel, bags or other cloth products.

What is the first step?

We begin by taking your logo, message or name and "digitizing" the artwork.

This is the specialized process of converting two dimensional artwork into stitches or thread.

Unlike some other types of imprinting, you can provide us your artwork in just about any popular formats(jpg, tif, eps, bmp,etc.). We don’t actually "convert" your artwork; rather we actually recreate the artwork using stitches. Once converted, the digitizer instructs the sewing machine to sew the design, in colors selected.

Because embroidery is three dimensional, the results are far more exciting than traditional silks screen or other imprinting methods.

How many colors can I use?

There is no limit to the colors you can use. Since the machine is using thread to create the end result it makes no difference if it is selecting black or green. If you use lots of colors and have a complicated design you may increase your cost slightly.

You can select virtually any color. Generally, if you provide us a PMS (Pantone Matching System) Number, we can match the thread very closely. Please advise us if you need an exact match in color.

What is the cost?

There is an initial cost to "digitize" your artwork. Once that is completed there is generally a "run charge" for each item. As long as the artwork remains the same size, you can continue to use the same digitized artwork for future jobs.

Pricing is also based upon the number of stitches. As you can imagine, the more stitches that are involved in your artwork, the longer the production time and the more thread is used.

A basic logo on a hat or shirt will generally run about 7,500 stitches. Once you provide us with artwork, we can give you an estimate of the number of stitches needed to complete your job.

What happens next?

Once you approve the artwork, your job goes into production. This is a very hands on process. Before the process of sewing can begin, specific thread colors must be loaded by hand into the machines. The embroidery machine is instructed by a trained professional to sew the design in a particular color sequence and a particular sewing speed.

The merchandise must be loaded into the machine by hand. Once the design has been completed, the item is removed from the machine, and sent to the finishing area.

The product is inspected for quality, and excess backing material or threads are removed. The items are then prepared for shipping.

Are there any size restrictions?

We can produce embroidered pieces in just about any size. Do keep in mind that small type fonts are difficult to reproduce. Generally we like to have letters at least 1/4 inches tall.

Also, if you have a very large logo on a shirt it may sag or even become very difficult to wear.