Caps, bags, polos, luggage, beach towels!! Yes. We embroider all of these things and more. Small runs. Large runs. Small lettering. Large applique. Bring it on! We'll make you proud.
EMBROIDERY: THE PROCESS
There are a number of very detail driven steps that go into creating a beautifully embroidered garment. The real magic happens between order entry and final pack out.
REVIEW ART SUBMISSION
When reviewing the art, we look for fine detail, gradients and small lettering that may not translate well. We’ll be sure to make a recommendation or give you some options if your logo will not embroider well on a particular garment.
Digitizing is the process by which we translate digital art files into stitches. The first part of the process is a virtual drawing that maps the stitches we will use to embroider the final logo. This is done using specialized software.
Although the digitized file gives us a pretty realistic assessment of what the final embroidery will look like, we prefer to create an actual stitched out sample to be sure. We’ll make any tweaks or adjustments from there and send the final sew out to you for your blessing.
HOOPING & CLAMPING
An embroidery hoop is a plastic ring that snaps around the area of the garment to be sewn. This hoop is affixed to a head on the embroidery machine. This is called clamping. These steps are taken to stabilize the garment as the needle sews the fabric.
RUN THE LINES
Our highest capacity embroidery machine has 15 heads. Many times orders are larger than 15 pieces. A production run for embroidery is called running the lines because we produce the order in a line of 15 at a time.
Once the garments are sewn, we remove the excess backing from the embroidered design. Sometimes a tear-away backing is used, and it can be pulled off. Other times the backing must be cut, or trimmed, from the back of the garment. This step in the process is referred to as trimming no matter which method is used.
The embroidery hoop has a tendency to leave a ring on certain garments. This does not damage the fabric. We simply steam these items to return them to their pre-embroidered appearance.
FOLDING & BAGGING
Embroidered garments are generally more expensive than regular t-shirts. For this reason, we carefully fold and bag each embroidered item to protect the garment from potential damage in shipping.
ART REQUIREMENTS: WHAT KIND OF ART IS GOOD FOR EMBROIDERY
All art files are re-drawn as digital stitch files in preparation for embroidery. The best embroidery comes from very clean, high quality digital files. Vector format is preferred.
- Specify fabric type when submitting a logo for embroidery. An embroidered logo may look different when sew on different fabric types. By specifying the fabric type, we can digitize for the best embroidery for that material.
- Submit Adobe Illustrator vector art files for best quality embroidery.
- Smallest letter size can be no smaller than 1/4” tall.
- Thin lettering and small detail does not embroider well on deep pile garments.
Process for converting digital images or logos into a map of stitches. The digitized file is uploaded to the embroidery machine to provide instructions for location of stitches and thread color.
Stiff fabric applied to the inside of the garment to keep the embroidery stitches stable through embroidery, wear, and wash. There are 3 types of backing:
- Tear Away Backing - Tear away is the most common type of backing used. It is the quickest and easiest to remove for the most common types of embroidered garments ordered by our customer. Tear away backing is used on the sturdy, strong fabrics such as caps, dress shirts, back packs etc.
- Cut Away Backing - Cut away is used on softer materials that we embroider. This type of backing eliminates the tendency of a fabric to pull away from the embroidered logo when using tear away. We use cut away backing on knit fabrics such as pique.
- Fabric Backing - This backing is used only when requested as there is an additional cost. Cut away and tear away backings are sometimes a little visible on light colored garments or very thin material. Fabric backing is silky, super light and barely visible on even the most fragile materials.
Solvy is used to create a smooth foundation for embroidering custom designs. It is applied on the top or outside of the garment and is covered by the embroidered design. Not all garments require the use of a topping. Solvy is primarily used on high pile fabrics (fleece, hoodies, towels) to help the stitches stay visible and avoid the embroidered design becoming lost in the fabric.
HOW FABRIC TYPE AFFECTS AN EMBROIDERED DESIGN
Did you know that the same embroidered logo can look different when sewn on various garments? Fabric weight, thickness, weave and content all effect how the stitches will hold up next to each other. For this reason, it is important to let us know what material we will sew when requesting an embroidery quote or placing an order. We digitize all logos for the best embroidery depending on what fabric we are sewing on.
Embroidery naturally looks better on stronger fabrics. Examples of fabrics that sew really well are caps, twill, canvas, poly denier nylon (bags and duffels) and most outer wear. Sewn logos on these fabrics generally don’t need as many underlay fill stitches to maintain the integrity of the design so your stitch counts will be lower.
Very soft or flimsy fabrics, like rayon, silk, soft pima cotton and dry fit fabrics, require a very different digitizing approach and more underlay stitches to stabilize the embroidered design.
High pile fabrics, such as fleece, sweatshirts, hoodies, polar fleece, terry cloth (beach and bath towels) and other thick fabrics hide the small detail of a custom embroidery design and therefore have to be modified to work well on those substrates. Solvy topping is used on these fabrics to help improve the look of embroidery on these challenging fabrics.