Embroidery is the process of turning a graphic or text into a needle-and-thread work of art for application to a garment or other fabric item. Using state-of-the-art software and multi-head industrial sewing machines, embroidered designs can be simple, one-color designs or multicolored works of intricate detail. Of all the methods of fabric embellishment, embroidery is considered to add the most sophistication and a higher perceived value to a garment.
Today's custom embroidery is a primarily automated process that translates a digital image into data that guides the operation of industrial sewing machines capable of up to 1,500 stitches per minute.
EMBROIDERY EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
- COMPUTER: A computer with specialized software that translates digital imagery, e.g., a GIF or JPEG, into stitch data to guide the embroidery machine, or the services of a digitizing company that will translate the image into stitch data for a fee.
- EMBROIDERY MACHINE OR SEWING MACHINE: A wide range of machines are capable of doing embroidery, ranging from low-cost, consumer-grade sewing machines to automated, multi-needle industrial machines capable of producing complex, highly detailed stitched graphics.
- SUBSTRATE: Many fabric items are suitable for embroidery, from T-shirts and fleece to totes and hats. Very lightweight or highly elastic fabrics can be challenging to embroider, with a greater tendency to pucker or wrinkle. Plush fabric such as fleece require densely stitched embroidery to prevent the fabric from showing between stitches.
- STABILIZER: Even low-end home embroidery machines can make several hundred stitches per minute, putting tremendous strain on most fabrics. A stabilizer supports the fabric during stitching to prevent shifting, stretching or distortion.