When you think of embroidery, you may picture grandma’s needlepoint supplies or maybe even a sewing machine with embroidery attachments. Today’s industrial embroidery machines and promotional products are much more than they “seam”!
The Basics of Embroidered Promotional Products
Apparel designs or logos are first digitized from a standard computer file into a “Data Stitch Tajima” file format, or DST file. These specialized files are submitted into high-tech embroidery machines, which feature multiple needles and spools of embroidery thread. Apparel, like t-shirts or hoodies, then have an industrial embroidery hoop pinned to the area that would feature the decoration. This allows the fabric to be stretched to prevent wrinkling as the machine stitches through the fabric. There are in many shapes and sizes (including a specialized hoop for ball caps) to help stabilize the sewn image!
Stabilizers are Essential!
Speaking of stabilization, have you ever wondered why there’s a little piece of fabric stitched to the back of embroidered decoration? That fabric is called a stabilizer and helps give structure to the embroidery. As the machine punches needles through fabric and tightly sews thread back and forth, plain fabric will sometimes pucker or distort. A stabilizer is often the magic key to create a clean and professional look.
The Embroidery Process
While technology has helped embroidery become one of the most popular decoration methods, these machines can’t do all the work. It takes a very well-trained and specialized staff to ensure all embroidered items are produced cleanly and quickly.
First, a trained employee finds and matches embroidery thread colors specifically to your logo, and threads the machine is several areas. Once the product is hooked into the machine, stitching begins at 600-750 stitches per minute, with an average run time of 10 minutes from start to finish for each piece. The employee will trim off the extra stabilizer and steam the embroidery flat. Any loose threads are snipped off, and the item is folded and packaged into a protective poly bag. Our embroidery partners even specialize in fulfillment and drop shipping services, which means each item can be packaged and labeled for each individual recipient.
(Video: Peg’s Embroidery)
Commonly Embroidered Promotional Products
Polos, hoodies, and ball caps may be the most popular promotional items to embroider, but embroidery is not limited to those items! Sherpa blankets, backpacks, picnic totes, aprons, and beanies are also a great way to feature embroidery.
Embroidery is a great decoration method to bring an extra touch of class and professionalism. In addition to being one of the most durable decoration methods, it also helps give extra dimension and feel to your next promo product. Embroidery can be a tricky method to execute. Choosing a promotional products professional who works closely with a trusted embroidery partner is the best way to ensure your product is just as excellent as your brand.
Interested in embroidery and other decoration methods? Contact us to plan your next branded merchandise project!