Embroidery Process

Embroidery From Start to Finish


The embroidery process begins with an idea or a piece of artwork. That artwork then has to be "digitized" which is the specialized process of converting two dimensional artwork into stitches or thread. The digitizing computer software will allow numerous machines to embroider (stitch) the logo/design repetitively onto the various garments.

image to be digitized before embroidery image partially digitized digitized image/art

The digitizing of an image can be simple to very complicated (more expensive) depending on the size and the detail of the image. When an image is digitized, our technicians/craftsmen use a digitizing computer program that assists in accurately converting your logo or electronic artwork into a system of stitches that the embroidery machine can read. This activity is as much an art form as it is a science. Skill and creativity are essential. The embroidery digitizing, is normally a one-time process. It requires relatively clean artwork as a starting point. While, a business card, letterhead, or a decal will suffice as this artwork, camera-ready or computer generated graphics from a program such as Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop may result in truer finished embroidery.

Going to Production

While the digitizing process automates the machine stitching, much of the process continues to be hands on. Before the sewing can begin, specific thread colors must be loaded by hand into the machines. A spool of thread for each color for each sewing head must be loaded. The machine itself is programmed by the operator to sew the design in a particular color sequence and a particular sewing speed. The garments must then be "hooped" individually, again by hand, and then loaded into the machine. Once the design has completed sewing, the garment is taken off the machine, un-hooped, and then sent to the next step in the production process.

The Actual Embroidery Stitching Consists of:

  1. 1) Fixing the area of the garment to be embroidered in a device called a hoop.
  2. 2) Attaching the hooped garment to the embroidery machine so that it can be embroidered.
  3. 3) Removing extraneous stitches accumulated during the embroidery process and removing the backing material used to stabilize the fabric during embroidery (commonly referred to as "cutting, tearing, and trimming").

Selecting the Garment/Apparel to be Embroidered:

Selecting the type of garment/apparel material is an important consideration when embroidering. A T-shirt for example will likely have fewer stitches than denim given that the fabric is not as heavy and will not hold as many stitches. Polyester fleece, on the other hand, (and the 'underlay' stitches that you don't see on the finished product) will likely have different stitches. Fleece has 'loft', meaning that it's relatively thick and springy. Underlay stitching is required to 'squash' down the fleece where satin stitches will be placed otherwise stitches may be 'lost' in the springy fleece (and not be seen). Often you may use one logo on many different types of fabrics. However, to ensure the best presentation, we appreciate and recommend working with us in advance when selecting the garment and fabric type that will be embroidered.