Custom embroidery is experiencing a renaissance right now. From bridal wear to corporate polos, embroidery adds a unique pop and personal touch. Linda Salter of Aunt Linda’s Closet: Machine Embroidery based in Aurora, Colorado gives us the scoop on trends, costs, and cool ideas for custom embroidery.
What are the most common requests for custom embroidery?
Linda’s customer base is from the business and residential community.
Business logos embroidered on polo shirts, jackets, and aprons are all very popular. But really, the sky’s the limit, shares Linda. Images may be embroidered on anything from golf bags, tote bags, chair backs, or hats. Personalize school uniforms or backpacks so the kiddos never lose their stuff again. Customize towels or linens for wedding gifts, or infant items for baby shower presents with a thoughtful touch.
Bridal sashes embroidered with the bride’s new name are a fun trend she’s seen recently.
In addition to pre-made items, Linda has personalized hand sewn items such as quilts. Embroidering a special message on a hand sewn quilt adds the extra touch people are looking for, she explains.
What exactly is machine embroidery?
Machine embroidery is a very precise process. Embroidery is generally placed on the left chest, right chest, or back of the garment, shares Linda. Each placement has a general not-to-exceed size. In addition to size, each specific placement has its own set of rules. For example, a left chest placement is generally X inches from the shoulder seam and X inches from center front, and so on, she explains. The precision of this hooping system allows for the ability to duplicate multiple orders and have a uniform look. You don’t want your soccer players running around with their team logo in different places on each shirt!
What do customers need to provide to their embroiderer?
- Provide or order the garment(s) you want the image on
- Provide the image or logo to be embroidered
- Give instructions for where the image will be on the garment
- Specify thread colors for image
- Sit back and wait for your gorgeous order to be completed
What happens with custom embroidery?
Custom embroidery is specific to the customer, and not a catalog image, explains Linda. Often her customers provide a .jpg file of the logo or photograph they want to use. Once Linda has received an image, she digitizes it to a language her commercial embroidery machine can read.
The commercial machine is threaded with multiple thread colors, the embroidery file is loaded to the machine, the item is stabilized and hooped and the embroidery begins. Once the machine has completed the design, the hoop is removed from machine, threads and stabilizers are trimmed, and then a quality check is performed. She then packages the item for you, the customer, and you have your new embroidered jeans!
What are average costs for different projects?
Embroidery is charged by each 1000 stitches of a given design, explains Linda. To digitize and embroidery 2 garments usually runs $45 – $65, she shares. The pricing generally remains the same on larger job, only the quantities increase. You may be able to receive a discount for bulk embroidery, so ask your prospective embroiderer about options!
Photos of pets are popular items for embroidery
Does embroidery work better on some materials than others?
All designs are not the same. The density of the design generally denotes what type of fabric can properly support it. Linda uses the term “bullet proof” when the embroidery design is so dense it can’t move with the fabric. She’d avoid pairing this type of design with a thin or delicate fabric. However, she says, most fabrics can accommodate embroidery, the secret is in the stabilization of the garment during embroidery.
What are ways clients may not know they can use custom embroidery?
Having embroidery done on any item increases the value and the professionalism of the garment, according to Linda. Embroidery doesn’t wash out, doesn’t fade, and should never shrink, she says. Embroidery doesn’t care if you throw it in the washer and dryer. In most cases, embroidery will outlast the actual garment. Sounds crazy, Linda says, but it’s true!
Any other advice for would-be embroidery customers?
There is so much more to embroidery than the price, shares Linda. She suggests you take time to look at websites and photos and read reviews. Have a conversation with the potential company so you make an informed decision before you commit. Things to consider are quality of thread, type of thread, and the type of stabilizer they use. These make all the difference in a quality outcome.
[Photos via Linda Salter of Aunt Linda’s Closet: Machine Embroidery]