Garment Embroidery Jargon Buster

Garment Embroidery Jargon Buster

To help you understand the world of embroidery branding for clothing here are a few of the most common words that we use within the branded clothing & promo industry. It will help you get a more in-depth understanding of the processes involved in producing superior quality embroidery product that often outlasts the clothing it is stitched onto.

Embroidery – generally speaking, is stitches of various types of threads applied to a fabric material to create a design, logo or text via hand or machines methods.

Machine Embroidery – there are quite a few versions of embroidery but the main one for putting logos onto clothing & promotional items is the machine embroidery method. This can be split into two forms. Freehand machine embroidery or Digitized Industrial embroidery (often called commercial embroidery) Sorry to disappoint you, but we don’t do it all by hand.

Free Hand machine embroidery is often used as an artform and craft-based method. This method will use a sewing machine to ‘freestyle’ the design usually using domestic machines. This method can create some very detailed multi-coloured Stunning finished pieces and usually only uses one needle domestic machine.

Industrial Machine Embroidery uses a machine that is programmed with a digitized logo design created in specialist software. The industrial machines can be single needle right up to 20 needles on one machine head. These machines can have multiple heads so more than one design is stitched at the same time. The number of needles equals the number of colours in the design. There are ways to extend the number of colours per design but that is covered later in the more in-depth blog.

Industrial machines make it easy to change colours in the designs to suit different coloured backgrounds or clothing. It's as easy a pressing a few buttons as most logos usually only have a few colours in the design and the machines can hold more than the colours needed.

Industrial multi-head embroidery machines have the capacity to produce multiply logos in a very short space of time and the technology behind them is expanding very fast. Our new machines are all connected via Wi-Fi so we can send the designs directly from the computer in the next-door office. When I first started out on this journey, designs were saved on to 5” floppy disc. Now, who remembers them! I’m not as old as the people who remember ‘punching’ the designs out on cards and feeding them into the machines though!

Digitizing or Digitising depending on where you are from this is how we can get your logo into the embroidery machine. We use Wilcom software the most well-known and in my eyes the best on the market. The software is used to create digitized logo design (computer file). It a specialised piece of software that you use to redraw the design in stitches. Digitizing is a highly specialized skill and takes many years to master. I have been digitising for 20 years and still learning every day and still see myself a beginner compared to some of the masters of this art form whose sole job is creating embroidery logos.

This is one of the key parts to the whole process of producing top quality embroidery onto your clothing. The quality of this design work is the most fundamental part of the speed the machines can run at and the quality of the stitching they produce. As the old saying goes put rubbish in, get rubbish out. This is very true when it comes to digitizing and logo design.

Set-up fee – This is a one-off cost to create your logo into the machine file. As mentioned above this takes years of practice to master. For a standard size chest logo, our fee is £20, this increases with more complex & larger designs. We can also give you a quote.