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Information on Using Custom Embroidery for Promotional Branding

Embroidery of Promotional Garments & Products

For garments, baseball caps and soft luggage and bags embroidery has proven over the years to be the most versatile and stylish option available. Embroidery has the advantage of providing texture and dimension as well as permitting multiple colours and positioning of logos at a lower cost per impression.

Embroidery, unlike other branding techniques, is charged by the stitch. This is independent of the different thread colours which may be used. In traditional pad printing, as an example, each colour which is added attracts a plate fee and an impression fee. Consequently many cheaper products are branded in one colour to prevent the cost of logo printing exceeding the value of the product itself. This is not the case with embroidery where a single set-up charge covers the entire branding process. It's for this reason that many people prefer embroidery over a printed logo.

Technical Development of Embroidery Systems

Traditionally embroidery was a craft perfected over centuries by a number of Eastern cultures. These days automation has reduced the cost and time spent on reproducing a piece of artwork or logo with high speed machines working at a rate of hundreds of stitches a minute. To successfully reproduce a logo using one of the modern automated devices first the product or substrate must be placed in a jig which allows the surface to be held at a constant tension without wrinkles or distortions. This permits an orderly and regular stitching pattern to be applied and ensures the logo does not "pull" or otherwise distort the fabric once the process is complete and it is worn or utilised in a work environment.

Computerisation of the embroidery process also permits greater accuracy and speed of production. To first prepare for embroidery the image which is to be applied must be "digitised" - that is the production of a code which guides the pattern which the needle follows. Much of the art of good embroidery can be found in this process, also in the density of the stitching which is laid down. The more stitches which are applied the longer the process and theoretically the greater the cost of logo reproduction. To save money it is possible to lower the stitch count however the inevitable result is a reduction in visible detail and greater individual stitch visibility which can affect the final appearance of the logo representation. For this reason an experienced operator is needed who is able to make a judgement, based on the artwork, as to what balance best suits the project on hand.

Thread Styles

Traditionally the great majority of threads used in embroidery are cotton based. Available in literally hundreds of different colour hues matching of exact PMS colours is not possible though the range of options available off the shelf are generally sufficient to match to the detail differences visible to the human eye. While some operators offer silk and rayon thread embroidery and these particular materials have some value in specific applications, cotton is the best option for ease of use, quality of finish and colour range availability.

Promotional Items Commonly Embroidered Include:

Shirts, Jackets and Bags