SwagTex | Embroidery, What Is It, And How It’s Done?

Running Stitch is used in traditional embroidery for lettering Image: SwagTex
Running Stitch is used in traditional embroidery for lettering
Image: SwagTex

The idea of embroidery is so common in our lives that we fail to notice it anymore. The stitching on our car seat and a baseball, the miniature horse logo on our shirts, the design on our bags, the company motto scribbled on a laptop case, sports uniform embroidery, all these are few examples of the application of embroidery in our daily lives.

The team at SwagTex specializes in custom apparel, and embroidery technique is the most sought-after service. We can create a custom design for various products, including garments, sneakers, caps, jackets, sportswear, handbags, metallic items, trophies, and medals. You can browse through our website to order online or visit our store in Berlin, New Jersey.

This post will guide you through the ABCs of embroidery. You will learn about the different embroidery types, methods, and how to create your digital designs for an exceptional custom embroidery product.

What Is Embroidery?

It is the process of decorating the fabric with the use of a needle and thread. The decoration is in a range of patterns and styles.  Since the invention of affordable digital embroidery machines and the easy availability of materials, everyone has coveted the embroidered merchandise.

Embroidered patch applique on the shirt
Custom embroidered patches appliqued on a winter jacket
Image: SwagTex

How To Digitalize Designs To Be Embroidered?

Before we look into how different embroidery types work, we will detail how your artwork gets transformed into digital files that can be read and executed by the embroidery software. Some designs may be too complicated for a specific type. You can determine if this is an issue through consultation with SwagTex expert graphic designers. The following three steps process is familiar to most digital embroidery machines being used in industry now.

Step 1: Vector Art

Not all customers bring in vector images for the text or pictures they desire to embroider. Vector is a type of digital file for logo embroidery, and it makes the foundation for developing an embroidery file later. A vector image improves image resolution and avoids ambiguity in the final design. If you have a high resolution .AI or .SVG file, you can certainly skip this step.

Converting Vector Image into Stitch File Image
Converting Vector Image into Stitch File
Image: SwagTex

Step 2: Stitch Files

The file has to be converted to a stitch file to run on the embroidery machine. It will specify the location, density, speed, and angle of each stitch. Good digitalizing differentiates between a neat finished design and a messy tangle of threads.

Step 3: Sampling

We have included an additional step for quality control and review. It guarantees SwagTex customers are pleased with the final product. We use specialized software to generate a virtual life-size mockup of the design. This sample is approved by the customer, who can alter the color, positioning, or size if they wish to.

Types Of Embroidery

-Traditional Embroidery

It is also known as flat embroidery and is offered by all custom embroidery shops located near you. You can use the digital machines to write words, sayings or draw images in multiple colors and thread patterns. The common stitches used for this embroidery include; running stitch, cross-stitch, straight stitch, etc. the process is relatively simple due to the advanced embroidery software. Once the design is digitalized, the machine is set up and the design is created onto the fabric. We have summarized the flat embroidery process below.

Embroidery Process:

1. Prepare The Accessories

The machine has separate parts, and a beautiful design begins with the correct preparation of equipment and the design materials. The most important items include; the table (a specific tool for the machine), the aluminum frame, backing paper, the clips, all the thread colors for the design, and the embroidery fabric.

2. Clip The Backing Paper

Fix the backing paper and the fabric to the aluminum frame. Use the clips on each of the four sides of the frame to keep the fabric and backing paper taut. If the size of the frame is large, more clips are required to prevent slipping of fabric.

3. Install The Table

The table is present to ensure the frame has a sufficient working area. It accommodates the frame size and prevents disruptions during the embroidery process.

4. Electronic Program Setup

Next, transfer the digital design pattern to machine software. The colors of the design are selected here, and the embroidery type is chosen. Once all the setup is complete machine is ready to begin its work.

5. Embroider Design

The software setup depends on the brand of the machine being used, but majority require similar settings such as frame size, type of embroidery, colors being used, fabric type. It will use different needle heads, switch between colors, adjust the stitch length and the stitch tension based on its software. The frame is automatically positioned to produce the specific designs.

6. Final Touches

Once the design is complete, remove the frame and separate the fabric. There will be extra threads joining the shapes that need to be trimmed by hand.

59Fifty custom fitted caps with Puff Embroidery
59Fifty custom fitted caps with Puff Embroidery
Image: CapSwag

-Puff Or Three-Dimensional Embroidery

Let’s see how our beloved fitted 59Fifty cap gets puff embroidered. We use Tajima machine at SwagTex. The process begins with adjusting the cap onto the stand and securing it in place. The fabric should be tight so it does not slip during the embroidery. Then we send the digital stitch file to the software and select appropriate settings for color and size. We like to run a trace; basically, the needle moves over the embroidery surface to show where the machine will place the design later. This step assists in perfect positioning and can be adjusted if required.

Next, we apply adhesive to attach the foam or puff to the cap surface temporarily. The machine starts embroidery using a running stitch. Within minutes the design is complete, the puff is then peeled off and you are left with an awesome 3D image! To remove any loose threads, use tweezers and a pair of sharp scissors.

NY Yankees fitted cap with 3D Lettering and embroidered applique patches
NY Yankees fitted cap with 3D Lettering and embroidered applique patches
Image: SwagTex

-Applique Embroidery

Applique is the French technique of layering different fabrics. This method adds a pop culture feature to the designs. You can switch between multiple fabrics. Machines can create an applique with twills, felt, vinyl, and leather materials. You can custom order embroidered patches to be appliqued to garments, sneakers, caps, jackets, or uniforms. We can applique other items at our shop in Berlin, New Jersey, such as handbags and labels, which are excellent personalized gifts.

The embroidering process initiates with framing the base fabric or any apparel to be customized. The layering design is similar to painting a picture, it starts with the background, and subsequent layers are added to create shadows, outlines, and depth. These layers are laser cut for precision, to give a neat finish and prevent fraying on the edges. The machine uses a zigzag stitch or a straight stitch on these layers’ edges to attach them to the fabric.

Custom digital embroider designs on different fabrics
Custom digital embroider designs on different fabrics
Image: SwagTex

-Chenille Embroidery

Try out Chenille embroidery if you are searching for a luxurious look. Chenille fabrics are woven in right angles to create tufts of fabric that stand on end. The softness of the look makes a fashion statement unparalleled to regular retail garments.

Digital machines require thicker thread for Chinelli embroidery that gives it texture. The most common type of stitch used is loop stitch, which produces a raised look similar to a rug or a towel. If you decide to order Chinelli embroidery on your sweatshirt, first, the shirt is clipped onto the frame and fixed in the machine. Then the design is fed into the software. The machine begins by drawing an outline and then filling inside those shapes with loop stitches. You can snip off the extra threads at the end, and the sweatshirt is ready to be worn out.

-Cord Embroidery

We have created timeless pieces through cord embroidery. The cords come in varying widths, colors, and textures, which are fed through the machine. For this embroidery technique, a particular needle head has to be applied to shape the cord, so that the needle can sew around it through the fabric. The fabric strength is an essential factor here; the material must be strong enough, such as denim fabric. Otherwise, there are chances of the design getting wrinkled at the end or the fabric ripping.

-Sequin Embroidery

Sequins are shiny plastic disks with reflective holographic surfaces; they come in numerous colors and sizes. They are fed into the machines and can be used to create beautiful patterns. The embroidery process is similar to the traditional embroidery setup; the only difference is adding a sequin spool to the machine. It feeds the machine with sequins to be threaded onto the fabric. After the design is finalized and transferred to the software, the device works independently of any human input.

Tajima Digital Embroidery Machine to create Custom Apparel at SwagTex
Tajima Digital Embroidery Machine to create Custom Apparel at SwagTex
Image: SwagTex

Fabrics For Embroidery

Through years of experience working with name brands, we have perfected embroidery techniques on multiple fabrics, whether they are standard polyester uniforms for trained professionals or comfortable cotton jackets for your employees working in the kitchen. If you prefer name tags embroidered on your sportswear, generally spandex and knit fabrics, we will get it done. You do not have to waste valuable money and time testing clothes printing and embroidery shops near you.

Contemporary embroidery has morphed from a decoration technique to a creative outlet.  It is a method for an individual to express themselves. Check out amazing content at our Youtube Channel Capswagusa and comment what you will custom embroider at SwagTex first!

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