Breathe Life Into Your Design
While the typical go-to option for shirt embellishment is screen printing, embroidery is a form that might be perfect for your design. Since the thread is raised above the shirt to create the design, it has a physicality that brings the design to life. While one could argue that screen printing has the ink applied on top of the shirt, embroidery uses thread to make the design sculptural. The direction of the thread can adds detail. Custom embroidered apparel is not to be overlooked!
Filled with Inspiration
Embroidery is ubiquitous. Anya Hindmarch, Gucci, and Clio Peppiatt have all featured embroidery on the runway.
Today’s embroiderers find inspiration from nature, animals, and even Russia tsars’ clothing and French samplers displaying the alphabet. In other words, just about anything!
Make It Special
Custom embroidered apparel stands out. Although it is still an image, embroidered images look more tangible. The rounded bumps you can touch give embroidery a 3-dimentional look. People walking down the street can see it more vividly. This multidimensionality makes the design pop.
Things to Consider
Where do you want it?
You’ve chosen a design and picked out the garment(s) to feature your embroidered design, but where will you place it on the garment(s)? Embroidery can be conducted full-back (duck-cloth jackets only) or via chest sized logo that can go on the right or left chest, sleeves, or locker patch (i.e. under neck line, etc.).
One of the key benefits of embroidery is that offers unique placements for designs that you can’t always accomplish through screen printing?
What Fabric is Right for My Design?
It depends. Some designs are better paired with particular types of fabric. Find out the fabric’s weight and weave and consult with T.R. McTaggart for any questions you may have.
If your design is dense and you can barely bend it, the embellishment will put stress on knits and lightweight or loosely-woven fabrics. A dense design might also look strange on fabrics that drape (unless you’re going for an avant-garde look!). Medium or heavyweight fabrics would be your best bet for offering the proper support to your design.
Pairing a delicate design with fleece or terry cloth might work well for dense designs, but not small spacious ones. The design can become lost in the fabric, and what’s the point of adding an embellishment if you can’t see it? However, apply this design on a smooth plain-weave fabric and your effort will show.
Plain weave is the most popular textile weave. Filling yarn weaves over and under each warp yarn, alternating rows. This process produces a lot of intersections.
How It’s Done
The steps for monogram underlay stitching include a central running stitch to form the backbone.
Another running stitch follows the outline of the letter’s shape, about 0.5 mm from the edge. This added structure makes the final stitching you see when you look at the garment looking smooth.
An open column stitch of approximately 10% density ties the rest of the underlay together and gives the finished satin stitch a the rounded quality you see on embroidered shirts.
A lock stitch is small group of stitches, close together and crossing each other. This is important to finish off the product.
At this point, your design is perfect. So, you’re all good to go, right?
Even at this stage there are more important decisions to make. The color of the fabric is vitally important.
The background color of your apparel can either complement or detract from your design. A bold color can drown out a subtle pastel design. A color similar to color in the design will showcase that part of the design. The background color will determine how the design itself looks.
Artist Josef Albers studied the interaction of color and found that the same color on different backgrounds makes it appear that the colors are different. We don’t see colors by themselves, but rather in relationship to one another. Change one color in the design or the background and you can radically change the look of the outcome.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Will the design’s density significantly affect the fabric?
- Does the fabric’s color, weight, and texture work together?
- Could altering the design’s color resolve a discordance?
- Would a reinforcement help or make it work?
Always using a backing is best, but certain designs might work without a backing if you choose stable, tightly-woven fabrics like organza or terry-cloth toweling.
Puckering and Distortion
Puckering and distortion occur when designs are too dense for their fabric. A large design is not compatible with knits or lightweight fabrics that drape. Since knits stretch horizontally, a vertical design will pull the knit up and down along its horizontal axis, causing the sweater to pucker. Add a backing to prevent this fate.
The Embroidery Process
In the Digital Age
Once you have your artwork ready, the design is then digitized. At T.R. McTaggart, we use a third part source that specializes in translating your 2-dimensional design into a sequence of stitches, taking into account speed, sequencing, color, and stitch length. This ensures complete accuracy in the embroidery process and is typical practice within the industry.
The process is a combination of machine automation and hands-on craftsmanship by our experienced staff. We load a spool of thread for each color and program the machine to sew the design. We hoop the garments to ensure the embroidered design is clean on the fabric, and re-loaded it into the machine. Then, we un-hoop the apparel and remove the stabilizer if applicable. Finally, we hand steam the hoop rings out of the garment.
At T.R. McTaggart we offer myriad thread colors, employ cutting-edge embroidery technology, and charge our experienced staff with producing the highest quality embroidered products in the industry. Our quality control processes ensure you don’t have to sacrifice durability for creativity. Our embroidery techniques will keep your logo in place for years to come.
This explains why for decades we have supplied high-quality embroidery items for a variety of businesses, organizations, and groups across the nation.
So, let’s get started! Make a big statement using simple thread to achieve your desired look!
Let’s Get to Stitching!
T.R. McTaggart follows a rigorous quality-control process to ensure precision in making your design come to life.
We provide custom embroidery on apparel and gift items, including:
- Tote Bags
- And more!