Using Embroidery to Bring Your Design to Life

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.

Dense Designs

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.

Delicate Designs

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.

Lock Stitches

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.

Starting Production

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.

Our Experience

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:

  • T-shirts
  • Polos
  • Sweatshirts
  • Jackets
  • Hoodies
  • Fleeces
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Tote Bags
  • Handbags
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • And more!

Count on us for all your custom embroidered apparel needs! Contact us or call us today at (800) 433-0983 to get a quote. We look forward to working with you!














corporate apparel

8 Things Your Boss Needs to Know About Corporate Apparel

Establish an Identity

The importance of corporate apparel cannot be overstated. It presents a unified front, shows professionalism, and promotes brand awareness. These benefits make it paramount for your boss to know what corporate apparel can do for your business and brand. So, what exactly should your boss know about corporate apparel?

People have strong reactions to “uniforms.” Doctors in white lab coats garner respect. The police establish authority with their badges and octagonal hats. We wave to mail carriers and we nod to soldiers wearing camouflage and thank them for serving our country.

The apparel garnered in these professions has established identities synonymous with the service the people who wear them provide. In these professions, the work apparel conveys an image representing the larger organization and has become iconic.

These apparel/brand relationships took time to develop, but ultimately they became memorable.  In the same sense, corporate apparel can help brand your business and establish or strengthen your relationship with customers, especially with repeated, consistent exposure. Likewise, corporate apparel can bring a group of employees or teammates together.

Indeed, whether you work for a business or are part of a non-profit organization, the benefits of corporate apparel apply to businesses and organizations of any size.

Here are 8 things corporate apparel can do:

  1. Promote your brand
  2. Allow others to advertise for you
  3. Support employee unity
  4. Encourage employee collaboration
  5. Foster a work environment of equality
  6. Assert professionalism
  7. Synergize brand identity
  8. Contribute to an effective strategy

1. Promote your brand

Consumers today are savvy to advertising and don’t like to feel manipulated. This makes the word-of-mouth approach to business all the more important. A Nielsen study revealed 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing more than any other form of advertising.

If you do it right and develop a compelling brand logo with corresponding corporate apparel, people will seek out information about your company instead of the other way around. A compelling story also doesn’t hurt. Get people talking about your brand and reinforce it with exposure through corporate apparel. Clothing functions similarly to word-of-mouth advertising in that an actual person vouches for the brand, rather than an actor or a slick ad. Word of mouth creating a buzz paired with clothing to support the buzz is key to getting your brand recognized.

Keep in mind that, besides your brand name sewn or printed on the clothing, the apparel itself communicates a message. Polo shirts suggest professionalism, while T-shirts are more appropriate for brands with a casual image. You don’t want to confuse potential customers about who you are by having an inconsistent identity.

Uniforms also reinforce trust and establish familiarity with customers. People like knowing what they’re going to get. Just look at McDonald’s and Starbucks across the globe. People appreciate consistency.

The bottom line, however, is that the more people who see your brand, the better – and the more impact your brand will have.

2. Allow others to advertise for you

Corporate apparel promotes your business outside of the company. If you already have a fan base it lets your brand advocates, also known as brand ambassadors, promote your company for you. Make their job as easy as possible!

Offer corporate apparel that can start a conversation about your business. Get creative. All the thought that goes into making Super Bowl ads pays off as the next day people talk about them at the water cooler. People who haven’t seen the ad might even seek it out on YouTube and post it on their Facebook page. Putting careful thought into your brand strategy might seem time consuming, but it can also pay off big time.

As with fans of the brand, when employees walk around they are promoting your company’s brand. Exposure leads to brand recognition and ultimately brand loyalty. So, why not seize every opportunity to get more exposure for your business?

3. Support employee unity

Not only does corporate apparel present a united front, it also makes employees feel united. This is especially important if you hold an event for employees and your business has multiple locations with staff who haven’t met each other. If employees are dressed similarly they feel a sense of belonging. This lifts team spirit and inspires a positive attitude among employees as well as company loyalty. The result is colleagues working together to achieve business goals.

When people wear their own clothes, the clothes function to define the person wearing the attire. The clothes highlight the person’s individuality. However, donning the same clothing puts the attention on the group. For example, orchestras wear all black so audiences concentrate on the music rather than individual musicians’ fashion statements.

Corporate apparel can also be used as one of the perks of the job. In some organizations, receiving a uniform is an honor. It signifies that an employee has reached a high achievement and is well regarded enough to represent the company. More practically, corporate apparel saves employees time and money, as they do not have to spend money or decide what to wear every day.

4. Encourage employee collaboration

This unity creates an environment for collaboration to thrive. When employees feel more unified, they are more apt to feel comfortable communicating and collaborating on projects.

5. Foster a work environment of equality

Corporate apparel creates a caring environment. It functions as the great equalizer, putting employees on a more equal level. Employees feel a greater sense that they are in it together, which ultimately benefits the company.

Similar to the debate over school uniforms, consultants debate corporate apparel’s effects on employees. Many experts view identical clothing as an equalizer. Without clothing sending messages of hierarchy, there is more focus on conversation and ideas rather than rank. This outcome is one of the best reasons for investing in corporate apparel.

6. Assert professionalism

Corporate apparel promotes professionalism. When a person wears clothes they often transform. Like an actor wearing a costume, employees step into the professional roles their work demands.

This is especially important in industries such as retail stores, hospitals, and restaurants which demand brand exposure that puts customers at ease.

When customers see the uniform it also lends an authority to your employees. Customers view your employees differently. By wearing corporate apparel, employees appear more official, both to customers and the employees themselves. For practical purposes, it also makes staff easily identifiable so customers can efficiently ask for assistance.

7. Synergize brand identity

Corporate apparel promotes brand identity. Ultimately, your brick-and-mortar store, your online presence, and any printed materials should coordinate with your corporate apparel to promote a consistent message across your brand. Keeping this in mind, when you select apparel, make sure it ultimately suits your particular business. Our designers here at T.R. McTaggart can help you through this process.

8. Contribute to an effective strategy

So, you’re convinced that your business should invest in corporate apparel, but what clothing items would be most effective?

Ask the employees. Whatever they will wear out and about the most will give you the most mileage for your money.

Whether your uniforms are formal or informal, consider providing a variety of corporate-branded apparel items to employees to fit their sense of style, their body type, and the weather conditions in their geographical area.

If you are also planning to give away apparel at a tradeshow or other promotional event, consider past consumer behavior. According to a Global Advertising Specialties Impression Study by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), promotional products kept by U.S. recipients breaks down as:

  • 58% T-shirts
  • 50% Outerwear
  • 41% Caps and headwear
  • 33% Polo shirts
  • 27% Performance wear

This list is consistent with industry trends.

Common corporate apparel includes:

  • Shirts (polos, t-shirts, oxfords)
  • Outerwear
  • Hats or visors

Note, a recent trend is “Made in the USA” products, so consider the country of origin label when choosing corporate apparel.

Make the brand identity yours

Work apparel can establish authority or be fun and link that fun to the brand. For example, firefighters have functional apparel that immediately communicates who they are to the public. On the other hand, clothing stores might have employees wear clothes the store sells. Bars and restaurants often have T-shirts with the brand’s logo that bartenders and wait staff wear.

The logo that is worn on corporate apparel is just as important as the style of the apparel, if not more. Make sure to be thoughtful when you establish a logo; once you establish a brand it’s easier to keep it and promote it than to try to re-brand yourself.

McDonald’s, Mickey Mouse, Coca-Cola… these are powerful brands. The combination of their colors, typography, and logo make them instantly recognizable to millions of people worldwide. This brand recognition, and the emotional reaction people often have to them, didn’t happen by accident. It took a lot of planning and years of fostering a brand image. So, now it’s time to get to work!

The take away

Corporate apparel with your logo on it serves as advertising to reinforce brand loyalty with your customers. You can cross promote your website with your work apparel, forming a cohesive message defining your brand.

Corporate apparel plays a big role in advertising your business. If you tell your boss these eight cases for investing in corporate apparel, he or she will be glad the office door was open!

Trust T.R. McTaggart for all of your corporate apparel needs

T.R. McTaggart has been providing quality corporate apparel for nearly four decades. Let our expertise in providing corporate apparel support and improve your brand by contacting us today!

We also offer a free online store service that allows employees to buy your company’s branded apparel 24/7 from your very own custom online store. So don’t forget to also tell your boss about this valuable service (okay, so we slipped in a ninth).

Contact us today to discuss your needs in greater detail or to request a quote. We look forward to hearing from you!











custom online store

Why You Need a Custom Online Store for Your Employees

Stop the Hassle

With a busy workplace, the last thing you want to do is add another thing to worry about. However, like rain in the spring and snow in the winter (at least in Michigan), some things never change: Employees still need uniforms. So, instead of passing out a catalog to employees once or twice per year and collecting their style, color, and size as they hand you money or a check – why not have a custom online store that employees can shop from? An online store simplifies the process and frees you from the hassle of organizing the clothing order. An online store provides easy access to employee uniforms where employees can purchase corporate branded merchandise on demand.

Starting a traditional online store, however, takes a lot of work and money. You would need to hire a web designer, find a host for your website, and hire someone to manage packing and shipping of merchandise. You would also need an accountant and you would want to hire a lawyer to write your privacy policy, terms and conditions, and returns and refunds policy.

If only there were an easier way…

What Is a Custom Online Store?

A custom online store is an online platform that allows members to purchase branded items on demand directly from the store that provides them.

At T.R. McTaggart, we can set up a custom online store to provide branded merchandise and handle your distribution needs.


Amazon, Airbnb, Uber … Customers, especially the younger generation that grew up with computers, expect shopping to be at their fingertips and on demand. A custom online store caters to this market. Goodbye paper forms; it’s time to embrace change.

The 21st century has seen an extraordinary amount of innovation in technology – so take advantage of this and use it to improve your company.

Easy to maintain

You never even have to come into contact with the actual product. A custom online store is easy to set up and then we handle the rest, including stocking, taking orders, processing payments, and shipping. This will save you a lot of time. We worry about the details so you can concentrate on what you do.

Many types of businesses can benefit:

  • Sports teams
  • Athletic departments
  • Corporations
  • Small businesses
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Churches
  • And more!

Benefits for sports teams

A custom online store is useful for sports teams. Instead of keeping track of paper order forms and collecting and counting the money to put in a lock box, you can pick what items you want to offer in your online store.

No more hounding students to remember their order forms!

Players pay individually online and you sit back and focus on strategy for the upcoming game. In fact, coaches spend 78% less time managing orders by using a custom online store.

Friends and family of organizations

A custom online store also makes it easier for parents and friends of the team to get their branded apparel to support the team. If there is a school spirit store at your school, parents’ and friends’ schedules might not align with business hours. It discourages sales if people have to make an extra effort to make purchases.

However, with a custom online store, if fans want to get decked out for the big game, they don’t have to worry about a long wait before they get their gear as orders are physically collected. In fact, they don’t even have to wait in line at the store! This can increase purchases and lift team spirit. It’s a win-win-win.


Better yet, you can also use the custom online store to fundraise for your team or nonprofit organization by selling your branded apparel and allocating some of the money to the cause.

You can also decide if you want your virtual store to close and when. Sometimes deadlines motivate people to act and make their purchases, rather than putting it off to a later date.

Work uniforms

Once per year you get a catalog, take orders, and collect money. You get all your employees outfitted in branded-wear for your business … and then next month you hire another team member.

A custom online store will provide easy access to employee uniforms. This makes it easy for new employees to get up to speed with not just the work culture, but the clothes that go with it. Further, veteran employees can purchase corporate branded merchandise to replace old items at their leisure. Everyone fits in and looks polished.

Increase Your Business Presence

Employees wearing branded clothing and other gear outside the workplace can serve as a form of advertising. If workers wear their uniforms outside of work or carry around branded merchandise it expands your business’ presence. Offering useful items increases the likelihood of your employees wearing branded items in public.

One way to encourage employees to buy more branded items is to consider subsidizing the cost. If a polo shirt in your custom online store costs the same as a regular polo shirt, most employees will probably buy the unbranded one. The exception is if your company is a hip record store, a coffee shop, an iconic brand, or a nonprofit.

There are other exceptions too. However, think realistically. If you deal business to business, it is less likely that employees will buy logo wear. However, if employees can get a good deal, they might be willing to be a walking billboard for your business.

Also consider using branded merchandise as a gift or reward to increase your presence around town.

You can offer a variety of items for purchase in your custom online store:

  • Jerseys
  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Jackets
  • Hats
  • Visors
  • Scarves
  • And more!

We also offer a variety of applications:

  • Screen printing
  • Embroidery
  • Dye sublimation
  • Laser etching

T.R. McTaggart’s custom online store service is also set up to make things personalized.

We offer:

  • Player names
  • Roster numbers
  • Branded gear

Sell non-clothing items emblazoned with your brand as well

For example, tumblers, umbrellas, and tote bags would be items people would be apt to carry around in public, increasing exposure of your brand. People carry tumblers to work and tote bags prominently display brand names.

In sum:

  • Tumblers
  • Umbrellas
  • Tote bags

The key benefits of having a custom online store:

  • Convenient for employers
  • Convenient for employees or team members
  • Processing orders is easy
  • Easier to keep up with demand
  • Employees or team members can order 24/7
  • Offers control, transparency, and visibility for fundraising
  • Limits financial liabilities by eliminating checks and paper order forms
  • Offers a wide selection of products
  • Promotes sales year round
  • You have the option to close the virtual store at a specific date
  • Employees can pay individually or with coupon codes
  • Detailed order reporting available to management
  • R. McTaggart provides all these services! Some companies charge anywhere from $10 to $700 per month to run a customized store. We do it for free!

In summary, having a custom online store with us is free and most likely to be faster and more convenient.

Contact Us Today

Contact T.R. McTaggart today to work with us to create your custom online store. Call us at (800) 433-0983 or visit the Online Stores page on our website.

We look forward to helping you set up shop!