Process & Service Information

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Embroidery information

Most attire, such as shirts, caps, jackets (including nylon and leather), ties, sweaters, and sweatshirts can be embroidered. Items that can be embroidered include bath towels, linens and patches.

If something isn’t listed above, that doesn’t mean we can’t do it ~ but more likely that we just didn’t list it. If you have questions about having something embroidered, please ask. We are always happy to answer your questions.

How detailed can the personalization be?


Just as you will have font limitations on your personal computer, we have found it necessary to maintain limited font libraries. This means that we may not be able to match your font perfectly. However, we will make every effort to maintain the integrity of your design with a close font match.

As part of the digitizing process, letters sometimes must be digitized individually. Any alterations to letters, including a high number of color changes, trims, and arched or bridge lettering require more preparation and completion time and are therefore priced accordingly.

What is the embroidery process?

Embroidery machines, like plotters, have various commands including needle up, needle down, color change, and pattern definition (x and y motion) of the embroidery surface. Some machines, properly equipped with multiple needles and automatic thread trimmers, can also automatically change the thread color. While stitching speeds vary, we have found our best results are usually in the range of 400-800 stitches per minute. We will also apply those extra touches to the back and sides of caps upon request. Because curved surface embroidery has more limitations on the size of the embroidery, we have cap panel out programs, allowing a larger embroidery field. After the embroidery is applied, the caps are then assembled. The hoops used to stabilize the fabric are very similar in nature to cross stitch hoops.

For most materials, backing, key to quality embroidery, is used. This helps keep the material from drawing up both during and after the embroidery process. With some fabrics, such as lighter weight T-shirts, we may use multiple layers of backing. This layering provides stabilization during the embroidery process, and pays off after multiple washings or dry cleaning.

What is Digitizing?


Digitizing is also known as punching. Today’s digitizing process defines the types of stitches used by the embroidery machine. To digitize, artwork is placed on a digitizing board or scanned into the computer and points are plotted which define the stitch type. Some stitch types available are running stitches, satins and fills. These stitch types can be effectively combined to create a variety of looks and 3D textures. While technology advances have brought many changes to the embroidery process, direct conversions from a scanned image to embroidery with reasonable running times are still not possible. Scanning typically allows one to display the image on the screen and 'air punch' without a digitizing board. Depending on the intricacy of the design the digitizing process varies. Once the digitizing is complete, the customer is given a 'stitch out' to approve.

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With this many embroidery heads, we have a great deal of flexibility. They allow us to embroider nine garments with the same design, which keeps us from shying away from large volume orders; or with the four separate machines, we can work on four different orders, making it possible to reduce the turn around time for those smaller jobs.

One of our machines

How It All Works --Using Stock Designs

The machines can sew at a rate of 1000-1200 stitches per minute, however, they commonly run around 500-800 stitches per minute. This is only part of the technique, there are many steps to complete the procedure.

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First, a garment is ordered or brought in, to be embellished. A stock design is often selected — we have thousands of stock designs to choose from. We often add some text to the stock design to advertise the customer’s business. There are many stock fonts to choose from as well. Sometimes we try to closely match a business card or letterhead — sometimes we work off of a sketch on a napkin!

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Next comes setting up the design on the computer — making sure the spacing is just right, and the size will fit for the location on the garment. The design is perfected at this point, and either sent to the Melco machine which is directly connected to the computer, or saved onto a floppy disk for the Brother machines to embroider.

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Selecting the colors of thread, changing the needles to meet the needs of the fabric, all must precede the actual sewing of the garment. The machine must also be programmed to sew the design in the correct color sequence, changing thread colors at the appropriate points. There are other settings, as well, which need to be programmed.

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Before the garment can be sewn, a location must be marked to center with the machine needle, which always begins from the center of the design and travels to the first sewing location. Therefore, by finding the center of the design on the garment, and knowing the machine travels from the center, you are guaranteed that the design will be where you expect it to be.

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The next step is hooping the garment, with the center mark we just located, in the center of the hoop. Once this is done with the appropriate stabilizer included, the hooped garment is attached to the machine with special fasteners, and the design is traced within the hoop, to make sure it will not exceed the parameters of the hoop.

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At last, we are able to begin sewing the garment! The machine sews the design in sections of colors usually, however, sometimes the design will repeat a color later on within the process. Occasionally, during the embroidery process, a thread or two break. The operator of the machine must always be available to remedy this situation.

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Ahhh, but we aren’t done yet! Once the design is finished sewing, the stabilizer on the back must be trimmed, and some of the connecting threads must be trimmed. Lines that were used to mark the center must be removed, and the garment folded and prepared for deliver to the customer.

Well, it is faster than it used to be when all of this was done by hand, but be assured that we don’t just scan in a design, and say "go" to the machines. To complete an order of a single garment, from the time the customer comes in, till it is folded and ready for delivery, an average design takes an operator about one and a half to two hours. The best part is, however, that it is a lot of FUN!

Volume orders welcome.  
No order too small.

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