Embroidery is the handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. Embroidery is most often used on caps, hats, coats, blankets, dress shirts, denim, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn color
Much contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns "digitized" with embroidery software. In machine embroidery, different types of "fills" add texture and design to the finished work. Machine embroidery is used to add logos and monograms to business shirts or jackets, gifts, and team apparel as well as to decorate household linens, draperies, and decorator fabrics that mimic the elaborate hand embroidery of the past. (tip o' the hat to Wikipedia)
Costs of Embroidery
The cost to get an item embroidered is determined by the stitch count of the design, the cost to convert the design into a digitized, machine-readable image and the quantity of items to be embroidered. As with screen printing there is a one-time cost to set-up the design in a format that can be loaded into the computer-controlled embroidery machines. That cost depends on the starting point in your design, whether it’s a sketch on a napkin or something you select from our catalog of existing designs. In general larger designs have higher stitch counts but that’s not always the case. At Emerald Ink and Stitches we can give you an estimated stitch count based on the size and density of your design.
When to Use Embroidery
Embroidery allows you to create a more professional look which may be more appropriate for your purposes. Embroidery is effective on a wide range of fabrics where screen printing cannot be used effectively. Golf shirts, polo shirts, jackets, fleece vests, bags, caps, bathrobes, etc., all look better with embroidery. Embroidery will also last longer than screen printed images.
Some limitations of Embroidery
It’s difficult to do shading or fades using embroidery and very small text (less than ¼” high) will not be legible on most fabrics using embroidery. If you have either or both of these elements in your design you should consider modifying your design or using a screen print process.