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Embroidery is an amazing craft and a great way to express your creativity. But, as with any new hobby, there are bound to be some questions when you’re just getting started in embroidery. From knowing how to wash already embroidered garments, to choosing the right thread, here are ten questions someone might ask when beginning embroidery.
The type of thread you choose is essential for creating a successful project. You should always strive to buy high quality thread. (or the highest quality thread you can afford.) Opting for a low-quality option can not only make your design look low-quality but also damage or weaken materials.
When selecting thread for embroidery projects, the end-use of the item should be considered.
Rayon and Sensa threads are best suited to items that will not be exposed to harsh chemicals, such as chlorine pools or dry cleaning agents. Be sure to research the various kinds of threads available to embroiderers so that you choose the best thread for your project.
Ultimately, choosing a suitable fabric ensures beautiful results with lasting durability. The color choice then depends entirely on your personal preference. For more detailed information on this subject view this blog on selecting the right thread
Generally, fabric type considerations with embroidery has little to do with fiber content such as cotton, rayon, polyester, wool, and much more to do with fabric construction itself.
For instance, linen always has a woven construction, but cotton fabrics can be either wovens or knits. So fiber content is not as relevant as novice embroiderers think; it’s mostly about the way the fabric is put together. Outside of non-fabrics like vinyl and leather, most fabrics are broken down into either woven construction or knit construction.
Most wovens are generally stable fabrics and are constructed with a basket-weave over and under warp and woof pattern. Believe it or not; denim, twill, towels, nylon straps, sheets, broadcloth, oxford, satin, and canvas are all wovens.
Knits, on the other hand, are stretchy and flex in every direction, and are constructed as a chain link matrix like a crocheted or knit afghan, only much, much smaller.
They are highly flexible and certain care needs to be taken when embroidering on them because they are inherently unstable. T-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies and sweatpants, performance wear, bike shorts, winter hats and mittens, some fleece blanketing, are all knits.
Most thread types can be stitched without issue on most of these fabrics most of the time with excellent results. The big issue is that knits and wovens have very different requirements when it comes to backing stabilization and needle choice.
Using the wrong backing or needle for the fabric type will make or break the embroidery. As you become more experienced in embroidery, you will be able to easily identify knits and wovens and will learn which backings and needles are required for them.
One of the most common causes of fraying or puckering in machine embroidery is using the wrong stabilizer. Avoid puckering or designs warping out of shape after washing and keep the fabric looking remarkable with the help of proper stabilization.
Stabilization helps maintain a smooth shape for more intricate designs, especially ones on stretchy materials like knits - use cut-away backings to ensure maximum stability!
Another possible cause of fraying or puckering is using the wrong needle. Embroidery needles come in different sizes and types, and using the wrong needle can cause all sorts of problems, including fraying and puckering.
Make sure you're using the correct needle for the fabric and thread you're using, and replace your needle frequently to avoid dulling. This leads us to our next point..
Embroidery needles come in a variety of sizes and points to suit any project! When selecting the right one, two factors should be considered - thread weight (thickness) which governs needle size, and fabric construction which dictates point type.
The standard thread weight used for most embroidery is 40-weight, and because of that, the 75/11 needle is the most commonly recommended size to use with 40-weight thread, so it’s never a bad idea to stock up on those.
If you are planning to embroider on all kinds of garments, you’ll likely want your most common needle sizes in the two basic point types. Embroidery needles come in either ballpoints or sharps, and it’s vital to use the right point type.
Use a sharp point on a stretchy knit, and you’ll end up cutting holes in the fabric, which will sometimes surprise you and often don’t become evident until after only one or two washings.
Don’t bother to replace your ballpoint with a sharp when doing caps or heavier twill farm jackets, and you’ll wonder why your needles are breaking. To avoid these kinds of disasters, know which point type to install for each embroidery project.
There are many different types of machines available for commercial machine embroidery, ranging from single-head machines for small businesses to multi-head machines for larger commercial operations.
Some factors to consider when choosing a machine include the size of the designs you plan to stitch, the thickness of the fabric you plan to use, and the speed and precision you require.
There are pros and cons of single-needle versus multi-needle embroidery machines. If the design changes color you would have to swap it for every color change, which takes time. If you have a multi-needle machine it saves a lot in production time.
Hooping is an essential skill for creating machine embroidery, and learning how to hoop different kinds of fabrics correctly will help you create high-quality embroidery projects. An affordable, but essential item for achieving the perfect fabric tension is an embroidery hoop.
You never want to hoop without a suitable stabilizer for your garment. Learning how to hoop has its challenges but it will get easier with practice. Hooping with a stabilizer on the bottom and a garment on the top should be done all at one time.
You do not want to be pulling the fabric after the fact. Adjusting the tension screw on the hoop will be necessary until you have found the correct tightness. Your goal is for the material to be taut but not stretched, leaving little to no movement while it is being embroidered at the machine.
One thing that's important that beginners might not know is that you should choose your hoop based on your design, and always use the smallest one available that fits the design. This reduces the amount of movement that can occur during the embroidery process.
Most machines offer three different sizes for the left chest logos. These round hoops provide even tension all around. The larger square and rectangular hoops are great for jacket backs and full-front sweatshirt designs. We advise that you invest in a few different sizes of hoops.
There are many third-party hoop suppliers that specialize in magnetic and clamping systems - which can be helpful for specialty jobs. We also recommend that you try to get a cap frame as well.
Absolutely yes! Keeping even thread tension throughout your embroidery is essential if you want clean lines and professional-looking results. Don't let poor tension ruin your masterpiece and cause you more trouble.
If your thread tensions aren’t correct you could experience such bothersome problems such as birdnesting, thread breaks, or jagged-looking stitching. The jagged-looking stitching and looping occurs when bobbin thread pulls up onto the topside of the garment you’re working on.
Remember to adjust the bobbin thread before setting top tensions and check on it every time you replace your bobbin. This will ensure a beautiful stitch result with no ugly loops or broken threads in sight.
Machine tension is a balance between the top thread and the bottom thread. Quality embroidery designs are achieved when tension is set properly, there is no looping on the top, and there is no bobbin thread showing on the top. A simple test design will show ⅓ of the bobbin seen on the reverse side of a satin column stitch.
If your embroidery thread tension is spot-on, you'll notice three sections on the back of your masterpiece – a center section made up of white bobbin threads and two outer sections embracing it with top thread. Perfect!
Want to make money with your creative work? Machine embroidery is an appealing industry that allows you to show off your style and earn some major rewards.
Just like anything else, you will need to do the research, sink some funds into it, and don't forget those long hours – it will all pay off! The combination of all three will open up the door for success.
Some of the factors that impact profitability:
There are so many sources of inspiration for embroidery projects – from books to Embroidery Facebook groups and Pinterest boards! Another thing you can do is go on Instagram and search for the hashtag embroidery or hashtag embroidery designs.
You can sift through the top results and view the different ways that people and businesses are using thread. You can even reach out to them and form a relationship.
Photo credit: @artyardart
Take some time to explore different ideas and find something that really speaks to you and then get stitching. Starting any new hobby can be intimidating - but don't let that stop you from trying something new!
With some practice - patience - plus a little bit of research - anyone can pick up this creative craft easily enough. By asking yourself these ten questions when beginning embroidery - you'll have all the tools necessary for success at hand.