Many times, clients come to me who need a name or a monogram embroidered. Or they might need something else, a vision they want me to make come to life. Folks often ask me exactly what my process is, so I thought I would write a little about it.

First, I sit with clients and help them choose fonts or designs, as well as colors. I have a program I use to type in the name, font, initials, etc. Then I download the information to my embroidery machine (which is connected to my computer — isn’t technology wonderful?) and I select the design. Then I set the needle, hoop the item for the appropriate size hoop for the design and set it in the machine to start. Sounds simple, right? Okay, maybe not if you are not familiar with the machine or the steps required.

Embroidery nowadays is part tech-savvy and part old fashioned skill. The more manual part of my process comes into play when I hoop each item. Hooping is very important. It’s where I bind together the item I’m embroidering with the stabilizing fabric. If the item isn’t hooped properly, the fabric could pucker, the thread could break or the design might not line up properly. I am very experienced in this process, so I don’t run into many issues. Many times I am hooping and working on several projects simultaneously.

If the client is looking for a logo or a design, my process is a little more involved than it is for a simple monogram project. I first have to scan or download the design to my computer. If there is not a lot of detail, it is pretty easy to then download to my embroidery file. More detailed designs require me to manually clean up the design. When I clean up a design, it’s like filling in a piece of graph paper. Each square has its own color. If there is a lot of shading in the design, I will usually have to go through this part of the process.

Once I have the design cleaned up, I save it in the embroidery file, download it to the embroidery machine and do the same steps of selecting the needles and hooping the item.

You would be surprised at how much material (like thread) even very simple jobs require. Many clients want me to embroider on fabric they already have, but I still have to add stabilizing material to the embroidery. Different fabrics require different weight stabilizers, so I need to have that on hand, too.

As you might have noticed, the process can become quite long. However, it is one that I love, especially when I get to watch clients’ faces light up when they see the final product. Expressing clients’ ideas through embroidery is my passion. If you would like me to do that for you, contact me. I am happy to help.

-Teresa

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