This page is going to be a learning experience for you !
I would like to take this opportunity to explain a few of the basics that are involved in the embroidery process so that you, my valued
customer, can understand and make a more informed decision on what is and what is not:
when it comes to embroidery, be it a single item, or something for a team or club. I will try to address some of the most frequently asked
questions and misconceptions and if there is anything that I do not address, please feel free to contact me at any time so that I can give you the
information you need to make an informed and budget conscience decision.
Quality Embroidery is done on quality machines. My embroiderer uses machines that are worth upwards of $20,000.00 EACH and they are fully
computerized to allow for consistent quality and steady production. The machines are connected in rows of 12, 24, and 48 machines. Each row
is connected to it's own computer, so if one machine runs, the whole row runs, allowing them to embroider many items with the same design
at the same time. There is also a single machine, for the names and single items.
PRICING: Probably the first thing you want to know is "how much?" right ? Embroidery is based on what is called stitch count. Many places
charge a "flat" rate for certain design size groups. This often means that you are paying a little more for the smaller designs and just about the
right amount for the larger ones. I charge according to the actual stitch count. Stitch Count is generally charged in 1,000 stitch increments,
starting at 3,000 stitches. I am able to give quantity discounts with price breaks starting at 1-6 pieces as being the most pricey and then
discounts apply for 7-20 pieces, 21-40 pieces and all the way up to 250+ pieces.
WHAT IS STITCH COUNT?: Stitch count is pretty well what it sounds like, it is the number of total stitches in a given design. If you have a chance,
take a look at anything that you own that is embroidered, even a little logo on a shirt can quickly give you an idea about the number of stitches,
density of the stitches and direction of the stitches to form that logo/design. Each design is "Digitized" for embroidery and that is how we find out
how many individual stitches are in that design.
WHY DO I NEED DIGITIZING: ? Digitizing is the process of taking a given design and turning it into a "stitch file". Basically that means that a "file"
has to be created that not only comes up with what the finished "picture" will look like, it also tells the computer on the embroidery machine
where to put each stitch, how long to make it, how close together to put them, what direction/angle to make it and what needle number to use.
It is often hard to explain to people that have a design and want to enlarge it that it cannot be done by more than 10% up or down with out re-
digitizing. Anytime you enlarge a design, without re-digitizing, the spaces between stitches becomes further and further apart and more fabric is
exposed.(if you have an item that is suitable for a cap, approx 3" x 4", 4,000 stitches and you now want to enlarge it to fit on the back of a jacket
at approx. 7" x 8", without re-digitizing, it would still only have, 4,000 stitches)
When more than 1 color is involved, each color is assigned a number and each number corresponds to a needle number. This is why I
ALWAYS suggest to people that when they are getting something digitized and as of right now you are sure you want the design as a sharp, one
color image, you MAY change your mind later on, so pull the design apart now and have it digitized in as many colors as possible. Lets say you
want to use a horse head and horseshoe as your logo and you are sure you want it all in black on a white background. Well the stitch count will
be the same, but if you isolate the mane, eyes, nostrils,horseshoe's outer edge, inner edge, and nail holes when you get it digitized, you will
have that option later because the computer has prepared the machine to be ready to use 6 colors. Now when you get it embroidered, you will
be asked what colors you want. That is when we tell the machine color #1 - black, #2 - black, #3-black (you get the drift), however, lets say later
on you end up wanting to use your logo on a little girl's jacket, you now have the option of having a pretty little brown horse, with a flaxen mane
and pinkish nostrils in a 2 shades of grey horseshoe with pink nail holes, or what ever color options you want. Digitizing is also charged by
stitch count and in very rare cases by complexity, so the initial digitizing and embroidery cost will be the same, regardless of the number of
DO YOU HAVE TO DIGITIZE THE DESIGN EVERY TIME & WHO KEEPS THE DESIGN?: Unlike silk screening, there are no repeat digitizing charges
unless you decide to change the design. Once anything is Digitized, it becomes a file that can be e-mailed to where ever it has to go.(Ya gotta
love technology) What I do is the following: I arrange for the digitizing. After everything is approved, I get the file e-mailed to me, I e-mail a copy to
the embroiderer and a copy to you, my client. I do not allow anyone else to use your design without your written permission(I may ask you if I
can use it in our "sample section" but that is totally up to you and of course I would add a link to your site if you have one, in return). If you paid
for the digitizing, then the design is yours and only yours. IF you wish to allow anyone else to use it, you can charge a small royalty if you like, but
that is totally between you and them. As we all know, computers crash, get viruses, etc. This is the reason that I make sure that there are 3 of us
that have a copy, so regardless if 2 out 3 computers blow up, there is always a copy out there. This also makes it so much faster for the many
repeat orders that I get, if everything is on file, we can proceed with the order much more quickly.
STOCK DESIGNS: These are designs that I have had digitized or have bought that I make available to my customers and of course, there is no
"Digitizing fee". Many of these are best sellers on the garments that I sell. We can add a name to them and on occasion merge two designs.
You can add you own touch by changing the colors to suit you as well. As explained above in the DIGITIZING section, that although most of
them have a lot of color choices within the design, some have been digitized with limited separations, so that if a horse is pictured with 4 white
socks and a blaze, and you want it with no socks and a blaze, it may not be possible because it has been digitized so that all the white is the
same color # (If you change the white in one area, all the other white will change as well) Please check with me to make sure that all the color
changes that you would like are possible.
MINIMUMS AND PRICE BREAKS: O.K., this is pretty simple. My minimum order is 1 and the max. is however high you can count. The first price
break is 7 - 11 pieces, then 12-20 pieces, 21-40, 41-100, 101-250, 251+
Lets say you want to qualify for the first price break, but you see it has to be 7 items. That means a combination of 7 items, (OTHER THAN
SOLID BRIMMED CAPS) that require the same design on them. That could be a t-shirt, a sweat shirt, 2 saddle pads, a toque, a scarf and a
place mat, or any other combination of items, as long as they do not have a solid brim, such as a ball cap, since those go on a separate
machine. This is the perfect solution if you and a few friends find a design that you all like and each one of you has a few pieces that you would
like to have it put on. Gather it all up and save some money. You would be surprised how quickly items add up and before you know it, you are
into the next price break and saving even more money. This is also something to keep in mind for the holidays, order a bunch of toques and
scarves and sweat shirts, vest, jackets etc for everyone and save yourself some money by embroidering the same design on everything, and if
all the items have the same design, no one can complain that they prefer the design the other person got better, they will all be the same, but in
different colors (Min. 4 items per color change)
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT 3000, 4000, 5000..... STITCHES LOOKS LIKE: Very good question. Unless you have been doing this for years, you
really have no way of judging whether or not your idea is do-able, or if it will break the bank. If you are figuring something out for a club or
yourself, you have to come up with a price point that you are comfortable with and this is different for everyone. Some budgets are small, others
allow for a little more room.
Below are a few things that I have done for several companies as well as a few stock/best selling designs. I have included the
measurements of the design, and the stitch count, so you can use that as a guide to see what that number of stitches looks like. As you can
see, a dense design, carries more stitches. Often an "open" design done in sharp colors is just as affective and eye catching and the stitch
counts is a lot less and therefore it brings down your production costs as well.(Vivian Hall compared to a similar sized design like Cedar Mills)
These designs are NOT to scale, use the measurements as a guide. Please remember to check out our "stock designs" page which has more
I hope this has not been a "Brain Overload", and I that I have answered some questions about embroidery and