Whenever we talk to our clients about decorating shirts, jackets, ball caps or other apparel we always explain the advantages of embroidery along with its limitations.
We start by confirming what image and/or text the customer wants embroidered on their garments and the location. A standard left chest location is often accompanied by a sleeve decoration or one across the back shoulders. Once we've established what is wanted and where we define the embroidery criteria:
- Is the client's logo conducive to embroidery?
- Is there shading/gradients in the design?
- Are there thin lines or elements in the design which are small and highly detailed?
- Does the design include small text?
- Is the garment best suited for embroidery or would an alternative decorating technique be more applicable? (e.g. a t-shirt an be embroidered but more commonly is screen-printed).
- What size(s) should the embroidery be to accommodate the sizes and styles of the items to be decorated?
- Are we embroidering in colors to match the logo colors (as closely as possible - there are much fewer thread colors than colors listed in the Pantone chart!), in one color or in a "tone on tone" to complement the garment color?
- What is the customer's timeline for delivery of the finished product?
Decoration with embroidery, when done well, produces professional looking results. The process to get there involves knowledge of materials and how to "digitize" designs to embroider well on them. ("Digitizing" is not to be confused with the "digital" files you may have of your logo which are stored electronically on your computer. "Digitizing" is the process of converting a design to stitches for embroidery.) It also relies on the embroiderer having the knowledge to hoop and stabilize various materials correctly, so the embroidered design does not pucker. (e.g. the raw material, weave and elasticity directly affect how the design is digitized and how it is hooped and stabilized).
TIP: As a customer you rely on your embroiderer to have knowledge and expertize. A good embroiderer will be able to look at your logo and point out any areas which may require "tweaking" to produce a good result when embroidered. (e.g. increasing the size of small text). He/she will produce a "stitch-out" in advance, for your approval, prior to going to production.
From our perspective we enjoy working with our clients to provide their corporate apparel and guide them in branding that apparel, particularly using the embroidery technique.
As a customer the key is to find an embroiderer you can rely on and trust!