What’s the Deal with In-House Embroidery?

Sep 3, 2019Embroidery

So you’re looking into wearable promotional products. Simply put, you want an awesome polo or smart-looking hat that shows off your company’s brand. Fantastic! But how do you get from your digital logo or company branding to a wearable product to pass out at a trade show or fair booth?

Attaching Your Logo to Clothing

Reducing your problem to its simplest, what you’re looking for is a way to attach your logo to clothing. The first choice you need to make is what to make the colors out of. Do you print onto the fabric? Paint? Sew? Dye? While there are a dizzying array of methods, the two typical methods are paint and thread.

The modern way to “paint” an item of clothing is screen printing. Screen printing’s advantage is that it’s fast, inexpensive, and can print a wide variety of colors. Many printers try to limit the number of colors for any one design, however, to reduce cost and complexity. Also, screen printing only works on flat objects, so it’s typically restricted to t-shirts or sweatshirts. The weave of the fabric, as well, must be tightly woven so the image is visible. A polo shirt fabric, for instance, doesn’t work either visually or structurally with screen printing.

Ultimately screen printing’s biggest weakness is that it wears out quickly. The pigment is applied to the surface of the fabric, and so it tends to wear away with use or in the wash. This is why embroidery—”thread”—is the most common and useful way to get your image onto a wearable.

What is Embroidery?

Embroidery is a catch-all term for decorating fabric with thread. There are dozens of different stitches and types of embroidery, intended for a wide variety of clothing and fabrics. Methods may vary, and throughout history different cultures specialized in different types. Regardless, there are several key advantages for embroidery over screen printing.

First, embroidery has a wide array of colors available. Bobbins of embroidery thread are available with thousands of different shades of color. Second, embroidery has an eye-catching three-dimensional effect because it builds shapes out of the thread. This makes elegant and effective designs that feel professional. But embroidery’s greatest strength is its durability. Because the thread is physically added to the structure of the fabric, it lasts for countless washings and can stand up to all sorts of abuse.

It’s clear that embroidery is perfect for branded promotional products because of its durability, its limitless array of colors, and its professional appearance. But not all embroidery is made equal. And this is why you want an in-house embroidery service.

But why in-house embroidery?

Embroidery is not as simple as buying a machine, putting on thread, and setting it loose. It takes a large amount of experience and technical know-how to produce a high quality apparel item. For instance, the embroiderer needs to understand the weave of the material to choose a stitch that will hold fast. She needs to have deep familiarity with the logo and its embroidery code (its “digitized” form) to program the machine correctly. And she needs to understand thousands of other variables, from thread strength to stitch density, to ensure the final product is acceptable.

There are certainly promotional products companies that can do embroidery for your products. These companies will contract out the actual embroidery and serve as middleman to give those products to you. But we’re altogether different. JMA Promotions is excited to partner with CW Embroidery, our very own in-house embroidery service. We are involved in every step of the way, from choosing your products to delivery of the final wearables. We can be confident that the final embroidered product is high quality, durable, and elegant—in other words, that it promotes your brand. And after all, isn’t that what you’re looking for?

Give us a call today to speak with our team. We can help you design your promotional products line to maximize its effectiveness at marketing your brand. There’s nothing like an in-house embroidery team to make your designs come alive.