What Is Embroidery?

Once you’ve chosen the perfect garment, it’s time to decide whether you want your logo or design printed or embroidered. They both deliver stunning results, but one or the other will suit your purposes, clothing, order quantity and design style best. Here’s what you need to know.

Most people supply artwork in a digital format, either a .jpg, vectored Illustrator or rasterised Photoshop file. We have to re-draw the design before uploading it, a skilled job that puts it into a format our embroidery machines can read. Depending on the design, re-drawing and bringing your design to sparkling life can be either simple or very complicated.

We use state-of-the-art industry specific Computer Aided Design programs to convert a file so the design is embroidery-ready. It involves a number of processes including deciding the type of stitch, stitch frequency, stitch size and stitch direction. Once our digitiser has done their work we usually output your file as DST file, occasionally an alternative format.

Our digitisers are highly experienced and professional people. They make informed, intelligent decisions about designs to make sure the result is as good as it possibly can be. We never use the ‘auto-digitise’ tool in the software we use. That’s just lazy, and it doesn’t deliver the best results.

We pride ourselves in doing a brilliant job every time, making sure the finished garments we create are the highest quality. It’s what makes our work worthwhile.


When is embroidery a better solution than printing?

Embroidery offers a more prestigious-looking, harder wearing and decorative solution. It’s also textured, a 3d effect that simply shouts quality. It’s ideal for:

  • Tough outdoor workwear that’s washed frequently
  • Catering wear and kitchenware, which gets dirty fast and needs regular hot washes
  • When you want your people to look super-smart and make the best possible impression
  • If your budget doesn’t stretch to regularly replacing worn out clothing
  • On our rain jackets and heavy winter jackets, which often come pre-treated with a water repellent coating that also repels printing inks and adhesives
  • On fleeces and knitwear, where the fluffy surface means it’s impossible to print
  • On caps, where it creates a much better finish than printing

When is printing a better solution than embroidery?

Embroidery doesn’t work all the time, for every order. Sometimes it’s best to have your logo or design screen-printed or digitally printed instead, using a direct to garment digital process or even a vinyl transfer. Print is probably best when:

  • Your design is very detailed or features tiny lettering – text has to be at least 6mm height to be embroidered successfully. If your design isn’t big enough and you want embroidery, we can often adjust the design to make it work, by enlarging the text and rearranging it to the right scale
  • Your logo has gradients, where an object in it gradually changes colour as you move across it, also called ‘hombre’
  • When your logo is large. We usually quote for designs requiring up to 25,000 stitches. An ordinary left breast logo, for example, tends to be anything from 3000 stitches per line to 20,000 stitches for a particularly dense background stitched design, for example a university crest. The maximum size of an embroidered logo is usually 10cm x 10cm, which means it is most suited to the left breast area, arm or the nape of the neck
  • Embroidery has weight, which means it pulls on light fabrics and thin garments with a density of under 140 grams per square metre and looks nasty. Most modern sportswear is made of polyester, as are cheap T shirts and fashion wear
  • Embroidery can leave a slightly rough finish on the inside of the garment, which can irritate the skin when you move around a lot, for example when playing sport

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