How We Ensure the Quality of Our Direct Embroidery
What Makes Quality Logo Embroidery?
When you receive an embroidered product you probably just simply look at it to see if it meets your expectations before you wear or distribute your purchase. However, there are a lot of variables that help determine the quality of that embroidery.
Digitizing, or set up. Every stitch in embroidery design has to be placed by program or human…usually both. Too many stitches or too few can have a poor result. Stitches running the wrong direction or the colors not sewn in the proper order. Wrong type of stitch, wrong length of stitch, the layout of the design. All of these factors must be considered in the initial set up. Not all artwork can be embroidered well, so an initial judgment needs to be made even before the digitizing starts to assess issues like the size of the lettering or other detail. An experienced artist or digitizer will be able to make suggestions to the customer even before the process begins to make the process as clean and painless as possible. We have a graphic designer on staff, so feel free to send us your logo and we'll let you know exactly what to expect. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Equipment. Just like a car, the quality of embroidery equipment can vary greatly, and indeed, you may “get what you pay for”. We have purchased both new and used equipment, but it is all from the same high quality Japanese manufacturer (Barudan) because we have had good experience with the quality and longevity of their equipment. There is much less expensive equipment available, manufactured today in places like China and Korea. Some of it has a better reputation than others for producing quality results. Cheaper is not always less expensive….Quality equipment produces quality results for years to come.
Maintenance. I cringe when I walk into a dirty shop. We have found that if you keep the equipment clean and maintained it will run consistently well. Sensitive electronics and fine moving parts are adversely affected by dirt and grime that accumulate over time. Almost without exception when you enter a shop with low maintenance standards you will immediately notice that one or more embroidery heads are not working. It could be they are waiting on a part or a service call….. If the shop is dirty, and the heads are not working it is an indication of service issues. Even when we are operating on overtime, time is found to clean both the shop and the equipment.
Supplies. The quality and use of supplies has a big effect on the final product, especially the embroidery thread. The thread runs at a pretty high speed. If it is inconsistent in quality it will most certainly produce an inconsistent result. Saving a few $$ on a cone of thread it never a good idea but it happens every day. We use only high quality 100% polyester thread from 1 of 3 sources depending on color. The bobbins, needles, needle size, backing supplies matter as well. That white piece of backing behind the logo it is critical for a quality outcome. Sometimes called “stabilizer, which is exactly what it does. Most companies will use only a single piece of lightweight backing to save money, but fine detail and lightweight performance fabrics often require we use 2 pieces of heavyweight backing to keep up the quality of the finished embroidery. We also use a water soluble stabilizer on the top of the embroidery to help prevent the stitches from sinking into the garment while being sewn. The final difference is subtle, but noticeable. We then remove all traces of this topping in our clean-up process. One can easily save money buying less expensive supplies or using less, but we feel it is worth the investment.
Embroidery Operator. Quality can be taught, but we like it better when it's intuitive in our embroidery operators. We know that OK embroidery isn't good enough, so we make judgment calls every day that help us achieve an even greater quality for you. If we see something we don't like you will never know or see it, because we fix it before we send it to you. We look at logos all day long and are probably more critical than you will be, so you can trust that we won't provide something that we wouldn't be proud to wear ourselves.
Procedures. Embroidery is a production process. We have multiple machines with multiple heads and we have production quotas to achieve. But if it isn’t done well the first time it will have to be done again. We pride ourselves on the finished product we produce. On an initial set up, we often sew the logo multiple times and make multiple edits before the sample is ever shown to the customer. Some embroidery and some products just don’t fit well together. It may be a seam placement on a hat or a shirt combined with a particular part of a design. We may have to re-edit a design once we start production due to an unforeseen issue. Some customers may want the same design on multiple products which often requires multiple versions of the logo. This all happens behind the scene.
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We have developed one of the most extensive proprietary software products in the industry for managing our embroidery. This allows us to minimize mistakes in the production process while maintaining our quotas. All of our embroidery is quality inspected and trimmed of loose threads, prior to packaging and shipping. Our entire process is designed to make you happy with the quality that you pull out of the box on arrival. That is why we guarantee the quality of our embroidery on every order.