Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with designs stitched in strands of thread or yarn using a needle. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.
Definition: Decorative stitching on fabric. Generally involves non-lettering designs but can also include lettering and/or monograms. Evidence of embroidery digitizing exists during the reign of Egyptian pharaohs, in the writings of Homer and from the Crusaders of the 12th century. Evolved from hand work to manual sewing machines and from hand-looms and schiffli machines with hundreds of needles to high-speed, computerized multihead machines.
In free embroidery, designs are applied without regard to the weave of the underlying fabric. Examples include crewel and traditional Chinese embroidery.
The first thing you should do is look into the quality of embroidery that the embroidery company has done in the past. This is a no brainer. It shouldn’t be a problem for an embroidery company to show its past work. This will assure you that you are going to get what you pay for.
Something people don’t realize is that different embroidery machines and different brands of thread can make an enormous difference in the end quality of the embroidery design. Tajima embroidery machines are the best there is on the market today.
It’s also an important idea to find out what quality of thread the embroidery company uses for their designs. The higher quality of thread the less likely it will break during stitching. If the embroidery needle has to be rethreaded in the middle of stitching the design the design will not turn out as well. A superior quality brand thread (Madeira is the best brand) will also keep its color for much longer, and have more vibrant colors.
In counted-thread embroidery, patterns are created by making stitches over a pre-determined number of threads in the foundation fabric. Counted-thread embroidery requires an even-weave foundation fabric such as embroidery canvas, aida cloth, or specially woven cotton and linen fabrics. Examples include needlepoint and cross-stitch.
In surface embroidery, patterns are worked on top of the foundation fabric using decorative stitches and laid threads. Surface embroidery encompasses most free embroidery as well as some forms of counted-thread embroidery (such as cross-stitch).
In canvas work, threads are stitched through a fabric mesh to create a dense pattern that completely covers the foundation fabric. All canvas work is counted-thread embroidery.
The origins of embroidery are lost in time, but examples survive from ancient egypt, iron age northern europe and song dynasty China. Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items have been a mark of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, Byzantium, medieval England (Opus Anglicanum or “English work”), and Baroque Europe.
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