The Benefits of Custom Embroidery

Custom embroidery is a huge part of marketing and advertising. It’s inexpensive enough for almost any business, but classy enough to stand out in a world of screen printed items.

Using the visual medium of embroidery makes your brand stand out, forge a team among your staff, and give your customers a reason to celebrate your brand.

In the following article, we’ll look at the different reasons you should consider custom embroidery for your staff and for your customers.

Custom Embroidery for Staff

Give your staff custom embroidered hats, shirts, blouses, and more.

Uniformity – A uniform gives your business the professional look and feel that you want. While it’s nice for staff to be able to wear whatever they want, you don’t need one employee in a business suit and another in shorts and a t-shirt. By giving everyone the same uniform, it lends a coordinated look to your business.

Team Building –  Every team, from baseball to Girl Scouts, has a uniform. They wear custom embroidered hats, shirts, dresses, pants, and more. This helps them to see themselves as a team. There’s a sense of unity forged when everyone is wearing the same outfits.

Dress Code – A shirt and custom embroidered hat can create a basic dress code. Everyone has a minimum uniform to wear. This avoids those awkward conversations with an employee, “You need to go home and find something else to wear.”

Customer Predictability –  If your staff wear uniforms, customers know whom to speak to. Nothing is as disconcerting as walking into a business and not being able to tell the customers from the staff. If you’re lucky, they’re wearing lanyards or name tags, but that really doesn’t seem like enough. Putting your team in uniforms can make this problem go away.

Custom embroidered apparel for your staff takes your business’s appearance and professionalism to a new level. It’s an inexpensive way to give everyone a uniform that will set you up for success.

Custom Embroidery for Customers

Custom embroidered items, like hats, shirts and skirts are a great way to build your brand and increase customer loyalty.

Here are some of the reasons that you should consider custom embroidered items for your customers:

Marketing – Your clothing can be walking around your city or the whole world where everyone can see it. If these designs themselves are interesting, people will pay you for them. Everyone who sees one of your customers in your clothing is considered a marketing impression. Marketers will tell you impressions make sales. Your customers are happy to do the advertising and you reap the benefits.

Loyalty – Customers that wear your custom embroidered hat to go golfing are more likely to eat in your restaurant afterward. No matter what business you’re in, exciting apparel is a great way to remind customers of what they love about your business.

Durable – Custom embroidered items last for years. It’s the most durable way to put your brand on clothing. The embroidery won’t fade for years and it can be washed and dried just like any other piece of clothing.

Custom Logo – The custom embroidery should include your logo. We can take your logo, digitize it, and embroider it onto anything a needle can penetrate. The advantage is that you can create anything you want. It can be increased and decreased in size based on the article of apparel you’re working with.

Colorful – You can have a huge variety of color in your custom embroidery. This will make it stand out. Because there’s every color of the rainbow, it’s possible to make complex images with a ton of color. New digital technology and digitally-controlled embroidery machines make it possible to produce what you envision.

Promotion – Embroidered gifts are a great way to promote your company through giveaways and charitable donations. The quality and style of custom embroidered hats, shirts, and more are a great gift that people enjoy getting. Host a giveaway for your business or donate your items as part of baskets to other organizations.

Differentiation – There might be five companies in your area that do what you do. If your clothing and uniforms are embroidered it will help your business to stand out from the crowd.

Flexible – Some materials aren’t suitable for screen printing, but almost every fabric, from a thin cotton to a leather jacket, can be embroidered. Deciding what type of fabric to use is something we can help you with. For example, you can get shirts in cotton or you can get microfibers that wick away sweat. There’s also denim, cotton/poly blends, and more. We can guide you through your choices based on what you need and what you‘d like the final product to look like.

Personalization – You can make every item, whether it’s for an employee or a customer, personalized with their name, nickname, a number, anything. Because every item is embroidered individually, you can personalize it any way you’d like. Nothing will build loyalty with your customers faster than having their name embroidered on a hat or a shirt.

Custom Embroidered Choices

There is a huge field of choices in the world of custom embroidery. From the materials to the piece of apparel to the style of embroidery to personalization, it can all seem overwhelming if you don’t have a clear vision.

Our team can help you make the right choice. We will talk about who your items are for, what you want them to be able to do with them, and what you want them to look like.

We’re able to give you a digital mockup of the items so you know exactly what it will look like. Once approved, you’ll also get a physical sample for your final stamp of approval. There’s no guesswork. You’ll know precisely what the finished product will look like.

Give our team a call. We’ll help you turn custom embroidered apparel into the best business-growth tool you have.

Phone: (201) 416-9179

Email: hello@bananathreads.com

How to make 3D puff caps

How 3D puff caps are made

Ever gazed at the New York Yankees on field baseball cap and wonder how they made the stitches so thick and raised like that? The concept is pretty simple. A piece of puffy foam is laid over the cap and the design sews out on top of it. Every time the needle goes down and penetrates the foam and hat, it creates a tiny hole in the foam. After making several thousand of these tiny holes, the edges of the artwork are perforated and the excess foam is relatively easy to tear away, leaving behind the foam underneath the stitches.

That’s the short story version of how 3D puff caps are made. In actuality, a lot more is involved. This article is meant to give an overview of the process because unfortunately, it would take many volumes of books to cover the topic to properly teach you how it’s done.

Ask anyone who does embroidery for a living (or for fun) about 3D puff hats. 9 times out of 10 they’ll wish you never brought up the subject. And for good reason. Making good quality raised embroidery on caps is very challenging.

Things that make 3D puff embroidery a nightmare

The fact is it takes a lot more work and time than anything else in the embroidery industry. It starts off with the artwork. In order for The Puff Technique to work, your artwork can’t have any thin lines/objects/text. There’s a minimum width that they all have to be in order for the technique to be pulled off. Also, when converting your jpeg or vector file into a file that the embroidery machine reads, special adjustments need to be made.

And although there are some rules of thumb to follow, a lot has to do with the time and devotion the artist puts into the process of converting the artwork. We all know that time is money. However, in the embroidery industry, time is everything. Which is one of the main reasons why many embroidery shops refuse to do 3D hats even if they knew how to make them.

Another factor is that 3D or raised embroidery on hats is so unappealing to both the shop owner and the person making the order is that these jobs tend to have more stitches. Basically, an embroidery machine has a limit as to how many stitches it can make per minute. And since shop owners only earn revenue when the machine is actually running and producing, the number of stitches is one of the main factors in determining the price for a job. And since more stitches equals more time to fulfill an order, the person making the order is usually repulsed by the higher price. This usually causes the person to think the price is outrageous and it creates animosity towards the shop owner.

10 times out of 10, the shop owner is under charging you when you consider the amount of work that is involved.

Another thing that makes 3D caps cumbersome to work with is that there’s extra time spent on pre and post production. For instance, the puffy foam that’s used to give the raised effect have to be individually cut by into squares or rectangles, depending on the size and shape of your artwork. Quite frankly, the time spent on cutting the foam isn’t being compensated for. Afterall, who wants to pay extra for someone using a pair of scissors, except if a barber is involved? Industrial puff foam isn’t cheap (sure Walmart has them for a bargain but you get what you pay for). So, shop owners are incentivized to minimizing wasted material . Therefore, extra time is taken to measure before cutting.

Besides requiring a talented artist to create the embroidery file, it requires someone who really understands embroidery to run the caps flawlessly. Because most embroiderers will tell you that the main reason they don’t like working with puffy foam is that there is a much higher spoilage rate than any other type of embroidery work. This is because a lot of times the upper thread get caught in the rotary hook (the part that houses the bobbin case) and the machine halts abruptly. This causes the hat to get stuck on the embroidery machine without a millimeter of wiggle room.

Now the operator has to stop production and work on trying to free the hat from the stranglehold that it’s in. Keep in mind, at this point, the hat is stuck in that position, meaning the embroidery machine can’t rotate in any direction. Attempting to continue production will cause damage to the embroidery machine. This is that part where 99% of the caps get damaged because most of the time, the operator has no choice but try to free the cap using a box cutter by reaching between the back of the hat and the needle plate and cutting the thread, also called a bird’s nest.

So by now you can see what a headache it is to work with 3D puff. Sometimes, it can take up to half an hour or more of downtime before production resumes – often with one less cap on that particular run because, as previously mentioned, most caps that get stuck, end up in the waste basket. Keep in mind, during this time, the business is making no money, the overhead is still there, and production is being delayed – meaning other orders are getting pushed back. This causes other customers to feel like their order is on the back burner or that the embroiderer is lazy and isn’t working as hards as he or she should; therefore, decreasing customer satisfaction and the overall customer experience.

But wait, there’s more! And more details are outlined below but the gist is there’s post production cleaning to be done. Again, no one wants to compensate the embroider for all this extra work. Hence, these are the main reasons a lot of embroiders won’t touch 3D puff with a 10 foot pole. Simply put, due to the lack of understanding of the process, most customers don’t see the value in paying extra. And even if they’re hell-bent on getting 3D puff caps made, they usually price shop all over town and end up with something that even the flea market would be appalled by. Quality requires time and expertise.

Precise Embroidery

How precise embroidery is achieved

When it comes to precise embroidery there’s no “one” thing that accomplishes the feat. There are many variables at play including the equipment itself. And equally important, if not more, is the embroiderer’s passion and love for the craft. It takes years of lessons learned through trial and error to perfect the craft.

Embroidery is a lot different than screen printing. While screen printing requires a graphic designer, for the most part, what you see on a computer screen is what you’ll be able to achieve on a t-shirt because you’re laying ink on top of the garment. However, when it comes to embroidery, the stitches aren’t “floating” on top of the garment. Rather, the needle penetrates the fabric and inserts more material which distorts the fabric.

One stitch isn’t going to make a noticeable difference in the material. However, when you start adding hundreds and thousands of stitches, the material starts to shift in different directions. And for this reason, when a professional embroiderer converts your artwork to an embroidery file (digitized), it’s not as simple as re-drawing your artwork exactly as it appears in your artwork file. In the case of embroidery digitizing, what you see on the computer screen never looks the same when you embroider the file. For example, a shape like a circle can’t be digitized as a perfect circle – it has to be skewed in countless ways depending on the garment it’s being sewed on.

Why fabric type matters

The type of fabric being embroidered on is a huge factor which we have to analyze before even starting on the work to convert (digitize) your artwork (jpg, psd, ai, cdr, eps, svg files) into an embroidery machine file. Even the type of thread used has to be taken into consideration. For example, metallic thread has to be digitized in its own way. A logo for a perfomance polo shirt has to be specially digitized differently than if it were going on a canvas bag.

Digitizing is different for every type of fabric. And it takes an expert who’s actually got embroidery machines and many years under his or her belt to know how to go about the digitizing process. The vast majority of companies outsource their digitizing work to 3rd world countries to people who don’t even own an embroidery machine and have never even touched one – let alone produced millions of garments like we have at Banana Threads.

Shop that cut corners

As I mentioned previously, a lot has to do with the love and passion of the embroiderer/owner of the shop not just handling your artwork. Many shops cut corners by rushing through your job and using the cheapest labor, thread, needles and other materials needed they can find. Many use outdated machines that can’t even sew properly and some even use inferior machinery made in China . Are all shop owners like this? Of course not. However, it’s a shame that the overwhelming majority fall into this category. Good embroidery shops are few and far in between. Many are just in it for the paycheck and have no pride in their work and have no interest in seeing your brand/event elevated.

Us at Banana Threads don’t believe in putting out sub-par product in the market. There’s already enough of that. From the beginning, we instantly decided that we were going to produce high quality embroidery and we weren’t looking to save every penny on operating costs to simply maximize our profit. It was our mission to ensure that if you contracted us to help you with your embroidery project, that you were going to get great feedback from others on your embroidered logo/artwork.

Many shops do mediocre work and it reflects back on the person wearing the garment. And that’s part of your reputation which is your brand. When others, whether it’s your customer or people at your event, see your artwork butchered, it sends them a signal that you have no pride in how you represent your brand/event and there’s a loss of credibility there. There’s no wow factor.