Embroidery Basics: The Three Essentials of Embroidery and How You Should Choose Them
Oct 2, 2019
Embroidery is a highly skilled job that requires knowledge, skills and experience in dealing the different tasks, such as threading, hooping and sewing etc. Even when you want to make small custom patches, you need to have enough command on this job to create beautiful artworks.
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If you are new in this business, you might grapple with some common issues regarding each of these tasks. To master the art of embroidery work, you need to learn each of these basic tasks and this is why we are here. This article shares insights into the fundamental aspects of embroidery work to help you build the grounding of running this business and get good at it.
1. Choosing a Needle
A needle plays an integral part in creating beautiful embroidery artworks on a fabric. To create a perfect design on a cloth, you need to have the right type of needle that can work with a specific thread and fabric or you might face issues like frequent thread breaks and twisted needles.
Let’s check the things you should pay attention when dealing with needles:
• Needle Size
Choosing a right needle size is the first step to a successful embroidery. But how would you decide on choosing a needle size? Well, it depends largely on the type of artwork that you want to embroider. The needle size for creating artwork on a large canvas will be different than creating embroidery on custom made patches.
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The majority of embroiderers use 75/11 size of needle but that doesn’t work for all types of embroidery jobs. To give you an idea, here are some standard needle sizes you can consider for use with the mentioned types of fabric:
Quilt Cotton and Satin: 75/11.
Linens and Similar Fabrics: 80/12.
Heavy Materials and Denim: 90/14.
• Needle Point
Needle point is an equally important thing that factors in the embroidery work. There are two basic types of needle points: sharp-point needle and ball-point needle. A sharp-point needle pricks a hole in a fabric for sewing. Unlike a sharp-point needle, a ball-point needle doesn’t pierce a fabric to create a stitch.
A sharp point needle is used for sewing generally everything from cotton shirt and silk suit to canvas and sailcloth, while a ball-point needle is appropriate for sewing all types of stretchy fabrics.
2. Choosing a Thread
Just as a needle is essential for stitching, a thread is important for creating the right kind of embroidery on a fabric. A thread has different types in terms of its material, weight and sheen. Let’s check out these variables to help you pick the right thread for your embroidery project.
• Thread Material
The selection of a thread material depends on the fabric and the artwork that you want to produce. A thread is commonly made from cotton, rayon, polyester and silk. All these thread materials are used with specific fabrics to create a certain artwork.
Cotton thread is popular for its softness and durability and is widely used in industrial embroidery business. This thread is used for embroidering on majority of apparels and non-apparel fabrics. Polyester thread is also known for its superior quality and strength and is used for creating embroidery on apparels, bed sheets as well knitted and woven clothes.
A silk thread is excellent for making artworks on luxury products. There are also specialty threads like metallic and glow-in-the-dark threads that are used only on certain types of fabrics.
• Thread Weight
A thread weight defines the thickness of a specific thread type. A thread weight generally ranges between 30-60 wt. A thread with 30 wt. has the thickest fiber and 60 wt. has the thinnest fiber. The different weight of a thread is required for producing a specific type of artwork. The finer the weight of a thread, the more detailed will be the artwork.
In addition, you have to be particular about the thread weight and it should be thin enough to pass through eyelet of a needle. A thread with a disproportionate thickness will break easily during the sewing process.
3. Choosing a Hoop
Hooping is equally important for producing a perfect artwork on a fabric. A hoop is used on a fabric to create the right tension and stability during the stitching. Therefore, it is important that you know the various types of hoops so that you can pick a suitable hoop for your job. Let’s check them out:
A hoop is made of different materials. Plastic and wooden hoop are commonly used by the newbie embroiderers who can embroider only a few types of fabrics. For the industrial embroiderers who have wider range of fabrics, a brass hoop is a better choice as it comes with screws to tighten on a fabric.
To produce a clean embroidery on a fabric, it is important that you choose a hoop in the right size so that it covers the entire sewing field. Generally, a hoop comes in three different sizes: 4” x 4”, 5” x 7” and 6” x 10”. All these different sizes of hoops have different range of sewing field.
So you should choose a hoop based on the sewing field and buy one that covers the required area of your embroidery work.
A hoop comes in various shapes to fit the outline of an artwork. Among the most common shapes of a hoop are round hoop, rectangular hoop and oval hoop. All these hoops are used by professional embroiderers to tighten the sewing field in a cloth and produce a taut stitching around it.
Therefore, you should choose the right shape of a hoop that can cover the required area of embroidery in order to produce wrinkle-free stitches.
Keep changing your needle after every 6-8 hours of nonstop stitching. Needles get twisted due to continuous use and causes frequent thread breaks.
To keep your stock of threads in mint condition, you should keep them in a cool place away from sunlight, dust and debris.
Proper hooping is essential to avoid puckering and birdnesting in an artwork. Make sure that the fabric is tightly stretched under the hoop and there are no wrinkles within the sewing field. Don’t make it too tight or it will botch the artwork.
Be wary of hoop mark that leaves behind a fabric after the sewing is done. To prevent hoop mark, you should squirt some water on the hooped surface. This will keep the fabric smooth and flat.
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