Updated: Jan 3, 2022
Embroidery is the craft of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle to apply thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. In modern days, embroidery is usually seen on caps, hats, coats, overlays, blankets, dress shirts, denim, dresses, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn colour.
The development of machine embroidery and its mass production came about in stages during the Industrial Revolution. The first embroidery machine was the hand embroidery machine, invented in France in 1832 by Josué Heilmann. The next evolutionary step was the schiffli embroidery machine. The latter borrowed from the sewing machine and the Jacquard loom to fully automate its operation. The manufacture of machine-made embroideries in St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland flourished in the latter half of the 19th century. Both St. Gallen, Switzerland and Plauen, Germany were important centers for machine embroidery and embroidery machine development. Many Swiss and Germans immigrated to Hudson county, New Jersey in the early twentieth century and developed a machine embroidery industry there. Shiffli machines have continued to evolve and are still used for industrial scale embroidery.
Contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns digitized with embroidery software. In machine embroidery, different types of "fills" add texture and design to the finished work. Machine embroidery is used to add logos and monograms to business shirts or jackets, gifts, and team apparel as well as to decorate household linens, draperies, and decorator fabrics that mimic the elaborate hand embroidery of the past.
Machine embroidery is most typically done with rayon thread, although polyester thread can also be used. Cotton thread, on the other hand, is prone to breaking and should be avoided if under 30 wt.
We use this process to personalise garments such as caps, shirts and uniform.