How To Embroider
Embroidery How To
Turn ordinary into spectacular. Turn utility into fashion. Turn a
blank canvas into magnificent artwork. This is what decorative sewing does for all manner of projects
including home dcor, fashion, and promotional products.
Historically, embroidery was performed by ladies at home to
embellish pillows, clothing, and wall hangings with decorative thread stitching. Needlepoint, hand sewing, cross
stitch, and fine machine stitching were art forms practiced to create beauty as embellishments of ordinary
When the embroiderer manually moves the fabric according to
her own motif rather than allowing the machine feed dogs to control movement; it is called free
motion fine machine stitching. Drop the feed dogs. Set the machine for straight stitch. Sew at a moderately
slow speed while moving the fabric by hand.
During the early days of computers, punch card machine was used to
record stitch patterns to control special sewing machines . This was the beginning of modern embroidery .
Today home machines may be embroidery only or combined sewing and decorative
sewing machines . Combo equipment sew many types of stitches, but have special mechanical arms to
control embroidery operations. Commercial equipment may have as many as 16 needles, but sew only one at
a time changing needle positions to change colors.
Stitches may be zigzagged with fibers lying tightly
side by side to form a satin stitch. Stitches that sew along a line are known as running stitches. Stitches that
weave back and forth are often used as fill stitches. Combining these stitch patterns enables the machine to create
wonders with thread. When computerized these form programs. These may be produced manually or automatically
in a process called digitizing or computerized embroidery programming.
Personalization may be achieved with beautiful lettering known as
monograms. Logos and motifs make unique projects.
Decorative sewing design s may be vibrant
embellishments or motifs used to decorate on their own; or they may be logo creations used for promotion. Monograms
are letters embroidered to provide distinction and personalization.
Three of the most common mediums include polyester, rayon, and
metallic strands . Each fiber type has unique characteristics. Polyester threads are synthetic, strong,
and resilient. Rayon is brighter, a more natural fiber, but less strong. Synthetic metallic fibers
offer special decorative finishes to enhance many projects.
Fine machine stitching units are essentially regular
straight stitch sewing equipment with an added embroidery arm that holds a special hoop. As the needle
moves up and down, the fine machine stitching arm moves the hooped project following pre-determined
Sewing fields vary depending on the machine as do the hoop sizes.
Sizes begin at four inches by four inches, but the current standard for home use is five inches by seven inches.
Better home units offer larger hoops and sewing fields, but commercial units offer even larger
Hoops are manufactured to hold fabric and stabilized projects. To
hoop a project, begin by loosening the adjusting screws. Set the larger part flat on a table. Place the fabric and
stabilizer over the hoop. Carefully insert the inner hoop pressing it down and smoothing the project. Finally,
tighten the screws and attach it to the embroidery arm. Separate the two parts of the hoop and loosen the
outer bracket. Lay the outer part on the table and position the stabilizer and fabric over the hoop. Press the
second hoop firmly into place and smooth the project. With the project properly hooped, snug, wrinkle free, and
ready to go, install the hoop on the arm and begin sewing.
Patterns often contain multiple colors which are achieved by
changing strands section by section.