Creating Monograms for Commercial Embroidery
Monograms are one of the most popular designs in commercial embroidery.
They are an easy way to add extra value with a “touch of class” to a wide variety of garments and other products.
Monograms are one of the most sought-after designs in commercial embroidery. You can see them in all sorts of garments and products, from dress shirts and jackets to purses and tote bags.
Until the 20th Century, single initials were the norm for monograms in commercial embroidery. Today, monograms with one, two, three initials or more are common. Some are made with a combination of the names of two individuals—a way to celebrate a wedding or other domestic relationships.
Today, large monograms are an easy way to add a touch of elegance and class with extremely popular in designs for chair backs, pillows and shower curtains. Many can be seen in some of the best home décor magazines and catalogues.
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How to create standard three-letter monograms
It is easy to make monograms for a variety of products:
- Open the Stitch ERA Liberty program to bring up the file name for the letter you want to use.
- A popular trend in three-letter commercial embroidery monograms is a large center letter flanked by two smaller letters. In some programs, there are separate files for each letter. For a quick start, Stitch ERA Liberty has an automatic monogram wizard with a variety of styles.
- In most commercial embroidery monograms, the large center letter is the surname (or initial of last name). Add the two letters to each side, so that the sewing sequence can provide a longer connection threads. This is ideal for commercial embroidery systems that do not have an automatic thread trimmer. This technique will force the fabric away during sewing.
- Customary monogram construction puts the middle initial in the center with the last initial on the right, especially if the letters are the same height. This is the most popular monogram layout for men’s dress shirts. Slightly enlarging the last initial at the center gives attention to the last name, and emphasizing the middle initial is not consistent.
The spacing of letters, as well as the letter position in relation to each other, is a personal matter. Always discuss the details of the monogram before embroidery, and never assume a certain spacing is what your client wants.
The customer always should have the final say. Best practices for a commercial embroidery shop should be a teacher to the customer. Supply them with advice on what is “customary” in monograms, so they can make the best decision.
Tips for monograms in commercial embroidery
Most commercial embroidery digitizes monograms for “average” fabric; not many support lettering specifically for “specialty” fabrics, like leather or suede. Be careful about the stitch density, and adjust the density as necessary after test stitching the design.
The benefit of working with each letter individually, as opposed to using the monogram wizard in the Stitch ERA Liberty, is that you have complete control over placement and orientation. Simply change the letters around until you are happy, and do not forget to save your work with a new filename.
Individual letters in a majority of monogrammed styles will fit within a 4” hoop restriction. A few will exceed the 4” hoop size, towels, shower curtains and the like, needing a minimum of 5” x 7” hoop. Make sure you choose the right size hoop for creating a three-letter monogram in one sewing.
A commercial embroidery shop can still produce three-letter monograms with smaller, 4” hoops, but each letter will be sewn separately, and each letter rehooped. This method makes explicit spacing and positioning of each letter extremely difficult.
Monograms made by hand have a raised and rounded quality, using a way that is difficult to imitate with commercial embroidery. The process aligns strands of thread in bundles, then with a top thread to “wrap” around the bundle, passing through the supporting cloth each time around. Commercial embroidery machines do not naturally produce these long strands of thread, instead going back-and-forth, rather than around-and-around. Hand embroidery is the easiest way to create this effect.
One way to replicate this effect in commercial embroidery is with puffy foam. However, it may not suit every customer, especially some “purists.” Put down puffy foam before sewing the underlay. This pushes the foam down a bit, so adjust the top thread tension to compensate. Experiment first, to see if this works for you.
For more information about monograms for commercial embroidery, visit www.ColmanAndCompany.com or call 800-981-1094.
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