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Embroidery-Terms and Equipment

Embroidery-Terms and Equipment

What is Embroidery?

Most people have a piece of embroidered apparel in their closet. Embroidery uses specialized machinery and thread to stitch your design into the apparel. Here at Fabricated Customs, we tend to do embroidery on high-end pieces. Like anything else, embroidery involves a process that most people are not familiar with. I have worked at Fabricated Customs for a little under 2 years and still find it hard to understand the process of embroidery. In an effort to inform our customers (as well as myself), I asked our embroidery specialist, Sarah, to explain the process in a way that the average joe would understand.

The Embroidery Process

The embroidery process starts with Sarah receiving an image of what design the customer wanted on their apparel. Ever question the $25 digitization fee added to your embroidery order? Before the actual embroidery process is able to begin, the image must be digitized. Digitization is the process of turning an image into a digital map or blueprint for the embroidery machine to follow. When the art comes in, Sarah enters it into the digitizing software which functions very similarly to Microsoft Paint (I think that is a software we are all familiar with). She converts the art into a DST (drawing sheet template) file which is then read by the machine. Sarah hoops or frames the garment, attaches it to the machine then hits “go" and the machine embroiders the image onto hats, shirts, sweatpants, etc. When it's all done she cleans up any loose ends or bobbin that has pulled through to the front. At this point, it is good to go to the customer.

Embroidery Terms

Still confused about the terms? Check out this embroidery glossary that Sarah made!

Hoop: the tension frame used to hold the garment taught and stationary while embroidery

Backing: a stabilizing piece of fabric used on the back of all embroidery pieces to ensure the finished garment does not tear, bubble, or buckle

Hat Driver: the tension framing hoop specifically used for hats

Thread: the top stitching that is visible and comprises the image

Bobbin: the bottom stitching

We hope that this short post gives you a little more insight on the embroidery process. Have any other questions related to the embroidery process or looking to place an order? Feel free to reach out to us at or give us a call at 517-526-9008.

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