Embroidery is often used to give your textile item an exclusive look. This technique is very durable, robust and suitable for both flat (e.g. polo's) and irregular surfaces (e.g. fleece jackets).
A maximum of 8 to 12 uniform color shades can be used per design. This depends on the product and is indicated on the product page. Uniform color shades mean that 2 different shades of blue count as 2 colors.
Restriction: color transitions or gradients, as shown in figure 1, cannot be embroidered.
Figure 1: example of color gradients that cannot be realized using embroidery.
How does embroidery work exactly?
Before an embroidery machine can start, every design, even vector logos, must be transformed into an embroidery design with a software program, where all lines, bends, corners, stops ... are translated into embroidery stitches. This is manually perfected and put on a boot disk. This disk contains all necessary information needed for the embroidery heads to know exactly at which place and with what color a stitch must be put. In short: the layout of a file is very time-consuming the first time. In the case of a reorder the setup cost might be partially reduced, but it depends on the product, the print run and the time between orders.
The textile to be personalized is then stretched very tightly onto a holder, provided with a protective felt and placed under the embroidery head. Embroidery machines usually have 4 to 6 embroidery heads that apply the same embroidery on 4 to 6 items. So, if one piece must be embroidered, all other heads are still moving along. To get the best price, it's recommended to order in multiples of 6.
Note: embroidery is not recommended for thin T-shirts. Despite the protective felt, the fabric is so thin that the thousands of embroidery stitches that are tightened each time pull the fabric out of the model and sometimes even damage it.