Embroidery is a tradition modernized by technology, allowing full creativity to blossom from the minds of individuals like yourselves for your organization when you decide to create apparel to spread your message.

Before surfing for companies to produce your vision, take time to slip these machine embroidery terms into your pocket. Why should you know them? Companies’ websites may have unusual lingo when you go to place your order. This is your whirlwind tour to fill that pocket of yours.

What Are the Embroidery Basics?

Embroidery is an art form where thread sewn into material creates a design. The design can be a stand alone image, a logo, lettering, or a combination of the previous mentioned items. Lettering, in the embroidery world, is threads that stitch together letters and create words.

Attaching things like a varsity letter for a sport or an emblem (a design with a finished edge) that captures your organization’s mention are known as an appliqué. An appliqué is cut-out material that is stitched onto another, creating texture and dimension.

Also, stitch density is another term you should know. The density of a stitch determines how many stitches are part of the design. A higher density means a thicker stitch.

With these terms snug in the pocket, time to look at technology’s role.

What Is Technology’s Role in Embroidery?

Technology can take your design and digitize it to be embroidered. You could even submit a pencil rub of an existing design that you want to revitalize. What is pencil rub? It is a copy of an embroidery design by placing tracing paper of the design and rubbing it with pencil to take the idea.

For those uncertain of the design, companies always have stock designs to help out. These are generic, digitized designs companies have prepared and are a lower cost than custom design. Seeing these designs can spark ideas or be the image of your vision with a few tweaks.

The design could be simply a monogram, a design that uses letters, usually initials of a name. A design could pop by utilizing 3D Foam, foam slipped beneath embroidery that creates a 3D appearance.

Something to be aware of is how well a design tolerates variable sizing, its ability to scale to different sizes. Another word to describe a design’s tolerance zone is its expanded format. Rule of thumb is a design has a range of 10–20% enlarging or reducing because the stitch count does not change. Trying to change beyond those limits results in distortion.


So this was a whirlwind tour of machine embroidery where your pocket now overflows with information.

Do these terms feel heavy in the pocket? That is okay. Take your time in reviewing them, visiting companies’ websites, and asking questions. Whatever was not touched upon in this tour can be answered by the experts.

You are equipped with a pocket full of machine embroidery terms to make smart decisions about your apparel choices and be able to collaborate with your company of choice to make your vision come to life.

If you’re looking for monogramming or embroidery services in Austin TX, consider contacting RiverCity Screenprinting & Embroidery today!