Embroidery adds a touch of professionalism to work wear and team wear alike. Many companies like their workforce to wear garments with embroidered logos, as a subtle form of branding.
Embroidery is added to a garment by the use of a kind of advanced sewing machine. The garment to be embroidered is held securely in place with a frame to prevent it moving or stretching.
What can be embroidered ?
In theory, any garment with a reasonable fabric weight, close enough weave and not too much stretch can be embroidered. Stretchy materials may move around in the frame, leading to distortion of the final piece. Lightweight fabrics may sag slightly under the weight of a heavy logo, and this is the reason that Polo Shirts are more often used than T-Shirts. If you want a T-Shirt embroidered, make sure that you choose a fairly heavy one.
In practice the most common garments are Polo-Shirts, Fleeces, Baseball Caps and Work Jackets. There are a couple of things to check for in each of these instances;
Because the weave of a fleece is more open than that of other garments, some small stitches may pull through. This is unlikely to effect images or large sized texts, but you should be aware that very small components such as full stops, quote marks or hyphens may not appear properly on occasion.
With baseball caps you should make sure that your chosen type of cap does not have a centre seam, as the embroidery machine heads may not be able to pierce this, and even if they can the results will be uneven. Fortunately the majority of caps have smooth brow sections. Baseball caps do not fit into the standard frames used to embroider other garments, and you will need to select an Embroiderer who use a cap-specific frame.
Work Jackets are often lined, and as you can imagine sewing directly through the outside into the lining will cause all kinds of problems and puckering of the material. Fortunately work clothing manufacturers are aware of this, and many make jackets with a zip that allows the insertion of the frame between the lining and the outer. If you are supplying your own jackets for embroidery, it pays to check first that they have this feature.