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Embroidery is an exquisite art, and so many have fallen for its charms. It enables us to add charming decorations to our garments for a stunning look.
But it serves many purposes, and not just decoration. For instance, you can use embroidery to write your name or the name of your favorite team or player on your shirt.
You can accomplish this either by hand or by using an embroidery machines. Let me enlighten you on what steps to follow for either method.
How to Embroider Letters by Hand:
Hand embroidering letters can be rather daunting for a beginner (especially doing the curves of a letter). But after you get the hang of it, the work becomes highly enjoyable.
For instance, it’s up to you to choose the font style you will use. I am partial to cursive – though difficult to execute, it looks fantastic once you are done.
Different stitches work well with different fonts. Cursive works amazingly with stem stitch, and print is best served by backstitch or running stitch.
Grow your letter embroidery skills by playing around with different fonts and stitches, experimenting until you can have your own hard-earned intuition on which stitch favors which font.
Transferring the Text to Smooth Cloth:
When transferring your text to a smooth cloth, there are two methods you can use:
1. Making an iron on transfer
The first thing you should do is write or trace your letters onto tracing paper. Next, lay the tracing paper over your garment to confirm that you have the right size.
If you do, turn over the paper and retrace using your transfer pen. And then iron the writing onto the fabric. Since iron on transfers cannot wash out, you have to cover the lines with your stitches.
2. Use a light box or window
The light box is a smooth surface that has a light behind it. By placing your template and garment on top of the light box, you are able to see through the fabric.
After that, you can then trace your letters using a graphite pencil or a disappearing ink pen. And if you do not have a light box, you can use your window – when the sun is out.
Transferring the Text to Textured Fabrics:
The light box and the iron on transfer methods may not work when you are working with textured fabrics such as toweling or blankets.
In such a case, you can use tissue paper and tacking stitches. Begin by writing the letters on the paper carefully. Next, position the paper over your garment.
Use contrasting colored thread to stitch a straight stitch over the lines. You can then tear away the tissue people so as to leave a guide for you to follow when embroidering the garment.
Best Stitches for Hand Embroidering Letters:
The most ideal stitch will depend on the size of the letters. While small letters look wonderful when just outlined, larger ones require greater creativity.
The stitches include backstitch, stem stitch, split stitch, and running stitch. I will discuss the technique for embroidering the letters with a backstitch.
How to Embroider Letters Using Backstitch:
Since backstitch provides excellent outlines, it is ideal for use in embroidering letters, whether in a single or double layer, or outlining block lettering.
Begin the stitch by poking the fabric from underneath and pulling the needle and floss through. After making the first stitch, bring the needle back up from underneath the fabric a full stitch length, ensuring you leave a space (preferably a length similar to that of a grain of rice) between the needle and the previous stitch.
And then bring the needle back, passing it through the same place as the previous stitch to create a full line. Pull it through, and then move it forward. Continue until you stitch the whole later
YouTube video of how to embroider letters by hand:
How to Embroider Letters with an Embroidery Sewing Machine:
While embroidering letters using your embroidery sewing machine may cause you less hassle than when you are hand-embroidering, it is not an intuitive process and you will have to know the procedure beforehand. And that’s why I am here.
But first things first:
What Will You Need?
- A piece of stabilizer to prevent the stitching from puckering your fabric
- A sharp sewing machine needle
- Machine embroidery thread
- Your design files stored on a flash drive
- A threaded bobbin
1. Store Design Files in a Flash Drive
You can use the letters that come with the machine or you can decide to purchase those which are more to your liking – online for instance.
Save the design files in a folder on your flash drive. Create the two folders: name the first EmbF5 and the second one MyDesign. Place the MyDesign folder in the EmbF5 folder. Transfer your design files to the MyDesign folder.
2. Preparing the Fabric
Thread the embroidery machine and place the bobbin in it. You can test the tension by making a few stitches.
Determine the size of your words and choose a hoop of the appropriate size for your project. If it’s a small project, choose the A hoop which is the smallest.
The stabilizer will help you with fabric that cannot fit in the hoop. If your fabric is smaller than the hoop, pin it to a larger piece of stabilizer fabric. While the hoop holds the stabilizer, the pins will hold your fabric.
Lock the hoop into the machine – this involves matching up the holes on the hoop and the machine, and then turning the knob.
3. Prepare and Edit the Design
After turning on the machine, insert your flash drive in the USB slot. Go to the MyDesign folder where you saved your design files.
At this stage, you will prepare edit the design to suit the intention in your mind. For instance, telling the machine which size hoop you will use, which letters you will use, changing the size of the letters, and so forth.
You can also adjust the positioning of the fabric to ensure the machine sews the letters precisely where you want them.
4. Begin to Sew
After confirming that the letters are appropriately placed, press the Start button, and the machine will automatically begin to operate.
Monitor the process as you wait in case any problem arises – for instance, if the bobbin runs out or the thread breaks.
After it has completed, retrieve the hoop from the machine and the fabric from the hoop. Once you trim the stabilizing fabric from the design on the back, that’s it – the job is complete.
YouTube video of how to embroider letters by machine:
Which of the two should you pick? If you are strapped for time and need to get the job done as soon as possible, pick the machine option. Within a short while, the job will be done. But if you want to express your creativity by making a unique design, pick hand embroidery.
Whichever you pick, the information you need to do a stellar job is right here in the article you have just read.