Embroidery is the art of decorating a piece of fabric or materials using a needle to apply thread on yarn. It may also involve other materials like beads, quills, sequins, and pearls. It is an old form of artwork used globally to enhance different types of fabrics for beauty and fashion. In terms of structure and aesthetics, embroidery may add color, richness, dimension, and texture.
Some people take embroidery as a hobby as it’s pretty easy and not expensive, depending on the type. You only need the basic pattern or the image to begin and a few supplies. It becomes costly to use the machine that creates embroidery in the modern days if you need specific thread, stabilizer, needles, or special scissors.
When doing embroidery, you must plan on the image you are going to use. It may be complex as there are different shades of colors to use. More colors call for more work, especially when embroidering and digitizing. We are going to look into details what exactly makes an image too complex for embroidery.
A lot of details in your digital medium for your logo or image are not likely to come out the same way you would want on your embroidery.
If your logo has many details, you must ensure that the embroidery patch is significant to give room for more information to work to transfer clearly.
For instance, hats have typical embroidery patches, and they are less than 4 or 5 inches. With that said, you won’t be able to incorporate much detail in them as you think you would.
Everyone has a photo that they desire to be stitched on a piece of fabric: a family photo, a pet, parents, and others. You can turn it into artwork using your embroidery skills which is quite rewarding.
It may be complex for some people without computer program knowledge and easy for computer program knowhow. Following are different methods on how to prepare an image for embroidery. You need to follow up the instructions on how to do it as below:
1. Getting The Image Manually
- Choose an image or a photo you desire that has broad outlines. For beginners, it is not complicated. It is a simple task.
- Choose your photographs and if you must use others, get their permission.
- Trace the design manually using a computer program
- Use an iron-on transfer sheet to transfer your photo.
Please note while tracing, you use a lightbox method, keeping the photograph on thin glass. You must be in place with enough sunlight so you can trace the photo outline clearly on your paper using a pencil. Ensure you trace every visible line and use a carbon paper sheet to transfer the image on the selected piece of fabric.
2. Making An Image Using a Computer Program
Choose your photo and convert it into a line drawing with broad outlines that can be —stitched. You have options for doing it like Photoshop, Corel draw, or Befunky.com. You can get Befunky.com online for free.
The instructions are easy to follow as stipulated below:
- Choose a photo of your choice and trace your design on the fabric.
- You need a carbon sheet, tracing wheel, and tracing paper.
- Place your photo on the work table.
- Put your tracing paper on top of the photo.
- Use a pencil to draw the photo outline
- Remove the paper used for tracing.
- Select the part you want to place the image on top of your fabric.
- Place the carbon sheet between your fabric and the tracing sheet paper.
- Ensure the side with ink is facing down on your fabric.
- Finally, using the tracing wheel, ensure you run over the design. It will leave an outline that looks faint on the fabric.
3. Using Iron-on Transfer Sheet
There are different ways that you can transfer your image onto the fabric. The method is relatively easy. You must have the iron-on peel-off transfer sheets. It is a paper used for sharing photos onto the textile. There is paper backing that peels off on one side of the sheet, and you can print the image on the other side. Steps involved in this method are;
- Choose your photo
- Have your image printed on transfer sheets. Print photo on transfer sheets
- Place the Iron-on transfer sheet on your fabric.
- Use a mirror image to get effective results.
- Use heavy paper and ensure to change printer settings to print your image on the transfer paper sheet. The settings should match the heavy paper.
- Trim out the design from the transfer sheet all-around using a narrow object.
- Place the printed transfer paper don on the fabric and then iron it on the material used for embroidery.
- Transfer the image by heat by running a moderately hot iron on the back of the paper for a while, and it should be nonstop.
- Wait for the image to cool down for 3 minutes; after that, you can peel the paper backing off gently and carefully.
Once you follow the above steps, you now have your photo imprinted on your fabric which you embroider directly on the design. You can choose the method that suits you best.
What Type of Image is Used For Embroidery?
We have just discussed how to make images for embroidery in our previous topic. However, there are different types of images used for embroidery.
You can insert a flash into the machine for embroidery. The device will list the various file types, Adobe Illustrator files like ai, eps, and pdf. It can also give options of Adobe Photoshop files with a high resolution like tiff, jpeg, and PSD.
Embroidery images can either be easy or complex, depending on what you know. Learning is a daily act to improve your talent, especially on what you are passionate about. However, embroidery is time-consuming and needs a lot of patience for perfect results, especially hand embroidery.
It needs hours of sitting down and make tiny beautiful stitches that require good skills. Embroidery is also expensive, hence be ready to pay for the cost even though the payback is good.