Stitching for Efficiency
By Marie Zinno
Congratulations! You purchased a multi-needle embroidery machine (or two) and now the orders are coming in. The blank items you purchased are piled up in the workroom. Next step? Count the inventory and organize the orders for a timely delivery. You are so excited to stitch your newly delivered merchandise that you didn’t notice the bare thread rack and the status of your stabilizers.
The saying “everything happens at once” is absolutely true when you own a business. Most commercial business owners start small and gradually grow to accommodate larger orders.
Therefore, the tasks of inventory, supplies, machine maintenance, sales, digitizer and operator all land on one person. It is imperative to stay focused and plan for seasonal orders and busy sports seasons.
You should never run out of your basic thread colors and stabilizers. I like to use as much vertical space as possible in my embroidery studio.
Purchase a thread rack for your wall or a table to easily access your embroidery thread. The rack should be placed out of direct sunlight. My thread is organized by color and thread type, with the commonly used colors: black and white at the top. For many years the bulk of my orders were high school team uniforms and spirit wear. Our local school colors are purple, gold and white. My thread rack reflected those orders. Maybe you have unique colors that are popular in your business, so it is important to always have them in stock.
The go-to stabilizers to keep in stock are: no show mesh cut-away, fusible no show mesh, medium cut-away, soft tear away, crisp tear away and water soluble.
There are many other specialty types of stabilizers on the market for unique embroidery projects, however, these are the basics. Stock up and keep them labeled for accurate usage.
Purchase additional hoops for your machine, whether they are standard or specialty hoops. You can save time by hooping items ahead of time and while stitching. I suggest purchasing an extra 4″ x 4″ and 5″ x 7″ hoop.
Templates and tools are your friend in the workroom.
Precision embroidery placement is everything when you embroider for paying customers.
You want your work to reflect your expertise. You do not have time to use a ruler and measure a towel monogram. Invest in a few helpful sets of templates such as dime’s Perfect Placement Kit and the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit. The templates take the guesswork out of where to place a design. Set up a production line when working on large orders of multiples. Make the most of your time by using a template for your blank item, place the target sticker in place. Start to stitch one item, hoop another item while embroidering.
My workroom is always clean of drinks so food and I do not take the chance of ruining a wholesale item. Create good habits in your work space and stick to it.
Below I share a few simple orders that are good examples of stitching multiples for efficiency.
Gift Ideas Napkins
Monogrammed napkins are simple and popular gifts during the holidays. Use a template from the Perfect Placement Kit and attach a target sticker on all 12 napkins. Place soft tear away stabilizer in a large hoop (300x200mm). Add the basting file around the initial or design. Start to stitch one napkin in the upper top corner. Move from top to bottom and side to side to fit as many napkins in one hoop. This technique saves hooping time and stabilizer. Clip the basting stitches after all embroidery is complete and carefully remove the stabilizer.
Follow the same steps to locate the center of the towel with a template. Place a target sticker in the hole of the template, hoop each towel with tear away stabilizer and water soluble on top. Use the basting file to hold the water soluble stabilizer in place. Use a spritz bottle filled with 2/3 water and 1/3 fabric softener to easily remove the excess water soluble stabilizer.
Take the steps to plan for a busy stitching season and reap the benefits.