Apparel Graphic Academy

Contract Embroidery

What is contract embroidery

I get the question all the time. “Are you a contract embroiderer?” What does a contract embroidered do?

To summarize it up the business model it is the same as a building contractor. The customer supplies the raw goods which are generally cut pieces for sewing or finished product which are to be stitched with a brand logo.

The contract process is very simple consisting of  three parts to complete an order. The first part is the design. The design has to be converted into a embroidery computer program which will transfer the directions to a multihead embroidery machine. What actually happens is that the design to be embroidered is actually stitched one time by a computer aided program. The most important part of this process is to have a programmer (digitizer) prepare the design for sewing. A skilled digitizer generally has 4 years of experience before they achieve the skill levels needed to program a design.

The second part of the process is to stitch the design into the garment or cut panel. The operator has to know what thread, backing and topping to choose to run sew the order successfully. The backing is needed to create a substrate which will hold the stitches while the design is being created. Some fabrics are so delicate that the actual sewing is done into the backing or topping.

At decosource the  final part of the order is the finishing. Decosource steams all garments to remove the water solvable topping and get out any wrinkles in the garment. The final step is to fold and bag for delivery to the customer


Jim Mickelson

Northwest Custom Apparel