Return to Previous Page
These hints are designed for the beginner in monogramming.
If you are an experienced embroiderer, you don't need to
spend time with this page.
Return to Previous Page
Hooping: For all monogramming you have to put the material inside
some type of hoop to hold it tight and rigid and the hoop is what
moves the material around for stitching. Material should be
stretched tight. You should hoop the backing in at the same time
if only using a single sheet. You can also use sheets of backing
loose underneath and a combination of both works best. Hoop one
sheet of backing and use another one or two sheets loose until
the stitching catches it and moves it along with the hoop.
Spray adhesive: A new adhesive made especially for this type
of application, lets you spray it on the backing and apply it
firmly to the material. It will wash out. This will hold the
back even more firmly on the material. This is especially needed
with small designs on loose knit material, like golf shirts.
- Always use backing. Use several layers of backing if the
material is not a very fine weave. Basically, there are two kinds
of backing: Tear away and Cut Away. Tear away is easy to use and
get off after stitching, but it is not rigid enough for loose
weave garments like polo and golf shirts. Cut away also needs
to be used with cap stitching.
Stitch Density: If a given font is designed to be used from .5 inch
to 3.0 inch, you still need to adjust the stitch density at either
extreme size. Use less density with small letters. Otherwise,
they will bunch up the thread or tear the garment, or both.
With very large letters, the thread will get too thin and the
density needs to be increased. There is no exact formula since
type of material, backing and/or overlay all affect what is needed.
Overlay: Especially with fluffy towels and washcloths, you need
to put a clear plastic layer on the top of the garment. You can
hoop it into the whole frame, or just hold it over the garment
until the stitches begin to grab it. This thin plastic sheeting
is the same thing dry-cleaners use for clothes and can usually
be obtained free. If you have enough to include it in the hoop,
you should. Some clear sheeting is made for this purpose that is
water soluble. It's pretty pricy, but very handy.
Tensions: Both bobbin tensions and needle tensions are very
important. You should be able to see a small white ridge of
bobbin thread on the underside of a monogram when completed.
This indicates proper tension between the two. One way to
check (other than just getting to know how it "feels" when
you pull on the thread, which you will after a lot of sewing
and adjusting) is to set the bobbin tension so that when you
hold the bobbin thread, and the bobbin and case is in the air,
a movement of your hand up and down will let the bobbin slowly
release the thread and drop down, like a yo-yo. Then set your
sewing tensions for proper sewing with the bobbin at his tension.
Take your time until no mistakes are being made.
Judy and M.D. Smith (mdsmith@HiWAAY.net)
2300 Woodcliff Road, SE, Huntsville, AL 35801
Fax (256) 533-8282, Phone (256) 536-7520