Ever Wonder Why Monogramming Costs What It Does?

Monogramming an item - it sounds so simple.  I hear people say, "Sure, I'll just slap a name on it real quick."  Heck, I've even caught myself saying something similar.  Granted, it's not all that complicated once you have some practice with it.  And, it certainly helps to have a commercial embroidery machine (much faster).  However, with all of the competition on Facebook, Etsy, Blogs, etc., I am seeing more and more businesses offering FREE monogramming.  In an effort to compete, I've been known to offer this sometimes myself.  :)  Our standard price for monogramming a single initial is $5 and a name or three initials runs $7.  As you can imagine, the larger the monogram, the larger the bill will be.  Many shower curtains, for example, run between $40-$80 for 3 initials.  Once the monogram size exceeds our standard hoop, we begin to calculate the price according to stitch count.  That's how we determine the price of things such as shower curtains.

Sounds expensive, huh?  Well, I've never really posted anything about the process - only the outcome of our work.  Two nights ago, I was monogramming some Homecoming Sashes for a local college and decided that I'd take pictures along the way so I could show you what's involved. 

 First, we have to make sure that we have the correct thread color on the machine.  In this case, we will be using the crimson thread.

Then, we need to hoop the item.  The monogram on the sashes will need to be quite large, so we need to use our extra large hoop.  It doesn't look that big in the picture, but trust me, it is.  :)

In fact, this hoop is so large that we need to adjust the arms on the machine to make it fit.

Now, we mark center on the item so that we know where to line up the needle at the starting point of the embroidery.  Here, I have marked center with a purple water soluble pen.  Also, you can see that we have heavy tear away stabilizer hooped behind the satin fabric.

Next, we need to design the image on the computer and save it so we can load it in the embroidery machine.

Here's where we pulled up the design on the screen of the embroidery machine.

Next, we need to line up the needle with the center point that we marked on the garment.  In this case, our crimson thread is loaded on the #10 needle, which you can see is directly lined up with the center mark.

Next we will trace the design to make sure that we aren't going to hit the edge of the hoop during the embroidery process.  You can see that we were close here, but we knew that it wouldn't hit since we traced it prior to starting.

And after several minutes, the design has been completely stitched out.  All we need to do now is unhoop the garment, tear off the stabilizer, iron the garment so you can't see the hoop lines, package it up nicely and deliver to customer. 

So, in a nutshell, that's the process for monogramming an item.  The applique process is much different.  Maybe I'll snap some pictures and show you how that's done one day soon.  :)  I hope you all have a great weekend!