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What Makes You Order from a Particular Company?

28th February 2008

What Makes You Order from a Particular Company?

I may have mentioned this here before but, if I haven’t, one of the reasons I’m the one writing this blog is because I’m Director of Marketing for EnMart.  My job is to figure out how to talk to our customers, and how to present the company so that people will want to buy our products and will like and trust our company.  

Some people, when asked, would tell you that Marketing is all smoke and mirrors and that Marketers, like myself, are one step up from sleazy salespeople.  I’ve never thought of myself or my job like that.  As I see it, half of my job is to figure out how to represent what our company is and the things for which it stands in the best way possible.  The other half is figuring out how to hold conversations with as many of our customers as possible.   After all, you’re the people best able to answer the question “What would make you buy from us”?

One of the ways that we try and talk to our customers and potential customers is this blog.  Another way is through our customer service reps, who reach out to potential customers through a market survey every day.  We also participate on forums  and send out a weekly e-mail, letting those who are interested know what has been happening at EnMart.  Our goal is to provide our customers with a variety of ways to contact us.  Our hope is that you will use one of those ways to tell us how we can serve your better or, if you are not a current customer, how we can win your business.  If you have any comments you would like to make, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment here on this blog.

posted in About EnMart | Comments Off

25th February 2008

ISS Atlantic City, March 7 – 9, 2008

For those who may not know, ISS Atlantic City begins in slightly over a week.  EnMart will be at the show in booth 1553.  Please stop by and visit us.  We will be showcasing the wide variety of products we offer,  as well as displaying our products in some unique and eye catching ways. 

One of the main products we will be showcasing will, of course, be Iris Thread.  Polyester, rayon and metallic thread will be on display in our booth.   For those of you who don’t know much about Iris Thread, the ISS Atlantic City Show is a great opportunity to learn more.  Please stop by booth 1553 and see our thread for yourselves.  I’m sure, once you’ve seen what we have to offer, you’ll be interested in testing Iris thread for yourself.

In addition to Iris Thread, we will be informing visitors to our booth about our unique Ntrans transfers and the blank emblems we sell.  Our blank emblems, manufactured by our parent company, Ensign Emblem, are some of the best in the business, and can be a valuable part of creating a new profit center for your business.

We still have passes available for ISS Atlantic City.   If you are interested in receiving a free pass to the exhibit floor, please contact us and we will be happy to send passes to you.  All we ask, if you request a pass or passes from us, is that you take a moment to stop by our booth and learn more about us. 

We look forward to seeing everyone at ISS Atlantic City.   Please do take a minute to stop by and see us.

posted in Trade Shows | 1 Comment

20th February 2008

Knowing Needles: Needles for New Embroiderers

Jennifer from Sun Embroidery Screen Printing left a question on our post “Knowing Needles:  Matching Needle Type and Fabric Type“.  She asks:

“What needle types/sizes would you recommend for a new embroiderer who doesn’t know if they will be doing any specialty items such as leather?  Is there a good sample pack you can recommend?”

First, thank you for the comment Jennifer.  We always appreciate comments and questions. 

Now, in answer to your second question, we don’t know of any needle sample packs.  EnMart does not sell a needle sample pack, nor do we know of anyone who does.  I also did a search on machine embroidery needle sample packs on Google and came up empty.  So, if there is such a thing as a needle sample pack, it is a very well kept secret.

Unfortunately, the answer to your first question is basically “that depends”.  Our parent company uses number 10 needles on the majority of the projects it creates.  The selection of needle really depends on the type of fabric you need to embroider.   You also need to determine whether you should use a sharp or a ballpoint needle.  Again, this depends largely on the type of fabric that will be used for your project.  Ballpoint needles are generally used with knit or woven fabrics.  The needles are designed to avoid making large holes in these types of fabric.  By contrast, sharp needles are designed for use with more tightly woven fabrics. 

The needle you use also depends on the type of embroidery machine you have.  Most machines are designed to take the same type of needle, but needles come in two types, flat sided and round shank.  Using the wrong type of needle can damage your machine and will certainly jeopardize the success of your project.  As a generalization, most home sewing and embroidery machines use flat shank needles.  Most commercial embroidery machines use round shank needles.  The company that manufactures the machine you own should be able to make recommendations about the type of needles that are suitable for your machine.

Obviously, we would recommend the needles we sell to any machine embroiderer.  These are the same needles our parent company uses, so we know they are good quality needles that sew well.   You might also want to check the following magazine articles for more information.

Knit Wits Sew News July 2002

Choosing Machine Embroidery Threads Threads Magazine

Machine Embroidery: A Marriage of Fabric and Design Threads Magazine

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies, Machine Embroidery Tips | Comments Off

15th February 2008

Knowing Needles: Matching Needle Type and Fabric Type

Yesterday, we discussed needle vocabulary and how your choice of thread can influence the success of failure of the stitches your needle choice sews.  Today I want to discuss which needles work best with which fabric types.   In an ideal world there would be one all purpose needle that would work equally well with every fabric type but, in our world, that isn’t the case.  Like choosing the right thread to run in your machine,  choosing the right needle for your fabric can mean the difference between the success or failure of your embroidery.

There are speciality needles which are designed for specific fabrics.  If you are embroidering denim, you will probably want to use a denim needle, which has a very sharp point and a stiff shank.  Those who work with leather should use a leather needle, which has a slight cutting point and works better for stitching through leather, suede or vinyl.  A stretch needle, which has a deeper scarf, is designed for stitching knit fabrics that contain spandex.  This would be the ideal needle if you embroider a lot of workout gear.

 Obviously, machine embroidery requires needles that are designed for that purpose.  Machine embroidery needles are designed with a special scarf and a large eye.  This may help to prevent shredding and breakage if you are sewing a design using rayon or special machine embroidery threads.  There are also needles designed especially for use with metallic thread which prevent shredding and breakage of those types of threads.

 There are a few things you should remember when selecting a needle.  One thing to keep in mind is that you change the tension on the top thread when you change the needle size or the eye size of the needle.  If you switch to using a needle with a different point, you are changing the way the needle penetrates the fabric, which may have an effect on the quality of your finished embroidery.  You should also remember that changing your needle halfway through a larger project may help ensure the completed run is a success.  A needle that is bent or blunt can damage the fabric or stitch unevenly, which could ruin your design as well as the garment you are stitching.

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | 2 Comments

14th February 2008

Knowing Needles: Name Your Needle Parts

Everyone knows that selecting the right needle for your machine is very important.  Using the wrong needle could, at the very least, cause you to create inferior embroidery.  At the most, it could break your machine, making potentially expensive repairs necessary.

There are several factors that can have an influence on the type of needle you decide to use.  The first is fabric.  Some fabrics require the use of a specialized needle if they are to be embroidered correctly.  Another factor is the thread you use.  Some threads, like metallic thread, require the use of a specific needle in order to run correctly.   The type of stitch you plan to use may also have an effect on the type of needle you choose.   Stitch quality is very much effected by the needle and thread you choose to use.  Selecting the right needle and pairing it with Iris thread can go a long way toward helping your project flow smoothly.

 One of the things that is helpful to know when choosing a needle is the vocabulary that is used by needle manufacturers.  Each part of a needle has a specific name.   Knowing these names may help you in choosing the proper needle for your project.

 Names for the Parts of a Needle

Shank - This is the upper part of the needle which is held by the needle bar or set screw. It may be either flat or round on one side.

Blade - Extends from the base of the shank to the point of the needle.

Scarf – The scarf allows the hook of the bobbin case to get close to the eye of the needle so it can catch the thread and form a stitch.  The scarf is an indentation on the back of the needle just above the eye. 

Long Groove - This is a long groove that provides a protected channel for the thread as it is drawn through the fabric.  The long groove serves as a final thread guide.

 Eye – This is the part of the needle that carries the thread into the bobbin case for stitch formation. The size of the eye can vary based on the size of thread it will be required to accommodate. Using a needle with an eye that is the wrong size for your thread could damage the fabric or cause your thread to form inferior stitches.

Point - This is the sharp end which pierces the fabric. Different fabrics may require the use of needles with different types of points.

This is the first part of our “Knowing Needles” series.  Tomorrow we’ll discuss selecting the right needle for the fabric you’re planning to embroider.

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | 2 Comments

6th February 2008

Embroidering Single Patches: The “How To” Post

Yesterday, we discussed how to decide on the size and type of patches you want to embroider and offer to your customers.  Today we will be discussing how to embroider single patches.  We have gotten some questions on this subject, so I will do my best to provide you with some good tips on the best way to easily create embroidered patches one at a time.

 The first thing to keep in mind is the fact that, if you are starting with already created blanks to which you will add a design, you are way ahead of the game.  It is possible to create your own blanks from scratch and then add your design, but the process requires more cost and more time than buying blanks from a supplier.

Once you have received your blanks,  the next thing you need to do is add your design.   The first thing to do is create a patch template.  If you know you will be using the same size patches regularly, scan one patch  and then digitize a running stitch around the edge of the image. Be sure your stitching starts and stops at the top of the patch.  Once that is done, create another file for the design to go on the patch using your template file as a base.

The best way to embroider a single patch is use a large piece of sticky backing, like EnMart’s Peel-N-Stick backing, and  hoop the backing with the adhesive side up.  This will hold the emblem in place. Once you have hooped your backing, program your machine to stop at the end of the first running stitch.  This is the stitch that defines the outline of the patch.  Once the machine has sewn the outline stitch it will stop.  Place the blank emblem on to the adhesive backing using the running stitch as a template for placement. Restart the machine.  It will then sew the rest of your design.  When the machine is finished sewing, simply unhoop the backing and tear off the excess. 

Some Helpful Links

Impressions Magazines has two great articles on the subject of embroidering blank patches.  Some of the information included in this post was from those articles.  If you have a moment, please go and read these articles.  They are:

Patches and Emblems Can Be Packed With Profit

How To Embroider Patches

Also, there is a patch holder attachment for embroidery machines manufactured by a company called Kormak.  We are not affiliated with this company, nor do we offer this product for sale through EnMart.  We also have never used this attachment.  Basically, we know nothing beyond the fact that such a thing exists.  I just thought, in the interest  of information, I would pass the link along.

posted in Machine Embroidery Tips | 2 Comments

5th February 2008

Embroidering Single Patches: Deciding on Size and Type

Because EnMart sells blank patches we often get asked what the best way is to embroider those patches.  To tell the truth, our parent company Ensign Emblem may make blank patches, but it is very rare that we ever embroider one emblem at the time.  Ensign has machines with many heads and tends to do embroidery jobs in bulk. 

Since our customers have asked this question, and since we like to be helpful when we can, we’ve pooled our knowledge and done some research.  Hopefully the information we’ve found will help you in your attempts to efficiently embroider single emblems. 

 The first thing that you need to know is that EnMart Blanks are offered with heat seal or sew on backing.  Each type of backing is used precisely as the name implies.  Patches with heat seal backing are sealed to the garment with a heat press after they have been embroidered.  Some people may try to secure heat seal emblems with an iron, but that is not the recommended method.  In order to adhere properly, heat seal emblems need a firm, constant pressure.  If you don’t have a heat press available, we recommend emblems with sew-on backing. Emblems with sew-on backing are sewn to the garment.

When deciding what sort of backing your blank patches should have, keep in mind your available equipment and the garment on which the patch will go.  Some fabrics will not react well to heat and so will require an emblem that can be sewn on.  Other materials may be very thick and hard to sew but will withstand heat well and would be ideal for an emblem with heat seal backing.  You should also remember that emblems with heat seal backing will achieve the best seal when they are applied with a heat press.  If you don’t have such a press available, you are better off taking only jobs that require emblems with sew-on backing.

The other thing to consider when pricing a job that requires blank emblems is the size of the emblem and the fabric required.  EnMart offers a selection of stock blank emblems in different sizes and shapes.  Our stock blanks are available in ovals, circles, squares and rectangles.  All stock blanks are made with white polyester fabric, and offered with a choice of seven border colors.   Buying stock blanks would most likely be your most inexpensive option and allow you to offer the lowest price to your customer.

If, however, stock blanks will not meet your needs, EnMart can also create custom blanks in a variety of sizes and colors upon request.  Custom blank orders will need to be placed by telephone, as we will need to quote a price.  If you would like to order custom blank patches, please contact one of our helpful customer service representatives and they will be happy to assist you with your request.

Because embroidering single patches is a rather involved topic, we’ve decided to divide our discussion into more than one post.  Tomorrow’s post will cover how to embroider a single patch. 

posted in Machine Embroidery Tips | 9 Comments

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