28th August 2008

Bobbin Facts

I just wanted to remind you one last time that EnMart is having a sale on all our bobbins through the end of August.  If you are looking for Hi-10 Bobbins, Fil-Tec Bobbins or Style M Bobbins, now is the time to buy from EnMart.

All of the bobbins available from EnMart feature filament polyester thread.  This thread is virtually lint free, so it won’t leave a lot of lint in your machine.  Filament polyester thread also creates a soft backing for your design, even if the stitching on the design is very dense.   This sort of bobbin thread also works well with metallic threads.

Enmart also offers both Style L and Style M Bobbins.  About 60 percent of the embroidery machines available today are compatible with the standard Style L prewound bobbin.  All our prewound bobbins use only the highest quality thread, so you don’t need to worry about inferior thread and the problems it can cause with your machine. Prewound bobbins also hold up to three times as much thread.

Our Style M bobbins, which are a larger bobbin size, also come with the same high quality thread prewound on the bobbin. We also offer bobbin cases, both for the Style M bobbin and for the smaller Style L bobbin.  All our bobbins are paper sided and are completely disposable.

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26th August 2008

More Metallic Thread Tips

Working with metallic thread can be tricky.  There are some techniques and tips that machine embroiderers should know about it they want their metallic thread to run smoothly and sew easily.  If you’re using Iris metallic thread, in gold or silver, you’re already a step ahead of the game.  If you use Iris metallic thread and follow the tips given below, your sewing experience should be an easy one.

Tips for Sewing with Metallic Thread

  • Use a fresh needle.   Needles can go dull quite quickly.  Make sure you’re using a fresh needle when you start sewing with metallic thread.
  • Use a needle designed for metallic thread. Needles designed for metallic thread can help prevent shredding and breakage.
  • A clean needle is a happy needle.  Make sure your needle is cleared of fuzz or gunk.  Thread runs more smoothly when clean needles are used.
  • Make sure you’re practicing good machine maintenance.  Some basic maintenance can help ensure that your machine sews a lot more smoothly.
  • Sew slowly.  If you sew too fast, your thread will be more likely to snag or break.  Keep your machine sewing at a steady, even speed.  The job may take a bit longer, but you won’t experience as many stoppages due to breaks or other issues.
  • Keep tension loose.   Metallic threads seem to sew better when tensions are loose.  Setting your tensions more loosely will help you avoid breaks.
  • Make sure your design is digitized for metallic thread.  This sort of thread has special requirements when it comes to digitizing.  Make sure the stitches aren’t too dense.

The most important thing you can do when sewing with metallic machine embroidery thread is this:  relax.   If you’re in a hurry you’ll most likely be tempted to try and hurry the sewing along as well.  If you relax, you’ll get the job done and have a lovely, shiny embroidery to show for you time.

posted in Thread | 1 Comment

25th August 2008

A Contest and Some Reminders

If you haven’t read your EnMart NewsBites e-mail lately, now would be a good time. We are currently running a contest that is open only to our NewsBites subscribers. It involves this post and your stories. The winner will receive their choice of a Best 24 Kit of rayon or polyester Iris threads. Please refer to the latest EnMart NewsBites e-mail (sent last Friday) for further details.

EnMart will be making announcements about some exciting developments in the next few months. If you want to be the first to receive the latest information, get a heads up on e-mail only specials and sales, and keep up to date on the latest happenings at EnMart, you should be on our mailing list. It’s easy to get added to the list. Simply, contact us by phone or e-mail and we’ll add you to the database. It’s that simple.

I also wanted to remind everyone that EnMart will be at ISS Atlanta and ISS Fort Worth. If you need passes for either show, we still have them available. Just contact us and ask for the number of passes you need. We’ll be happy to send them to you.

Finally, I wanted to remind that our bobbin sale is in effect until August 31. During the month of August, all bobbins are 10% off. If you’ve been wanting to replenish your bobbin supply, now would be a great time to buy.

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21st August 2008

The Care and Feeding of Needles

Back in February I did a three part series on machine embroidery needles. Part 1 dealt with needle parts. Part 2 examined fabric type and needle selection. Part 3 covered dealt with needle recommendations.

Since I wrote that series of post in February I haven’t written about needles much. In the past few days, however, we’ve had a couple of needle related questions, so it seemed like a good idea to examine the topic of machine embroidery needles in a bit more detail. That’s what I plan to do today.

One question we were asked is if our needles fit into any embroidery machine. EnMart sells Schmetz needles and we have yet to encounter an embroidery machine into which those needles don’t fit. We sell sharps and ball point needles, titanium needles, and metallic embroidery needles, so you will have some choices to make based on the fabric you embroider and the thread you choose to use.

Always remember to change your needles often. Because some of the newer machines embroider at very high speeds, needles can wear out quite quickly. A dull needle can cause frayed or snapped threads which certainly won’t improve the look of your design or your sewing speed. Some companies recommend changing your needle after every job. Others recommend changing after 5 or 8 hours of sewing. As you get to know your machine you’ll be able to determine how often you will need to change the needle.

Also make sure that you check your needle tightness regularly. Needles have been known to come loose and fall out in the middle of sewing a design. To avoid that problem, make sure you check how tight your needle is before starting each job. If the needle feels loose, don’t be afraid to tighten it up. The manual for your machine should have instructions on how to do this.

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | 1 Comment

19th August 2008

Why Do You Attend Trade Shows?

I guess before I ask why people attend trades shows I should ask if they attend trade shows. I know, for some people, the expense of attending a trade show may be prohibitive. For others, the thought of crowded parking lots and show floors may cause them to want to stay away. Some people may just live in a part of the country that makes getting to a trade show difficult. I’m also guessing there are people who can’t leave their businesses for the length of time required to attend a trade show.

If you are concerned about the expense of a trade show, Impressions Magazine may be able to provide some help. They are currently running an article that details the trade show expenses you may be able to deduct from your taxes. Of course no article can substitute for a talk with your accountant, but this article may point you toward the questions you need to ask.

EnMart has, so far this year, attended five trade shows. We’ve chosen to attend the ISS Shows. EnMart has so far been to Long Beach, Orlando, Atlantic City, Providence and Schaumburg. We will also be in Atlanta (Booth 112) in September and Fort Worth (Booth 832) in October. We have greatly enjoyed meeting everyone we’ve seen at the shows so far, and we look forward to meeting more of you at the final two shows of the year.

We go to trade shows primarily because it gives us the opportunity to talk to our customers and potential customers face to face. We communicate with our customers in a lot of ways, but nothing can replace face to face communication. Going to the shows and getting to meet all of you and explain about our products in person is a great privilege. We always come back from every show having learned something new.

Now that you know a bit about why we go to shows, I’d like to know why you go to shows. Is it to investigate new products or new suppliers? Is it to connect with other embroiderers or to meet up with friends or colleagues? Do you go to trade shows primarily to attend seminars or product demos? What draws you to the show and what needs to happen to allow you to leave the show feeling that it was worth the trip?

If you have answers to any of these questions, please leave them in the comments.

posted in Trade Shows | 2 Comments

18th August 2008

Environmentally friendly thread

It seems that, in these times, everyone is worried about their environmental impact. We all want to use products that are good for the environment and we all want to reduce our carbon footprint and the negative impact we may be making on that environment. In an effort to accomplish that goal, and to tap into a growing market for eco-friendly products, many embroiderers have begun searching for environmentally friendly products that can be used in the embroidered items they create.

If you’re searching for a thread and a thread manufacturer which are environmentally conscious, you don’t need to look any further than Hilos Iris. Their thread, both polyester and rayon, is manufactured to the highest environmental standards and the company has policies in place to ensure their manufacturing facility has as little impact on the environment as possible.

To minimize their environmental impact, Hilos Iris does the following:

  • Uses recycled water
  • Only uses chemicals and dye stuffs that are non carcinogenic and environmentally friendly
  • Treats and cleans all water before releasing it into any outside water source
  • Uses a recycled water system for heat and energy

Hilos Iris is certified as being among the lowest in the emission of dangerous substances for not only the company’s home country of Mexico, but for the entire world. The company is committed to environmentally practices and consistently searches for ways to conserve energy and avoid waste while protecting the environment.

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14th August 2008

EnMart NewsBites E-Mail Newsletter

For those of you who might not already know, I wanted to take a moment today to mention the EnMart Newsbites Newsletter. This is a bi-weekly newsletter that is delivered via e-mail. Like this blog, it is a way to communicate with our customers, to ask questions, and to update all of you on any special events or sales that may be happening at EnMart.

If you visited us at a show and allowed our booth personnel to scan your badge, you are already on the list to receive the newsletter. We also have added people who have talked to our customer service staff or our Account Executives. The list for the newsletter is a good place to be, since people who get the e-mail newsletter often get tipped off about special promotions or sales that we may not mention anywhere else. Giving you some inside information is our way of saying thank you for wanting to learn more about EnMart and our products.

If you don’t currently receive the EnMart NewsBites, here’s what you may be missing:

  • Information about a contest that is available only to newsletter subscribers
  • Highlights from the best blog posts of the last few weeks
  • Tips and hints about how to get the most from EnMart products
  • Reminders about monthly specials and promotions

If you are not currently receiving the EnMart NewsBites newsletter and would like to do so, please contact one of our customer service representatives and ask to be added to our mailing list. You’ll be glad you did.

posted in About EnMart | Comments Off

13th August 2008

Uses for a Heat Press

Most likely you’d already determined how you would use your heat press before you made the purchase. Now that you’ve got your heat press in your shop, it’s time to see if you can put those ideas you had into practice. We would also like to suggest a few uses for your heat press that you may not have considered.

One way to use your heat press is as a sealing mechanism for transfers. Many transfers, like EnMart’s Ntrans Screenprint Transfers, require heat be applied to seal the transfer to the fabric. Transfers are a great way to increase your product offerings, as they allow you to offer screenprinted garments without having to purchase screenprinting equipment. EnMart’s Ntrans Tranfers are available in any number of colors and require a minimum order of 12 pieces.

Another use for a heat press is to seal patches or emblems to a garment or hat. EnMart offers blank patches in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you don’t wish to sew the patches on the garments, order your patches with heat seal backing. As we said in a blog post on the subject, heat seal backing is used when you want to seal the patches directly to the garment using a heat press. We do not recommend using an iron to seal EnMart patches. A heat press creates a much better seal.

In a pinch, although we don’t recommend it, you can also use your heat press for making a quick lunch or dinner. If you aren’t having much luck finding a book of recipes suitable for heat press cooking, check out this thread at T-Shirt forums. Crepes and quesadillas, here we come!

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12th August 2008

Did You Know We Sell Heat Presses?

Many of you probably already know by now that EnMart sells thread and blanks and backing. Today I wanted to to talk a little bit about another category of products we offer, heat presses.

EnMart offers heat presses manufactured by the Geo. Knight and Company. Geo. Knight has been manufacturing heat presses for over a century. Established in 1885, the company now specializes in heat transfer equipment for commercial, private and industrial use. They’ve had years to learn the art and craft of making heat presses and all Knight presses are manufactured to the highest industry standards.

Whether you’re looking for 9×12 Swingaway or a 16×20 Clamshell, EnMart has what you need. We even have presses available that can withstand heavy daily use. These machines perform high quality pressings of hot split, cold peel, pre-made screen printing transfers (such as Ntrans), iron-on inkjet, laser, color copier transfer papers, sublimation transfers, flocking, lettering, embroidered appliques, and many other heat seal processes. If your application requires heat & pressure over a specific surface area, we most likely have the perfect solution for you.

EnMart also offers heat press accessories like a portable heat press stand. We also offer an auto release pop up function for certain models of the Knight presses. This amazing high-tech upgrade makes your Digital Knight clamshell act like a semi-automatic, air operated press, without the compressor. Features electromagnetic assist lock-down and auto-release design. The dual gas shocks open the press safely and in a controlled, smooth, hydraulic motion.

Now that you know a little bit more about the heat presses we sell, I’d like to talk a bit about why we sell them and why you should use them. That will be the subject of tomorrow’s post.

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | Comments Off

7th August 2008

Bobbin Talk

In case you haven’t heard, I just wanted to remind everyone that all bobbins are 10% off during the month of August. I also wanted to spend a bit of time today talking about bobbins and the effect they can have on the success or failure of your embroidery.

The first thing to remember is this: you should always use bobbins with thread that is designed specifically for machine embroidery. This thread is strong enough to withstand the rigors of machine stitching, but light enough to keep designs that are densely stitched from becoming stiff and uncomfortable to wear.

Here’s another helpful tip: Always start a new project with a full bobbin. If your bobbin runs out of thread in the middle of a job it could damage your work and will certainly slow down your production.

If your bobbin thread is is showing on the face of your embroidery, you may have a tension problem. If you see this occurring, tighten your bobbin tension. You may have to make a few adjustments before you achieve the right tension settings. If you are unsure what your stitch out should look like, and you are using Iris thread, you can refer to our test run instructions for help.

I’d also like to remind everyone that bobbins need cleaning just like any other part of an embroidery machine. Check your bobbins to make sure there is no lint or dust or fuzz inside the case. You should also make sure that you bobbin is inserted into the machine properly. An improper insertion could damage the machine and ruin your embroidery.

Finally, I just wanted to let everyone know that EnMart carries bobbin cases as well as bobbins. We also offer bobbins in both black and white.

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | 2 Comments

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