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The Friday Blog Round Up 10/28/11

28th October 2011

The Friday Blog Round Up 10/28/11

First up today is an inspiring story of a three day walk to help fight breast cancer.   Angie from AKDesigns did the walk,  and it seems like it was an amazing experience.    As someone who lost her mother to cancer,  and who has other family members who are fighting it,  I applaud anyone who does something to help fight it.    Judging by the post and the pictures,  the experience was memorable and inspiring.

Second on the list is another in the great How To post from the NNEP blog.  This time the post is about training salespeople on how to price embroidery.   There are some very helpful tips here.   I especially like the idea of a binder with samples to which the salesperson can refer.    This is a very helpful series, and I hope it continues.

Third on the list is a terrific post from Erich Campbell about what we’re really selling when we think we’re selling embroidery.   His post delves into what that embroidery can do for the people that buy it, and really helps present a different view of the work that embroiderers do.   As usual,  I love Erich’s work, and the new perspective he brings to things.

Fourth on the list,  just because I can, and because I think it’s an important topic,  is my post on the DecQuorum blog about making sure you’re advertising where your market is and not where you think they are.   I see so many people wasting money and time advertising people who aren’t looking for what they have to offer.   We all need to be more aware of who we’re trying to sell to and where those people are online and offline.

This is a short one this week,  but I’ve been pressed for time.  I’m also looking for blog recommendations.  I’d especially love to hear about some more blogs that deal with machine embroidery.    I keep looking and I find a lot of blogs about hand embroidery, but not many about machine embroidery.   If anyone knows of a good blog I should be reading,  please do let me know.

 

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26th October 2011

A New, Lower Price on Mini King Cones

EnMart is pleased to announce we have reduced the price on our 1100 yard Iris UltraBrite mini king cones.  These cones of Iris Thread still offer the same great color,  terrific shine and will run smoothly and with minimal thread breaks in any commercial or home embroidery machine.  The only thing that has changed is the price,  which has been reduced to $2.35 per cone.

Iris UltraBrite Polyester Thread is known for its shine,  which is courtesy of the Dupont trilobal polyester fibers used in the thread construction,  and for it’s strength.   The thread runs smoothly in both commercial and home embroidery machines,  and generally has very few thread breaks.    The high tenacity and low elongation also eliminate looping.   Iris poly thread is durable enough to withstand an industrial wash and dry yet offers enough colors to be suitable for your most delicate and colorful embroidery.

The 1100 yard mini king cones are an ideal size if you want to try a new color or add colors that you will only use rarely to your existing inventory.  The high quality of Iris thread allows it to be used at very high machine speeds to embroider leather, jackets, towels, hats, caps, bags, and more, with any monogram, decoration, or other embroidery design.   If you’re looking for high quality in a thread that allows for high production rates,  look no further than Iris thread.

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21st October 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 10/21/11

First up this week, we have a post from Retail Minded which provides a checklist to ensure you’re ready for holiday shoppers.   It’s hard to believe that the holidays are almost upon us,  but they are,  and you need to be sure your business, whether brick and mortar or online, is ready for the onslaught.   While these tips are aimed more at brick and mortar businesses,  many of them could apply to a business that operates strictly online as well.

Second on the list is another edition of the Urban Entrepreneurs series from Urban Threads.   Can I just say I’m madly in love with this series?  I love to see people making a living through their art, and I love seeing the awesome things that people make.    The subject of this week’s profile makes clothing for Ren Faires and other events of that type.   Her stuff is cool and I really think she has a logical and measured approach to growing her business.

Third up this week is a technique that seasoned machine embroiderers may have already seen.  I haven’t seen it before and I think it’s cool, so it makes the round-up.   It’s called embossing,  and it apparently is  a terrific way to decorate textured fabrics like towels or fleece.   The end result is interesting and the post includes instructions on how to try embossing yourself.

Fourth at bat this week is a post about creating change and why sometimes we fail at it.    Creating change is tough.  Bucking the status quo is tough.   Going against the flow, taking a risk and accepting the consequences can be uncomfortable,   but we all owe it to ourselves to give our lives, and that includes jobs, relationships and health,  the best we can give.   This post is a good reminder that there will always be an excuse not to try to change things,  but we have to try anyway.

Fifth on the docket today is a post I bookmarked a few weeks back and then promptly forgot.   I’m sorry I forgot to mention it because I think this post is totally on target when it comes to how social media accounts should be handled.    I vote for human over corporate every time,  and I think the accounts that have a human face and voice are much more interesting.

 

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14th October 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 10/14/11

Welcome to a gray and rainy, here at least,  edition of the Friday blog round-up.  First up today is a post from Erich Campbell on how to make the best of the materials you’re given.  We’ve probably all been confronted, at one time or another,  with a design or some material or an idea that isn’t optimum.   The trick, as Erich tells us,  is to see things for their inherent value,  without letting your own opinions get in the way.  In the end you may find that what you thought wasn’t workable becomes a very nice piece in its own right.

Next on the list is a great post from My Two Stitches about concentrating on slow and steady growth instead of getting rich quick schemes.   A lot of new businesses may get the urge to focus on smoke and mirrors instead of substance,  hoping to build their businesses quickly.  As Bonnie Landsberger points out,  this isn’t the best way to go.  Slow and steady wins the race, and the clients, in the end,  plus it helps ensure that your business has the sort of reputation you should want it to have.

Third up today is a post from a great new series on the Urban Threads Stitch Punk blog.  They call it Urban Entrepreneurs.  Each week they spotlight a different Urban Threads customer who is using their designs as part of a small business.   It’s an awesome series,  and I especially like the business they’ve spotlighted this week.   First of all, who wouldn’t like a business called Just for Giggles?  Second,  I love the positive attitude of the owner and what she has to say about being successful and building a business.   It’s a great post,  and a great series.

Fourth at bat today is a post that characterizes common website issues as types of people.    Let’s face it, building a good, functional, nice looking website that actually works and is user friendly is a tough task.   This post is a funny way to deal with a problem that can be serious.   It’s also a great reminder to take a look at your own website and make sure you don’t have the web version of the Know It All or the Creeper.

Fifth on the docket is a post that asks if social media can make you truly happy.  The gist of the post is the fact that social media is taking up more and more of people’s time and that a lot of what is on your average social media site may not be all that useful.    If you want to get the most from social media,  you need to be mindful of what you’re putting out there, and also how you’re using your time on whatever sites you visit.    This post is a good reminder that social media can be a powerful force,  if we’re mindful about how we use it.

 

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12th October 2011

Embroidery Needles 101

I realized recently that it has been some years since I’ve covered some of the more basic points of machine embroidery – especially what supplies might be needed.   Given that the last time I talked about needles in depth was 2008 or so, I thought it was high time to discuss needle basics, and how to know what sort of needles you need for which jobs, and for which machines.

The first thing you need to know is that there are two basic types of needles for embroidery machines.   Flat shank needles are generally the kind of needles used in home sewing embroidery machines and also in many quilting machines.   Round shank needles are generally used in commercial embroidery machines.   The shank is the part of the needle located at the top and is usually the thickest part of the needle.

Next,  you should understand the needle numbering system.  There are two types of numbering systems used,  European and American.   The European system is metric, and the American system was apparently developed by singer.   The European numbering system starts at 65 and ends at 100.  The American numbering system starts at 9 and ends at 16.   So when we buy needles,  we purchase 65/9 needles or 90/14 needles.  Both numbering systems are always in use.   65/9 needles are the smallest.   75/11 needles are the ones most commonly used in machine embroidery.  Many people use 90/14 needles when embroidering a design using metallic thread.

After needle size, you should also take a moment to consider whether you need sharp or ballpoint needles.   Sharps are needles that are exactly as they’re named, sharp.   They have a pointed tip which is ideal for poking through heavy fabrics.    Ballpoint needles have a more rounded tip and are generally used for embroidering into lighter fabrics like knits and and other fabrics that are woven loosely.

The needle that you choose to use can make a big difference in the success or failure of your embroidery project.   It is always best to have a variety of sizes and types of needles on hand so you can test out different types to find the one that best suits the job you’re doing.    Selecting the right needle can have a large impact on how smoothly your sew-out goes,  so it isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.    To help you in making your decision,  here are some additional resources:

Needle Knowledge Enables Easier Embroidery – Impressions Magazine

Choose the Right Needle for the Fabric

Selecting the Right Needle – EmbroideryTalk

Machine Needle Knowledge

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7th October 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 10/7/11

First up today,  AKDesigns is having a photo contest.  I love to see photos of work that people have created, and apparently AKDesigns does too.  They’re asking customers who have created something using an AKDesigns design to post the photos on the company’s Facebook page.  Winners will be determined by random.org, so everyone has an equal chance to win.   If you embroider using AKDesigns products,  this would be a great opportunity to win a 6 pack Font Bundle.

Next up is a post from Bonnie at My Two Stitches about calculating percentages.   As someone who writes for a living, and was once chastised for reading during math class,  I’m not a huge fan of math,  but accuracy is important in embroidery.  Bonnie points out that being too stubborn to do the math can cost you,  and offers some advice on how to make the calculations easier.

Third on the list is a great how-to post from the NNEP blog,  this one about how to embroider fleece.   I’m a huge fan of how to posts, and this one is a good one.   It’s also very useful for this time of year, at least in my neck of the woods.   If you have customers who are looking to bundle up and stay warm,  check out this post.  I’m betting you’ll find it useful.

Fourth down today (football humor!) is a post about football promo products from the ASI.  They did a survey about tailgating habits and found that football related promo products and garments are big business.   Garments worn in support of a favorite team figure big in the survey,  but it turns out that football fans treasure all sorts of things when it comes to football memorabilia.   It also doesn’t seem to matter whether the football game is pro, college or high school,  people love showing their support.

Finally,  we turn to the big news story of the week, which is the death of Steve Jobs.   Everyone loses something when an innovator leaves this world,  and the best tribute that can be offered is to learn from what he did and who he was.   Peter Shankman suggests one way to do that.

 

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5th October 2011

Embroidery for the Holidays

While it seems impossible that it is already October,  the leaves are turning,  the mornings are getting crisper and cooler,  and the holiday season lurks right around the corner.  For those who sell things they embroider,  or who make their own holiday gifts,  this is definitely the time of year to pull out all the stops.   If you’re looking to create that perfect one of a kind embroidered holiday offering,  EnMart has some supplies that we think can be of help.

Metallic Thread – Sparkle is supposed to be a trend this year,  and our metallic thread has lots of it.    Whether you’re looking for classic gold and silver,  or color that shines,  our metallic thread is high quality and easy to run.   It’s the thread that inspired love even in those who dislike metallic thread.   It’s also the thread that was used to create this and this.  If you want to add some flash to your holiday gifts,  give our metallic machine embroidery thread a try.

Badgemaster – Lacy ornaments are sure to dress up any tree and they make a great memento or stocking stuffer.   If you want to create one of a kind embroidered ornaments this year Badgemaster should be your backing of choice.   This water soluble film can be machine embroidered directly, and the excess film can be dissolved with water,  leaving behind only the embroidered design.

Thread Palettes – Everyone knows that certain colors are associated with certain holidays.   Black and orange bring out the Halloween in us all.   Thanksgiving features the rust color palette of Fall.   Christmas is all about red, green and gold.   If you do a lot of embroidery for a specific holiday,  our thread palettes can save you money on thread,  while providing you with the colors you need for your holiday designs.

 

 

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