Embroidery Talk Has Moved!

Happy New Year!

30th December 2013

Happy New Year!

happy new year 3EnMart will be closed Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday January 1 in honor of the New Year’s Holiday.

We will return to work on Thursday, January 2, 2014. 

All orders placed on Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday, January 1 will be shipped when we return on Thursday, January 2.

Happy New Year and here’s to a prosperous and creative 2014!

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27th December 2013

The Friday Blog Round-Up 12/27/13

roundupIt seemed only right to end this year of blogging with a Friday Blog Round-Up.  Sometimes I get tired of the sound of my own voice, and it’s fun to share what other people have to say.

First up is a post from Eileen’s Blog from the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.  This post details how to stitch lettering on fur.  Judging by the number of embroidered Christmas stocking pictures I’ve seen this year,  a lot of people have been doing this sort of thing.   It’s definitely a post to bookmark and pull out for next year.

Second on the docket is a discussion of the skills every retail team member must have.   These skills also apply to those working your checkout station at a trade show,  or really anyone who deals with customers.  A lot of these skills also apply if you’re doing customer service over the phone.  I especially like the advice about not getting flustered when you have multiple people needing assistance.   That’s a tough one,  but if you can stay calm,  your customers will be calmer too.

Third on the list  is a post I really like,  probably because it dispenses some tough love.   When you’re a creative,  however you choose to express that,   the road to success can be winding and there can be a lot of obstacles.   John Morgan’s post points out some self created obstacles to avoid if you want to be successful.   I definitely agree with what he says,  particularly the advice about negative environment.  Nothing can sap your creativity and ambition faster than people who tell you that you can’t do something and why you’ll never succeed.

Fourth at bat is the best discussion I’ve seen so far about Facebook’s new algorithm and what it will mean to company pages and marketers.   There’s been a lot of ranting lately about the changes Facebook has made and how it hurts company pages but,  as this post points out,  Facebook wasn’t conceived as an advertising venue,  it was conceived as a way to connect with friends.  Facebook is doing what they need to do to keep their core users happy and that makes sense.

Finally,  if you have plans to up your game and your profits in 2014,  you need to read this post from Peter Shankman.   Personal power is becoming more an more important in today’s world,  since we all have a platform now and we all can influence others.    This is another post I really like, and I’m going to start practicing some of these techniques in my own life.  I thought it might interest some of the rest of you as well.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and truly amazing 2014!

 

posted in Around the Blogosphere | Comments Off

23rd December 2013

Merry Christmas!

christmasWe wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.

EnMart will be closed on Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25, 2013 for the Christmas holiday.   We will reopen on Thursday, December 26, 2013.

All orders placed on 12/24 – 12/25 will ship on Thursday, 12/26 when we resume normal operations.

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17th December 2013

Glow In the Dark Thread is Back!

We know that many of you like our UltraGlow glow in the dark thread,  so we were not happy when the thread had to be put on Sold Out status due to a backorder situation.   We are pleased to report that problem has been resolved.   Not only do we have the original 6 colors back in stock,  but we have 4 new colors added to the mix.   The new colors are quite exciting.

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The first new color is Chartreuse,  which is a kind of lime green.  This color would look great with any type of embroidery with neon thread colors.

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The second new color is pink.  It’s more of a hot pink than the picture indicates.  This is another color that would work well with any neon embroidery.   This is an attention getting color,  and the pink will really stand out when it glows.

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Our next color selection is a darker green, more of a lime green.  This is the perfect Halloween color,  great for spooky aliens and the glowing eyes of a black cat.   I think, of all our glow in the dark colors,  this is probably the one color people think of when they think of glow in the dark thread.

 

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Finally,  we have beige.  Now I have to admit,  beige isn’t a color your mind immediately goes to when thinking of a color that should glow in the dark,  but it’s a nice neutral.   Sometimes a good basic neutral is what you need and in those times,  our beige glow in the dark thread would fill the bill.

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3rd December 2013

Introducing ThermoSeal

iStock_000010053914XSmallIt’s the time of year,  for many of us,  when snow starts coming down and winter weather gear comes out.   Anyone who’s spent a day sledding or snowmobiling,  having a snowball fight or simply building a snowman knows that snow can get everywhere.   Much as we’d like to have embroidery on our winter clothing,  it never seemed like a good idea.   Snow is cold and also melts,  and any punctures or holes in your cold weather gear could leave you soaked and shivering.   Until now,  that is.

EnMart is proud to introduce ThermoSeal,  an embroidery backing that allows you to waterproof your embroidery.    Using this backing,  you can embroider on waterproof or water repellent fabrics without compromising their waterproof properties.   ThermoSeal flows into the needle holes,  sealing them and preventing moisture from penetrating.

To use ThermoSeal,  sew out your embroidery as normal.    Once your sew out is completed make sure to remove any excess stabilizer and that you have a clean field around the embroidered design.   Cut a piece of ThermoSeal that is just a 3/4 of an inch to an inch larger than your design on each side.   Place the piece of ThermoSeal on the back side of your embroidery with the adhesive side down.    The adhesive side is the side that would be face up when you’re looking at a roll of ThermoSeal and is slightly glossy.

Once you have your ThermoSeal placed,  the next step is to apply heat to seal the embroidery and make it waterproof.   Using a heat press, set to 265 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit,  press with medium pressure for 10 – 15 seconds.   This will melt the ThermoSeal and allow it to fill the holes created by the embroidery needles.    Once the embroidery is sealed,  it is recommended that you let the garment set for at least 48 hours before attempting to wash it.

ThermoSeal is an ideal product for use with winter weather gear,  wet weather gear and any kind of outdoor gear.    It would be perfect for monogramming rain boots or rain hats,  or for putting logos on gear for companies with employees who work outdoors.    ThermoSeal is available in 3 different sized rolls.

posted in Backing/Stabilizers | Comments Off

29th November 2013

The Friday Blog Round-Up 11/29/13

roundupI hope everyone in the U.S. had a lovely Thanksgiving,  and everyone in other parts of the world had a lovely Thursday.   It seemed like a good idea to finish out the week with a Friday Blog Round-Up,  since I hadn’t done one in a while.

First up we have a post about customer supplied garments.    This subject is a bone of contention and a point of discussion for many who decorate garments for a living.    Some embroiderers flatly will not take work with anything customer supplied.  Others do,  but have a waste policy and make customers sign a waiver regarding damaged garments.   The decision you make on this subject will be unique to your business,  but this post can give you some advice and food for thought while you’re making that decision.

Second on the list was have a post from Erich Campbell about the main reason you’re not starting new projects.  A lot of times people will say it’s because they don’t have the time,  or the space,  or the money, or the materials,  but generally the real reason for hesitation is fear.  We’re all a bit afraid of trying something new,  and certainly many of us are afraid of failure.  This post examines that fear and helps you move past it.    If you want more ideas on how to get around your fear,  you can also listen to this discussion Erich and I had on the 2 Regular Guys podcast.

Third at bat,  we have a great post from Retail Minded on how to capitalize on Small Business Saturday,  which is November 30 this year.  Some of these tips will apply only to brick and mortar shops,  but others can be used for online shops as well.   Remember also,  to practice what you preach when encouraging people to shop small business.  Make sure you support small businesses in your community and online as well.

Fourth on the docket is a post from Sadia’s Blog,  about adding a bit of zen to your embroidery.   I like this idea very much.    The end result is very pretty and it’s a fun technique.   She also gives you design files in the post so you can try the technique yourself.

Fifth in the queue  is a post from Urban Threads.  I’m not a fan of Black Friday sales,  and don’t generally do a lot about them,  but Urban Threads has put their entire store on sale.   Since I’m a fan of their designs and their company,  how could I not share that?  Everything is on sale until Sunday, December 8,  so stock up now!

Since I’ve already mentioned one podcast this week (listen to the 2 Regular Guys podcast every Friday, people,  it’s good!),  I don’t feel weird about recommending a second one as well.    Scott Stratten from UnMarketing recently started doing a weekly podcast.  I have to confess,  I haven’t had the time to listen to many of these yet,  but what I’ve heard is good and definitely helpful.   If you have some time,  check these out.

Last on the list we have a post I just love about how to be married to an entrepreneur.    Many who read this blog have their own business or are working toward taking their art to the next level or doing something that may not involve a normal 9 to 5 and a steady paycheck.  This post is a great read for the spouses,  family and friends of such people.   Lots of good advice!

posted in Around the Blogosphere | Comments Off

27th November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

h7780_thumb2 EnMart wishes all our customers, fans, and friends a happy Thanksgiving.

On the list of things for which we are thankful,  you all rank at the top!

We will be closed on Thursday, November 28  in honor of the Thanksgiving         holiday.

Normal business operations will resume Friday, November 29.

(Note, I loved this design from the Embroidery Library so much,  I swiped a picture of it to use in this post.    If you click on the picture, it will take you to their site so you can download this file. )

 

 

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26th November 2013

Uses for a Heat Press

Collage_SwingEven though it might not seem like it at first glance,  a heat press is a very versatile piece of equipment.  While it’s true that all a heat press can do is heat up and press things,  the variety of  techniques for which it can be used may well make it one of the most valuable instruments in your shop.    Adding a heat press to your set-up can open up a whole host of opportunities for new markets and new sales.    If you’ve never considered adding a heat press to your shop before,  here are some uses for a heat press that may make you think again.

Use 1:  Sublimation – Dye sublimation is a process by which a special ink is printed on a special paper and then the transfer is heat pressed on a polyester garment or a poly coated substrate.  Sublimation offers you the ability to do more complicated designs on garments,  as well as widening the number of items you can offer to your customers.  If you’ve ever wanted to offer mousepads or coffee mugs or jewelry boxes,  then sublimation is the discipline for you.

Use 2:  Screenprint or plastisol transfers – Screenprint is a very popular decorating technique,  but it does have a learning curve,  and setting up a shop can be expensive.    Plastisol transfers allow you to offer screenprinted garments and items to your customers without having to do the screenprinting yourself.  All you need is a transfer,  an item to embellish,  and a heat press and you’re in business.

Use 3:  Vinyl –  This is another popular decoration technique that can be used on garments and other items.  Vinyl is often popular for the names and numbers on sports jerseys and team uniforms.   If you have a lot of school or sports league business available in your area,  vinyl may well be a great addition to your product offerings.

Use 4:  Rhinestones –  If bling is your thing,  then you’ll love rhinestone transfers.   A heat applied rhinestone transfer allows you to add sparkle to garments and other items without having to deal with the hassle of buying rhinestones and placing them yourself.

Use 5:  Decorated patches –  A blank patch,  embroidered or screenprinted by you,  can be heat sealed onto a garment,  backpack or other item.   Sublimated patches are a terrific way to make complicated designs with many colors simple.     If you have a design that won’t translate well into embroidery or screenprint,  put it on a sublimated patch and then heat seal it to the item to be decorated.    Your complicated design is now decorating the item of your choice with one easy press.

Finally,  if all else fails,  and you’re having a busy day at the shop,  you can always make a quick snack on your press.  Now,  we don’t recommend this option,  but it can be done and apparently,  the grilled cheese sandwich turns out quite tasty.

Clearly,  a heat press has many uses,  but some of you may still feel that a heat press isn’t right for your business.   Since it is the season of giving,  and since we are thankful for our customers and those who take an interest in EnMart,   we don’t want you to leave without a little something.    Use this coupon to take 5% off your order of $50 or more.  Happy Holidays!

 

 

posted in Garment Decoration, Making Your Business Grow, Patches/Emblems, Sublimation | Comments Off

19th November 2013

EnMart Shipping Notification Glitch

we apologizeSome of you who have placed and received orders in the last few months may have received a shipping notification for those orders today.  There was a glitch in the EnMart system,  and the status of some orders was changed from shipped to backordered.  When we corrected that problem,  the system generated new shipping notifications for all the orders previously shipped.

This was an error.

No new orders were shipped and no new charges were assessed.

We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

The EnMart Team

posted in About EnMart | Comments Off

12th November 2013

Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread

iris-ultra-cotton-quilting-thread-LYesterday,  on the SubliStuff blog,  I talked about FabricMaker,  our fabric printing system which can be used to create personalized and unique fabric for quilts and other sewn items.    Since I started talking about products that could be used with quilts on that blog,  it seemed only logical to continue the conversation on this blog by introducing our Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread.

As many of you already know,  EnMart is the exclusive commercial distributor in the United States for Iris UltraBrite Polyester Machine Embroidery Thread.   We also offer a variety of specialty threads,  like our popular metallic thread,  or our fabulous solar active thread.    We have always been proud to carry Iris thread,  a brand known for quality and colorfulness,  so we were excited when Hilos Iris told us they were bringing out a line of cotton quilting thread.

Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread is a very high quality 100% long staple Egyptian cotton quilting thread.  It is currently available in 19 solid colors and 9 variegated colors.    The solids are sold in 3,000 yd and 500 yd cones.   The variegated colors are sold in 2,500 and 400 yd cones.    We introduced this thread at the 2013 Quilt Market in Houston and the initial response has been very positive.    We were told that the thread was comparable to King Tut thread,  but that our price point was much better.

This is a high quality thread,  perfect for any type of quilting, including long arm quilting.   It is double mercerized and gassed,  very low lint,  and made from long staple Egyptian cotton.    The thread is smooth and lustrous  and offers a durable color that will keep your heirloom quality quilts looking their best wash after wash.

posted in Hilos Iris, Thread | Comments Off

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