GRAPHICS PRO

February '21

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2 4 G R A P H I C S P R O F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G N othing is more elegant than a beautiful piece of embroidery. Embroidery has a higher per- ceived value than just about any other embellishment technique. Thread colors are more vibrant than ever and the textures and dimension that embroidery can bring to a design are spec- tacular. With such a strong statement about embroidery, it seems there should not be any other decorating techniques to consider. Is it possible that there is a time when there might be better options than embroidery? At times, two main things prevent the customer who is looking for embroidery from purchasing embroidery … time and money. Embroidery machines can only operate so fast. There is no turbo mode and regard- less of a machine's advertised maximum speed, most people have a cruising speed of around 1,000 stitches per minute. Capacity = (stitch count divided by cruising speed) – (downtime) X (number of heads). In terms of calculating productivity, em- broiderers often fail to calculate downtime properly. Downtime refers to anytime that the embroidery machine is not running, regardless of the reason. This includes rest- room breaks, lunch, bobbin changes, needle replacement, re-threading, time for change- over, and of course, thread breaks. With any form of apparel decoration, the only time a company is generating revenue is when their equipment is running, so downtime plays a major factor in a shop's ability to be profitable. If a customer comes into a single-head shop and needs 36 jackets with an 80,000 stitch count within two days, simple math says this won't happen, which demonstrates the time aspect. In this case, the customer will either choose a different decoration technique or find an embroiderer with the capacity to handle the job. The other factor is that since embroidery does have a higher perceived value, there is usually a higher price tag associated with embroidery than with most other com- mon embellishment techniques. Unfortu- nately, not everyone has the budget to or- der embroidery, especially as design sizes get larger. Larger designs equal larger stitch counts, which equal longer production time, which equals a higher cost. In a screen print environment, the num- ber of colors or the size of the design does HOW TO CREATE A MULTIMEDIA DESIGN USING SCREEN PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY Perceived Value B Y E D L E V Y

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