If you are already in the embroidery business you know there is always room to improve, and finding new markets and new customers is the fastest way to increase your business. If you’re not, and are just in the planning phases, even better! You can start your business out on the right foot. Even some of the best single head embroidery machine users will do this, so you’re in good company.
Partnering with Screen Printers
I know, it sounds like you’re sleeping with the enemy, but you’re really not. Screen printers usually do one thing really well; print lots of shirt with the same design. They get the local football team business, lots of corporate jobs, big charity events. Basically, when most people think about getting shirts done, they’re thinking about screen printing.
Where do you come in? They also get requests from those SAME customers for embroidery work. Embroidered logos, football jerseys, embroidered goodie bags for trade shows, and lots and lots of embroidered caps. You can offer your services at a discounted price to them, or offer to pay them for referrals. Either way, your local screen printer becomes your best salesperson.
Offer Embroidered Patches
Believe it or not, patches are big business, but are hard to find for a consumer looking for anything less than 100 or so. You can offer small patches, like name badges, or big patches like jacket backs for motorcycle clubs, but either way you’ll have a great opportunity to win new customers.
Even if patches themselves don’t pay your lease on your new commercial embroidery machine, they WILL get you a great introduction to potential customers. Who do you think owns that $20,000 Harley you do a jacket back patch for? Some business owner who will need employee uniforms, embroidered gift items and more.
Offering patches will also set you apart from the competition. After all, if the embroidery company down the street says no to making 5 patches because it’s not so profitable and you say yes, where do you think they’ll go from now on?
Schools, schools, schools.
Don’t listen to a thing you hear on the news or what your friend the teacher tells you about budgets and spending. At some point, schools will spend money on embroidery work! They’ll need school uniforms, things for sports teams or something for the PTA.
The big thing to remember with schools is that if they don’t have the budget they will turn to fund raising and embroidery can be a part of that!
These are just THREE ideas! I hope you’re inspired to sit down with friends, family and business partners and come up with your own.
You can’t go anywhere without see rhinestone t-shirts, dresses, hats. It seems like rhinestone clothing is everywhere!
So how do you make a rhinestone t-shirt?
Adding rhinestones to anything is pretty easy, as long as you have the right tool for the job. You can get what they call “flat back” rhinestones (you’ve probably heard of Swarovski rhinestones or seen their stores in the Mall). These rhinestones are pretty on one site and flat on the other. These are kind of a pain to apply because you’ve got to get fabric glue and glue them each on individually.
The rhinestones you want to get are called “Hotfix rhinestones”. These are the same as the flatback, but come with glue already on them so all you have to do is “heat” them up to “fix” them onto your shirt or dress. You can get little tools to place them in the right spot and then iron them on if you have the patience. BUT, you can also use a GlitzUp Tool, which is like a Bedazzler on steroids. It picks up the rhinestones with a vacuum, then heats them up so the glue melts and you can actually just place them wherever you want. It’s really easy and the tool is only about $100.
But those things are only really good for adding rhinestones a few at a time. Dress up a hat, bling some jeans or add a few stones to sandals (awesome idea, by the way).
The professionals, and you could be one too by the way, use a rhinestone machine. A rhinestone machine is a device that hooks up to your computer and kind of prints out the design that you create using rhinestones.
How a rhinestone machine works
A rhinestone machine like the CAMS Automatic Rhinestone machine for example, basically picks up individual Hotfix rhinestones and places them upside down on a big piece of Hotfix tape (kind of like scotch tape, but bigger!). The design you created with your rhinestone software is output to the CAMS machine then it places the stones on the tape. www.rhinestonecamsmachines.com The end result is called a “rhinestone transfer”.
Once you have your rhinestone transfer, you need to “heat” the glue from the rhinestones and “press” it onto your t-shirt or dress. So guess what you need to use? A HEAT PRESS.
After you do all this, you’ll end up with exactly the kind of rhinestone t shirts and rhinestone caps you find online. BUT, this is really for people that want to get into the rhinestone business for themselves. Even though the equipment is pricey, about $15K or $16K for the whole set up, it’s really profitable because you can make a shirt for $6-$8 and sell it for $20 or $30.
Hope you decide to put more BLING into your wardrobe!
Simple troubleshooting for commercial embroidery machines
Thread Breaks happen to EVERY embroidery business, whether you are using computerized embroidery machines or another kind.
It’s annoying, but not uncommon for even the most expensive, multi head embroidery machine to come to a screeching halt because of a thread break. So whether you have a single head embroidery machine for your home based business or a commercial contract embroidery shop you’ll want to keep these 12 causes and fixes close at hand.
CAUSE: Embroidery needle has been loaded backwards or is not straight.
FIX: Orient the needle correctly
CAUSE: The embroidery machine hasn’t been threaded correctly
FIX: Check the thread path for misguided embroidery thread
CAUSE: The needle is dull
FIX: Replace it
CAUSE: Column stitching is too thin on your embroidery design
FIX: Increase the column width or pull compensation in your embroidery software
CAUSE: Stitches are too dense
FIX: Change the density or stitch spacing in your embroidery software.
CAUSE: Tensions are too tight
FIX: Perform a tension test on a swatch of your chosen fabric and adjust on your commercial embroidery machine. Find out more about that here http://www.SWFeast.com
CAUSE: Burrs or scratches on operational parts; needle plate, upper thread catcher or hook
FIX: Use a magnifying glass to examine items, and then replace
CAUSE: Thread is brittle
FIX: Over time, even good quality Royal or Madeira polyester thread will become brittle. Replace the cone.
CAUSE: Metallic thread kinks or twists during stitching
FIX: Slow the embroidery machine speed and use a thread net designed to slide over the cone to allow for a smoother flow.
CAUSE: Peripheral needle depth may be incorrect
FIX: Check the needle depth – commercial embroidery machines only
CAUSE: Peripheral hook timing is off
FIX: Adjust the hook timing
CAUSE: Sewing too fast!
FIX: Many times all that’s needed to reduce breaks is to slow down your machine
If you keep these 12 thing in mind, or as an embroidery machine maintenance checklist somewhere in your shop you can reduce your downtime due to thread breaks and get back to work!
I’m so glad you’re joining me on my new blogging journey! Here we will be covering all kinds of tips and tricks for running your embroidery and rhinestone clothing businesses, so sit back and enjoy!