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Midwest Stitch Blog

Read about our latest news, interesting stories, frequently asked questions and embroidery-specific information in this blog. Check back often, or subscribe by email using the link above. Thanks for visiting!

Celebrating National Catfish Day? You Need This Shirt

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We’ve been sharing blog posts featuring some of the favorite garments of Midwest Stitch employees since the beginning of the year.  But today, June 25th – National Catfish Day, seems the most appropriate day to share this favorite of Andy, one of our sales reps.

His favorite is a fishing shirt, complete with ventilated polyester mesh under the back yoke, fly box pockets, fishing rod holder, tool holder and utility loop.  The nylon fabric also provides UPF 30 sun protection.

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5 Reasons Promoting Your Business This Way is Superior

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When it comes to spending money on promotional items, your company no doubt wants to get the most out of their hard earned money.  Although some of the quality promotional items that come to mind first may be t-shirts and caps, those ideas are not all that unique.  More important, they may not be the best use of your marketing money.  Have you thought of logoed bags and towels?  The superiority of these promotional items can be seen in five major areas: their simplicity, usefulness, variety, longevity and cost effectiveness. 

Simplicity

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Why Digitizing Involves More Than You Think [Interview]

One of the first steps taken in the embroidery process is the digitization of a logo.  This step creates a digital file that will speak to our embroidery machines and tell them how to proceed with the embroidery.  In this age of technology some assume this process is as easy as the push of a button, although this is far from the case.  

To give you a window in the mind of an embroidery digitizer, we spoke with our own in-house digitizer, Carla.  You may be surprised to learn the skill and knowledge required to perform this task.

What do you need to start digitizing a logo?Carla: First I need high resolution artwork of what needs to be digitized. What type of factors do you consider before starting a new digitizing project?Carla: I consider the size of the overall design, what type of garment it will be sewn on, and the optimal sequence of sew out. Why does the type of garment matter?Carla: It could be embroidery for caps, shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, etc.  I will adjust the sequence of embroidered objects depending on the type of garment to help with registration and to lessen puckering and thread breaks. Are there any other factors that effect the sequence?Carla: I consider the amount of thread colors and objects that are next to each other so the machine doesn't have to move around so much.  This makes for smoother, better looking embroidery. Is the type of fabric being embroidered relevant to the digitizing process?Carla: Oh yes.  It impacts the density of the stitches you need to have.  Too many stitches can make a hole in the garment, cause major puckering, many thread breaks and other undesired outcomes.  So knowing the type of fabric ahead of time is very important.  If the same logo is being embroidered on a variety of fabrics I will make different files for each fabric. Are there other factors in regards to the garment you keep in mind?Carla: The color of the garment versus the color of the embroidery can make a difference in how I digitize a logo.  For example if it's going to be a high contrast embroidery such as white on black fabric, or more of a tone on tone embroidery such as gray on black fabric. Does creativity come in to play when you're digitizing a logo?Carla: Quite often.  Creativity with texture is needed on objects that may not show in flat artwork.  For example if a logo includes elements such as water, fire or trees, to name a few that come to mind.  There are embroidery methods that will make these elements pop out almost in a 3-D manner.  The way the light catches different directional thread also comes into play. How long have you been digitizing artwork for embroidery?Carla: About 14 years.  Great, now I feel old. Thanks to Carla for giving us some insight into the digitizing process.  We are really glad to have her as an important member of Midwest Stitch. 
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Midwest Stitcher's Favorites: Slub Woven Shirt

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The Midwest Stitch employee favorite featured here has a broken-in attitude great for casual business or after hours.  It is a lightweight, 100% ring spun combed cotton slub chambray shirt.  Adding visual appeal are the two-tone fibers and its lived-in look.  The soft, washed fabric makes this a very comfortable woven shirt. This button-down shirt is a favorite of Jesse, who works in our Production department.  "It's comfortable and fits really well, which is not always the case for me."  The men's style has a modern, trim fit with two front pockets.  "It's also very lightweight," he adds.   A ladies version is also available in a flattering cut with back princess seams. Both styles come in the the grey and light blue colors shown here.  If this business casual style is a fit for your image let us know and we'd be happy to show you a sample.

 

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Midwest Stitcher's Favorites: Ladies Only

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This favorite garment is a great piece for the ladies who are looking for something designed just for them.  This piece is definitely not a restructured men's polo.  This tunic has a self fabric, open collar, with a 6-button placket.  It sports 3/4 sleeves with ruching, a pleat at the back yoke, and a playful drawcord waist.

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Warning: You're Missing Out by Not Using Tonal Embroidery

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One of the greatest compliments we receive from our customers is when they give us the freedom to adjust the colors of their logo in order to complement the apparel.  This request implies a trust that we will create a logo scheme that enhances their garments and will not produce an embroidery that clashes with the garment.  It is a great honor to have the trust of our customers in this way, and one that we do not take lightly. This opens the way for tonal embroidery.  Put simply, this method involves using a thread color in the same family as the garment.  Notice the example of Image Signs in the picture.  Their logo is normally blue and white as seen on the gray and black polos.  But notice how striking the tonal logos look on the green and red polos.  People may not notice when a garment is not matched with your logo, but they will SWOON over a garment that complements your logo well.  The same thing can be done with caps.  In the picture below the green cap is a great example of tonal embroidery, whereas the gray and red cap shows how a logo really pops by matching accent colors.  For more ideas to enhance your company image check out our post about 3 Ways to Make Your Apparel Fresh.  
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Behind the Scenes Look at our Embroidery Shop

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Everyone likes to get a behind-the-scene look and we thought you might like to see some basic pictures of what goes on in our embroidery shop on a typical day.

Here you'll see a stack of sweatshirts marked with chalk.  Each garment is measured and marked to ensure straight embroidery in the correct location.

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Midwest Stitcher's Favorites: Pique Fleece Jacket

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The favorite garment being featured this week is a great transitional piece for this time of year.  While it’s still cold and wintery it works indoors.  And, as the temperature start to feel more like spring, you can keep wearing it as a jacket.

This is a favorite of one of our Customer Service Reps, Brittany.  She especially likes that “it’s fuzzy on the inside.”  A cozy fleece interior adds warmth and comfort.  The exterior has an intriguing pique texture giving it a very attractive look.  It’s a piece that can be dressed up or down.

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What You May Not Know About Performance Wear

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Performance wear used to be almost exclusive to the field of athletics, but today it has become popular for everyday wear and can be found from the board room to the tennis court. 

So, you may be asking: What makes a fabric worthy of the word 'performance'?  Whereas the designation 'performance wear' can have a broad application, the features may include many of the following properties:

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Midwest Stitcher's Favorites: Microfleece Pullover

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Today we’re sharing a garment in our ongoing series featuring the favorite apparel of Midwest Stitch employees.

This garment is a favorite of our Production Manager, Kyle.  It is a microfleece, ¼ zip pullover that he really does wear quite often, which made it easy to catch a picture of him modeling it.  Made of microfleece, which is a soft fabric with a velvety feel, it provides warmth without bulk.  This combination has made microfleece garments a favorite of our customer’s also.

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Midwest Stitcher’s Favorites: Warm Winter Jacket

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In the previous article of this series we admitted we pick favorites.  After testing and trying the garments we sell we find some we like and some we don’t.  This time of year we’re wearing a lot of winter apparel so this pick is a very warm, winter jacket.

This garment is a favorite of mine.  And, in order for you to understand the importance of me picking this favorite, you must know that I LOVE all types of outerwear.  My front closet at home is full of jackets.  Some women love shoes; I love jackets.  So let me tell you what I love about this Brushstroke Print Insulated Jacket.

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Why Get to Know Your Customer?

Why Get to Know Your Customer?

In this fast paced world of instant answers and service by means of the internet, is there value in taking time to get to know your customers?  Most definitely.

In any new, potential client situation I think you should be interested in the type of business they have, what exactly brought them to your business, and uncovering what they are looking for, to name just a few.  How does this process benefit the potential client? 

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Midwest Stitcher’s Favorites: Cutter&Buck Performance Garment

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We admit it.  We pick favorites.

As we become familiar with the garments we sell, wearing them ourselves day in and day out, we can’t help but choose our favorites.  In a series of posts we’re going to share our thoughts on what makes these garments stand out.

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3 Ways to Make Your Apparel Fresh

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You don't have to look far to find companies who have recently gone through a rebranding process, perhaps redesigning their logo to give themselves a new look and hopefully stand out from their competition. We're here to tell you a similar effect can be achieved for your company apparel with a lot less work. How can you create a new spin on a logo you've had for years? Here are three ways. 

1.  Location, Location, Location

Whereas embroidering company logos on the left chest is still the standard in the corporate world, switching up the location a bit will catch people’s attention. For example, The North Face clothing brand has been doing this for years. In addition to their left chest logo, their company name is proudly branded on the back right shoulder of their jackets. People notice their brand whether they see the wearer from the front or the back.

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