Stitching machine embroidery to make gifts is great fun. What isn’t always fun is stitching the project itself before adding the machine embroidery. And what about those community service projects for teams and organizations that we do using our embroidery machines? This is where embroidery blanks can be a real lifesaver. You can enjoy all of the stitching fun while creating a personalized gift very quickly!
The types of blanks that are available are endless.
This means you should be able to find almost anything you would like to use for any project. And a good reason to purchase blanks, instead of similar products in a retail store, is that blanks are designed to be embroidered.
For example, a market basket I found at Nancy’s Notions has a removable frame so that the basket fabric can be embroidered, and then the frame is reinserted into the basket. Another example are towels that are designed as embroidery blanks. They do not have stripes in the area where the embroidery is done.
This is a partial list of the blanks I found on various Web sites that sell blanks:
- Market baskets
- Messenger bags
- Tote bags
- Diaper bags
- Baby bibs and burp cloths
- Towels of every type—linen, terrycloth, banded, hooded
- Baby blankets
- Children’s clothing
- Adult clothing
- Hats for men and women
- Desk accessories
In looking for embroidery blanks, there are some key features that are important to consider such as colors, quality and minimum order requirements.
Read the product descriptions carefully and compare the same product and description across multiple Internet shops. If possible, request a sample before purchasing multiples of any product. If there is a minimum order, it is likely that a company will be willing to send you a single of the item so that you can determine whether it meets your requirements. Then test that sample by actually stitching machine embroidery on it before purchasing more.
Another way to get information about products is to ask questions and receive recommendations. Many of us belong to machine embroidery forums, which are a great place to ask these kinds of questions.
Understanding fabric characteristics is important in understanding the quality of a product.
For example, cotton duck canvas comes in nine different weights. The lightest weight, used for light clothes, is 7 oz and is a grade #12. With T-shirt fabric, a 6 oz T-shirt knit is heavier and a 4 oz T-shirt knit is a lighter weight knit. Linen also comes in many different weights such as heavy, tissue or handkerchief weight. It is important to select the correct weight for the project you are making.
Because I did not major in textiles, my source of information about fabrics is from search engines. It is well worth the time to study the different fabrics before making your purchase.
Some Internet shops require a business license, but there are many shops that sell to the general public and to individuals who are purchasing for educational purposes (such as T-shirt sales for a team or nonprofit organization). You will be able to save on shipping by planning your needs and organizing your purchases in advance. Make a list of the birthday, baby, wedding and/or holiday gifts you plan to give throughout the year, and order all your blanks at the same time.
Below are some Internet shops that sell embroidery blanks. All of them were listed when I entered “embroidery blanks” into a search engine. I have no affiliation nor endorsement of any of them, but found some great possibilities for shopping.
I recently took the Bluprint class Digitizing Machine Embroidery with Cookie Gaynor, and she included some great projects using linen handkerchiefs, tea towels and children’s socks embroidery blanks.