Nan's Nappies


Wouldn't it be nice if I could embroider everything for free?  I would probably be overwhelmed with customers!  Unfortunately, I wouldn't be in business long.  As I often hear, nothing is free.  Someone pays.  I've had some ask me what I charge.  My answer is that it varies according to the project.

When you place an order in my Etsy shop, those items have a set price.  There are limited options.  When you e-mail me or call me with a special request, the price is different every time.  As a general rule, I charge $10-$15 for the first item.  That may be more if you pick a really intricate design or if there is a lot of custom work to get the design just as you want it.  When you tell me what you want, I start searching for a design that may fit your needs.  This usually takes about 20 - 30 min. I prepare an e-mail with those designs for you to make your decision.  We may e-mail back and forth several times as we decide on placement, colors, size, etc.  This may take minutes or hours to get your design exactly as you want it.   I've been given items that need a font matched to other words on the item.  Searching for the correct font and then sizing it to match the other words can take time.

Once the design is prepared, I then have to prepare the material. If the material is 100% cotton, I wash and dry it before I embroider.  I have different size hoops and pick the one that best suits the design size and placement,  and the size of the item to be embroidered.  Onesies and toddler t-shirts can be tricky because I have such a tiny space in which to work.  I have to be very diligent with items like this because a part of the item that isn't being embroidered may fall over into the embroidery area and get stitched.  Once a hoop is chosen, I choose the appropriate stabilizer.  Stabilizer can be pricey.  I used a temporary adhesive spray to attach the stabilizer to the back of the area to be embroidered.  Then I place the material into the hoop.  This is a VERY important step.  If the  material is not hooped correctly,  them embroidery will be crooked or in the wrong place.  It can be difficult to get some material lined up correctly  so I hoop and un-hoop and re-hoop several times to get it just right.  Towels or material with a nap, have to have a second stabilizer applied to the top.  This stabilizer holds the nap down and makes the embroidery look nice and smooth and even.

Then there are colors and thread changes.  Some designs, such as realistic butterflies, can have 30 or more thread color changes.  Each color only stitches for 1-2 minutes so I can't really leave the machine.  It can take 1-2 hours  to stitch out an intricate design.  With applique' I stitch an outline to show where the material should be placed.  Then I put the material down and stitch around it.  I then disconnect the hoop from the machine and cut away the excess material, reconnect the hoop and move to the next area.

It is important to pick out a font.  Fonts can really set the personality of the design.  Most sites that offer embroidery, offer you 2-3 fonts and a limited amount of letters.  I  am not a fan of that.  You may like the way a letter looks in one font but not in another.  If the letter you want is not pictured on the site you are ordering from, you may be disappointed when you receive your item.  I prepare the words or monogram you want in up to THREE different fonts and e-mail you with your choices. 

When the embroidery is complete, I may have to wash it to remove the temporary adhesive spray and some of the stabilizers.  The stabilizer that is put on the top of towels, looks something like wax paper or saran wrap and dissolves in water.

In the end, you will have a beautiful , unique item.  The embroidery is not only beautiful but practical.  Embroidery threads have a beautiful sheen to them and are bleach resistant.  You can wash your items over and over and the embroidery will still look wonderful.

For those of you who had no idea what custom embroidery involves, I hope this answers some of your questions.

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