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Custom Embroidery—Machine Vs. Individual

So you’re watching MTV Cribs, or Trick My Truck, and you find yourself growing increasingly envious of the football player with the team logo sewn into the seats of his Escalade, or the billionaire with his name stitched into his seats. Naturally the question looms, what can be done using custom embroidery? And is a machine really better than an individual for these purposes?

The answer is yes and no. While a machine embroiderer is bound to be much quicker and more efficient for large-scale projects (Toyota even makes their own embroidery equipment) obviously employing a non-human to do your sewing comes at the cost of some artistry. However, in mass production settings, a machine is clearly able to produce a volume that humans simply cannot replicate.

And indeed, while the loss of artistry may bother some, cutting out humans also carries the benefit of removing the possibility for human error. There is little need to worry about an off-center stitch or poor-quality knotting when machines are available to calibrate the pattern, execute the techniques and the like. As with any other equipment, machines do carry the risk of breakdown and malfunction, with no opportunity to call in a replacement as you would with a contracted embroiderer.

All in all, the decision of how to procure one’s embroidery ultimately comes down to the business and its needs. If you’re looking for a unique logo or pattern on a small scale, choosing a local artisan or seamstress may be helpful. They may even be able to assist you in developing a design. However, for more utilitarian, mass-produced products, the effectiveness of machine stitching simply can’t be beat. Products such as the lining in car seats or the stitching of a baseball glove carry no real need for ingenuity and can easily be carried out by industrial embroiders. For these tasks, mechanization is typically the way to go.