Machine Embroidery

Machine embroidery is a term that can be used to describe two different actions. The first is using a sewing machine to "manually" create (either freehand or with built-in stitches) a design on a piece of fabric or other similar item. The second is to use a specially designed embroidery or sewing-embroidery machine to automatically create a design from a pre-made pattern that is input into the machine. Most embroidery machines used by professionals and hobbyists today are driven by computers that read digitized embroidery files created by special software. With the advent of computerized machine embroidery, the main use of manual machine embroidery is in fiber art and quilting projects. While some still use this type of embroidery to embellish garments, with the ease and decreasing cost of computerized embroidery machine, it is rapidly falling out of favor. Many quilters and fabric artists now use a free machine embroidery process often called "thread drawing" (or thread painting) to create embellishments on items, or to create examples of textile art. History of Machine Embroidery Before computers were affordable, most embroidery was completed by "punching" designs on paper tape that then ran through a mechanical embroidery machine. One error could ruin an entire design, forcing the creator to start over. This is how the term "punching" came to be used in relation to digitizing embroidery designs. In 1980, Wilcom is thought by many to have introduced the first computer graphics embroidery design system running on a mini-computer. However, old timers often debate this. Melco Industries has been delivering embroidery solutions since 1972. Melco created the first embroidery sample head for use with large Schiffli looms. This sample head became the first computerized embroidery machine marketed to home sewers. The sample head was needed to avoid sewing out the sample for the Schiffli loom and taking up valuable production time. Schiffli looms spanned several feet across and produced, lace, patches and large embroidery patterns. The economic conditions of the Reagan Years, coupled with tax incentives of the day for in-home business, helped propel Melco to the top of the market. At the Show of the America's in 1980 Melco showed the Digitrac. The original digitized design was produced at 6 times the size it would eventually be sewn out. The Digitrac consisted of a small computer, similar in size to today's Blackberry Devices, mounted on an X and Y axis on a large white board. It sold for $30,000. The original sample head with one needle sold for $10,000 with a 1" paper-tape reader, and 2 fonts. The digitizer would mark common points of the design to create elaborate fill and satin stitch combinations. Melco is the result of an international distribution network formed by Randal Melton and His partner Bill Childs. Melco patented the ability to sew circles

The early functionality of the computerized commercial systems were adapted and marketed to compaines such as Janome for home use. a leading U. roughly 300-700 CE. provided sewing heads that were capable of using multiple threads. Brother. L. Adler was also a common choice. or later to a floppy disk. Brother International got into the embroidery business as a result of being contracted by several computerized embroidery companies to provide sewing heads. back stitch. private equity firm specializing in middle-market investing. Their sewing heads were mounted and branded on several different brands of computerized embroidery machines. computerized machine embroidery has grown in popularity since the late 1990s. from Japan. and there are free designs available on the internet. Tajima. software. and embroidery machines. tailor's buttonhole . stem stitch. In addition. Many machine manufacturers sell their own lines of embroidery patterns.L. but examples survive from ancient Egypt. The process used to tailor. Saurer and Wilcom. Melco was acquired by Saurer in 1989. mend and reinforce cloth fostered the development of sewing techniques.C. Examples of surviving Chinese chain stitch embroidery worked in silk thread have been dated to the Warring States period (5th-3rd century BC). Recently Singer was acquired by Affiliates of Kohlberg & Co. began to innovate. patch. arched lettering generated from a keyboard. In a garment from Migration period Sweden. streamlining production times. many individuals and independent companies also sell embroidery designs. Origins of Embroidery The origins of embroidery are lost in time.S. ("Kohlberg"). Later Tajima. they also acquired VSM is a leading supplier of high-end consumer sewing machines and accessories under the Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff brands. The machine would stitch out the digitized design.with a satin stitch. An operator would "digitize" the design into the computer using similar techniques to "punching". Wilcom enhanced this technology in 1982 with the introduction of the first multi-user system that allowed more than one person to be working on a different part of the embroidery process. the edges of bands of trimming are reinforced with running stitch. Singer failed to remain competitive during this time. This design would then be run on the machine.. to create a 1" paper tape. and the decorative possibilities of sewing led to the art of embroidery. As costs have fallen for computers. Iron Age Northern Europe and Zhou Dynasty China.

Melco is the result of an international distribution network formed . India. coupled with tax incentives of the day for in-home business. Schiffli looms spanned several feet across and produced. religious objects.000. It is a striking fact that in the development of embroidery. One error could ruin an entire design. similar in size to today's Blackberry Devices. and eastern Europe. there are no changes of materials or techniques which can be felt or interpreted as advances from a primitive to a later.stitch. This sample head became the first computerized embroidery machine marketed to home sewers. lace. The original digitized design was produced at 6 times the size it would eventually be sewn out. Professional workshops and guilds arose in medieval England. The economic conditions of the Reagan Years. This is how the term "punching" came to be used in relation to digitizing embroidery designs. The output of these workshops. However. The original sample head with one needle sold for $10. Elaborately embroidered clothing. History of Machine Embroidery Before computers were affordable. In 1980. It sold for $30. helped propel Melco to the top of the market." was famous throughout Europe. patches and large embroidery patterns.000 with a 1" paper-tape reader. old timers often debate this. mounted on an X and Y axis on a large white board. The manufacture of machine-made embroideries in St. The sample head was needed to avoid sewing out the sample for the Schiffli loom and taking up valuable production time. Byzantium. Wilcom is thought by many to have introduced the first computer graphics embroidery design system running on a mini-computer. but it is uncertain whether this work simply reinforces the seams or should be interpreted as decorative embroidery. Melco Industries has been delivering embroidery solutions since 1972. Traditional folk techniques are passed from generation to generation in cultures as diverse as northern Vietnam. The digitizer would mark common points of the design to create elaborate fill and satin stitch combinations. Melco created the first embroidery sample head for use with large Schiffli looms. forcing the creator to start over. and 2 fonts. The Digitrac consisted of a small computer. At the Show of the America's in 1980 Melco showed the Digitrac. China. and whip stitching. On the other hand. more refined stage. most embroidery was completed by "punching" designs on paper tape that then ran through a mechanical embroidery machine. Gallen in eastern Switzerland flourished in the latter half of the 19th century. and medieval and Baroque Europe. Mexico. called Opus Anglicanum or "English work. and household items have been a mark of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia. Japan. we often find in early works a technical accomplishment and high standard of craftsmanship rarely attained in later times.

L. Later Tajima. In addition. computerized machine embroidery has grown in popularity since the late 1990s. arched lettering generated from a keyboard..by Randal Melton and His partner Bill Childs. Their sewing heads were mounted and branded on several different brands of computerized embroidery machines. Adler was also a common choice. The early functionality of the computerized commercial systems were adapted and marketed to compaines such as Janome for home use. many individuals and independent companies also sell embroidery designs. software. from Japan. and there are free designs available on the internet. a leading U. Recently Singer was acquired by Affiliates of Kohlberg & Co. began to innovate. ("Kohlberg"). The machine would stitch out the digitized design. Quillwork Quillwork is a form of textile embellishment traditionally practiced by Native Americans that employs the quills of porcupines as a decorative element History of Quillwork Porcupine quillwork is an art form completely unique to North America. The use of quills in designs spans .C. An operator would "digitize" the design into the computer using similar techniques to "punching". Wilcom enhanced this technology in 1982 with the introduction of the first multi-user system that allowed more than one person to be working on a different part of the embroidery process. and embroidery machines. to create a 1" paper tape. or later to a floppy disk.S. private equity firm specializing in middle-market investing. they also acquired VSM is a leading supplier of high-end consumer sewing machines and accessories under the Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff brands. Before the introduction of glass beads. provided sewing heads that were capable of using multiple threads. Brother International got into the embroidery business as a result of being contracted by several computerized embroidery companies to provide sewing heads. Many machine manufacturers sell their own lines of embroidery patterns. quillwork was a major decorative element used by the peoples who resided in the porcupine's natural habitat. Melco was acquired by Saurer in 1989. streamlining production times. Singer failed to remain competitive during this time. This design would then be run on the machine. Saurer and Wilcom. Melco patented the ability to sew circles with a satin stitch. Tajima. As costs have fallen for computers. Brother.L.

quilled birch bark boxes were a popular trade item to sell to European-Americans among Eastern and Great Lakes tribes. which he shared with the women of his tribe. Technique of Quillwork Quills suitable for embellishment are two to three inches long and may be dyed before use. the quills are pale yellow to white with black tips. red. The Red River Ojibwe of Manitoba created crisp. hide robes and backrests. rosettes for men's shirts and tipis. and loom weaving. while among the buffalo. The tips are usually snipped off before use. a single quill may be wrapped upon itself or two quills may be intertwined. as found on Odawa pouches from the 18th century. women would work first on quilling moccasins. Quill readily take dye. then cradleboards. Upon entering the Society. His son was also a buffalo. The man visited his wife and son in their buffalo home. Joining the Cheyenne Quilling Society was a prestigious honor for Cheyenne women. the man learned the art of quilling. embroidery. and ultimately. wrapping. Huron women excelled at floral quillwork during the 18th and 19th centuries. Cheyenne oral history. geometric patterns by weaving quills on a loom in the 19th century. and. but during the 19th century. Canada and dates back to 800 CE. Plains quillwork is characterized by bands of rectangles creating geometrical patterns found also in Plains painting.from Maine to Alaska. In wrapping. Appliquéd quills are stitched into hide in a manner that covers the stitches. aniline dyes were available through trade and greatly expanded the quilling palette. By the 19th century. Quills can be appliquéd singly to form curvilinear patterns. This technique lends itself to floral designs popularized among northeastern tribes by Ursuline nuns. says quilling came to their tribe from a man who married a woman. . The four most common techniques for quillwork are appliqué. In their natural state. and blue. as did parallel panels of quillwork on the sleeves. Porcupine quills often adorned rawhide and tanned hides. which originally was derived from local plants and included colors such as black. The earliest known fragment of quillwork was found in Alberta. yellow. as told by Picking Bones Woman to George Bird Grinnell. who hid her true identity as a buffalo. Rosettes of concentric circles of quillwork commonly adorned historical Plains men's shirts.