Word to the Wise: Be a Consultant Not a Commodity

Embroiderers too often become blindly focused on the complete reproduction of our clients’ source images above all other considerations. Though we certainly want to provide accurate renderings of our customers’ branding, embroiderers should start every project with the following truths in mind.Embroidery is not reproduction; it is interpretation. What does this mean? That no matter what we receive as our source material, no print or digital source can convey the physicality and dimension of an embroidered decoration. Any embroidery design we make will necessarily alter the original art as we render it into thread. It’s not our job to be “thread printers,” converting images mechanically to stitches. Instead, our job is to be consultants, taking the inspiration and assets provided by our customers and showing them ways to render their image to create the best possible design in the medium of embroidery. Thread is not ink, and that’s OK.

The changes to the art we suggest are presented to the customer because we want the customer to have what they want: The luxury of embroidery on the particular cut and style of garment they want to wear. Our suggestions are an expert opinion on how best to create high-quality embroidery that looks and feels the best it can on the garment selected. Be confident in your ideas. You are the expert that your customers need, and you are working in their best interests.


Erich Campbell

Erich has more than 18 years experience as an award-winning digitizer, e-commerce manager, and industry educator. He empowers decorators to do their best work and achieve a greater success. A current educator and long-time columnist, Erich takes every opportunity to provide value to the industry.

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Charlie Fox

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