This week I will be completing the series of articles on How To Design An Embroidery Project with Stage 6 From stitch to print.
As you know when I stitch the step by step directions I literally mean STEP BY STEP as I have to climb the steps to my office to scan each step! There are approx. 15 steps or are there? I am not going to go and count them that would just be silly – but needless to say this is my daily workout in contrast to the comparative sedentary task of sitting in a chair stitching!
So once I have done the stitching and am satisfied with the result – I can now start to input the instructions ready to go to print – this is done in Corel Draw where I have a booklet template.
The first thing I do is take my scribbled notes and create a thread diagram like this.
Next I copy all the thread colours used and make a list in Microsoft Excel – this allows me to sort the numbers from smallest to largest, then I copy all the thread numbers into a conversion programme and make a list of Anchor/DMC substitutes. Once this is done I copy all the thread numbers into a Microsoft Word table like this.
I then insert and place all the scanned step by step pictures and write the instructions for each step like this.
Finally I design a cover for the booklet – this can take a whole morning, matching up colours and finding the best background to suit the design. Again I enjoy this bit as it is creative.
Once the instruction booklet is complete it is sent to a friend of mine Merle Clarence who edits it, double checks that all the thread colours are correct and phones me to make changes. Once the edits are done and the booklet is complete it is saved ready for pre-press and sent to the printers. The printers will send me a proof of the booklet so I can check the colours and make sure all the instructions are correct and finally go ahead with the printing. The printing is done on commercial, digital printers on good quality matt paper and saddle stitched on the side. It is then trimmed, packed and shipped back to me.
At this stage I will trace a good outline onto tracing paper, make any changes necessary (I sometimes add things in while I stitch ), scan it into Corel Photo Paint where I can make it sharp and clear and send the project outline to the Screen printer by email. They are in Durban which is another City in South Africa, so I will also have to courier the fabric to them for printing. The process of screen printing can be seen in the diagram below. The printer will make a screen for each outline and this will be stored in a folder for future use – I have a list for the printers and screen printers whereby each design is numbered with a description so that when I need to re-order I simply order by number.
Several factors are taken into consideration when compiling a kit:
- Most convenient size and weight for postage to save customer on postage costs.
- Most convenient layout for customer to refer to/place next to their chair when stitching.
- Packaging that allows clear view of kit and also protects materials
I like to use the best quality materials and have spent years sourcing supplies so the fabric, needles and clear cellophane bags are imported from the UK and USA. This is a whole other process, you have to register as an importer and deal with the whole customs process, pay import duties etc before the shipment arrives at your door.
Once the screen printing and booklets have been received these will then be compiled into kits by my daughter, who does this as a sideline to her job to make extra money, thanks Tess what would I do without you!
STOCKING THE SHOP
The costing is done in a detailed Excel sheet where I use a standard formula with the help of my accountant husband for all my products. When the kits are packed and ready to go I upload the images into my Etsy shop, stipulate costs and make them available for sale.
And this is the story from A – Z of How To Design An Embroidery Project. I hope you have enjoyed this series of articles and have gained a better understanding of the designing and preparation of each kit.
Next time I will be interviewing Margaret Vant Erve of Canada who stitches the most exquisite landscape embroideries. Meantime wherever you are in the world be it winter, spring or summer have a wonderful week and many happy stitching hours. Trish