Shani's Embroidery and Workwear Blog

February Update

This week at Shani's embroidery is looking busy! We are in the process of completing over a dozen orders of varying sizes for organizations and companies ranging from a veterinary clinic to a demolition company, with more orders flying in as we do so. 

Keep an eye out for our new range of embroidered and personalized headboards that are coming in the next few weeks - a perfect gift for your kids or spouse!

 

Tips and tricks for choosing the right image to digitize

    Digitization is the process of transforming an image into an embroidery file which can be used by embroidery machines. At Shani's embroidery, we digitize all of our client's designs ‘in-house', which means our team members digitize each design individually, rather than paying for third-party digitization. This ensures we can maintain a high standard of quality and produce the best possible results.

    Not all images are equal, however, and some images will lead to better-embroidered designs and can be easier to work with. In this blog post, we will cover the basics of what type of images or designs help us create the best embroidery for you.

    To start the digitization process, we need an image or design to work with. If you have a photo, printed image or hand-drawn image you want to work from, you can give this image to us and we can simply scan this image into our embroidery software. However, if you have a digital image you want to be embroidered, it must be saved as a .jpg, .png or an .eps file then sent to us via email. For most digital images, you can simply click ‘save as' when saving the file and choose the right file extension.

    Vector images also help us produce the finest results. Vector images are images with clear and crisp lines which translate well into embroidery. If the lines within your image are blurry, it can be hard to distinguish where one object ends and another begins or simply produce a neat and detailed design.

    Likewise, high-resolution images also help produce better-embroidered designs. Resolution refers to a number of pixels in the image. Each pixel is a small dot of color and together thousands of tiny pixels form an image. The more pixels in an image, the more detailed it will be, which helps our designers translate the image you give us into a complex, rich design.

    When digitizing a logo or design, it also helps to consider whether any small sections of writing are present. Embroidered designs can be quite small and this can make it difficult for writing to be seen on the final garment or for our machines to stitch the design onto the garment itself. As a general rule of thumb, any writing needs to be at least 3mm in height on the finished product, although this depends on the particular writing font.

    At Shani's embroidery, we pride ourselves on the quality of our digitization and we have digitized designs ranging from pets to planes. What will you have us digitize?

 

October Update

28th October 2015

Wow where did the last three or so months go!

We have been so busy that I have neglected to update our blog, please accept my apologies!

Where to start, we have been recieving orders fast and furious from all sectors ranging from transport companies, heating engineers, schools, the military and specialist firms such as the custom motorcycle company  Fukham Hall Motorcycles pictured below.

 

If any body would like to view an example of their work check out this youtube clip HERE

I think it is a fine example of British engineering and craftmanship.

 

We have also completed an order of jackets and aprons for A.L.S. GROUP who specialise in supplying catering and entertainment. They can supply anything from the food for a wedding to bouncy castles and simulators for your party or venue.

Here is their embroidered logo that we designed for them.


 

 

 

 

10th June 2015

 

We're a third of the way through the month and business is still good!

One of the greatest things about our industry is the variety of the people we serve. At the moment we're working with a school, a government agency, a security company,  a jewellers, a scaffolding company, a nursery, a farm machinery company, a building company, an alarm and security company, a couriers, a foot clinic and a horsebox company - just to name a few!

We really enjoy getting to meet many of these people in person and getting to learn about what's going on in our community. We're even getting involved! We're proud to be one of a group of sponsors for a local netball team from Tattershall, Ladies in Tatters, by helping out with the team kit. The other sponsors are the coach's parents and our business neighbours, Woodhall Car Spa.

Not only do we get to meet all these great people, but we get to work with all manner of designs from stitching animals, to vehicles, to feet! There's never a dull day at Shani's Embroidery and whilst sometimes the work can be demanding, complex or frustrating, the great variety of people and designs we get to work with make it all worthwhile.


30th May 2015

The month is nearly over and it has been a busy one! We've been fortunate to have had a lot of designs to work through this month and have enjoyed rising to the challenge of some pretty tight deadlines.

We're looking forward to June and the approaching summer. Woodhall Spa is beautiful in the sunshine. Last summer we got into the habit of buying sandwiches and cakes from the Woodhall Spa Bakery and Delicatessen (which has the best chocolate brownies in the world!) and eating our lunch on the grass outside. We can't wait for the picnic season to begin again!

We've also got around to updating our price page, so please check in to see what's changed. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or to request a quote. 

Roll on, June!

 

13th May 2015

Well, it has been quite some time since the last Shani's Embroidery blog post - and with good reason!

Work has been booming, which is great for the business, but keeps us very busy. Still, even though the hours are long, we love our work here. Every day brings someone new to our doors and, with the nature of custom embroidery, we find that there is always a story behind the design.

For some, the story is as simple as a local business looking to spruce up its appearance, but sometimes we meet some truly remarkable people. For example, we are sponsoring the workout gear for one of our clients who is taking part in a mega triathalon - running, swimming and cycling! Emma Marshall-Telford is part of the Great Britain Athletics Team and we felt honored to be able to help her out as she undertakes yet another incredible physical challenge.

Another of our customers has come to us to provide polo shirts for a charity cycle ride from Potterhanworth to Paris to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support- that's 500 miles! You can read about the amazing journey of the local Lincolnshire businessmen here or should you wish to donate, you can do so by following this link.

Finally, we're looking forward to being a part of the Woodhall Spa Country Show this weekend. It will be our first time at the event, which allows local businesses to trade in the sunshine for the day and also features a large number of attractions and exhibitions. We recommend that everyone local to the area pops down to see all the exciting things in store this Sunday 17th May 2015. Follow this link to find out more.

 

23rd January 2015

We have been very busy with new orders on a daily basis. I was anticipating January and February to be quiet months for us - how wrong I was!

This last week has been very testing due to the fact that our main embroidery machine has had a faulty sensor, meaning that everything took twice as long to complete. In combination with an increase in orders, this meant meant that we were working all weekend. But needless to say we completed everything on schedule. The machine is now repaired and back to normal.

 

Unfortunately, the problems didn't stop there! On the way home during the week I hit two enormous potholes, which were only six foot apart, on the road from Woodhall Spa to Martin, instantly puncturing the rear nearside tyre and severely damaging the sidewall on the front nearside, which was only two months old, but will now have to be replaced.

I had to give my wife fair warning and tell Shani to keep well away from the potholes as someone of her diminutive height could quite easily fall to their death in a hole of such proportions!

Life this week has been literally full of ups and downs, but my personal view as a realist is that life isn't supposed to be easy and once you accept that fact the more able you are to deal with it. I'm hoping for an easier week next week!


7th January 2015

Back for business - I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!

We've been back a couple of days now and the phone calls and emails have been coming fast and furious. At this rate, business this year is going to far surpass last year's (which is great!).

Having had the Christmas holidays to reflect on the last year has made me realize what a lucky man I am to have a wife like Shani who supports and understands me. My wife is the main reason that I was keen to start this business, because I know what a great team we make when we unite for a common cause.

It gives me a great sense of confidence and optimism for the future of our company.

 

A big thank you to all our customers and supporters. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

We have a had a very busy, but good first year of trading and would like to thank everybody that helped make it a success. 

We are now heading home for a well earned break! We will be back at work on the 5th of January.

 


 

The importance of self discipline when running your own business.

27th Oct

Being a small business owner can be a daunting task. You often find yourself juggling several demanding situations at the same time. How you deal with the demands placed upon you can be the difference between success and failure in the fast-paced business world of today.

The mistake I have seen a lot of people make is what I call the hamster on the wheel scenario. This is where a lack of organization and self-discipline can lead to a situation where things reach crisis point and are then carried out under duress and without the right degree of care and attention required. This is a self defeating situation. If the goods or services you supply are sub-standard you will soon find yourself losing customers which in turn puts more pressure on the business owner until they end up like a hamster on a wheel chasing its tail and never getting anywhere fast or even finding themselves going backwards.

So what's the answer? I believe it is a combination of self-discipline and honesty. Don't procrastinate, deal with things as they occur and be honest with customers from the start. Don't promise things you can't deliver, as this will only make the situation worse. The most important thing in my opinion, though, is not to cut corners. There can be a huge temptation to say ‘that will do' or ‘that's good enough' when under pressure just in order to get things done when you're up against it. OK, you might be lucky and get away with it, but what happens if you don't? The customer could complain and ask you to put it right, in which case your reputation will be tarnished and you will have to spend even more time and money to put it right, or, worse still, the customer doesn't say anything but will not use or recommend you again, in which case you might think you have been clever, but you have actually shot yourself in the foot!

If I am not happy with an item of our work I don't send it out - simple! If on a very rare occasion a customer has a justified complaint, an honest apology is given and the item is replaced; no quibbles.

Recently, for example, a customer returned an embroidered shirt because he was not happy with the positioning of the logo. This was the very first time this has ever happened to us and although to me the new position of the logo looked out of place I immediately offered a replacement with a logo positioned where the customer requested. After the new position had been established and agreed upon the customer then stated that he required several more shirts from us. After he had gone I wondered whether he would have requested further shirts from us if I had refused to exchange the original one. The answer probably would have been ‘no' and I would have been blissfully unaware that I had lost business. A lesson learned, me thinks!

 

Is there such a thing as too busy?

29th Sept

We have been working flat out for the last two weeks solid, putting in a minimum of a 12hrs a day, including weekends.

I personally get a buzz from each new order we get, especially from word of mouth recommendations, as it gives me a great sense of reward and satisfaction to know people want to use us because they consider us to be the best people for the job.

Some people say we must be mad to put in 80-90hr working weeks, but I believe you only get out of life what you are prepared to put into it.

I think the key is to use your spare time wisely: quality rather than quantity is the answer!

Got to go now - the phone is ringing!   

 

 

The location of the Black Hole at the centre of the universe has been found!

I didn't believe it either until I saw it with my own eyes. It is vast and seems to swallow everything and it is getting bigger with every passing minute of everyday. What can mankind do to prevent a catastrophe of global proportions, can we afford to turn a blind eye to it any longer?

Well let me first tell you where this all engulfing entity can be found. It is located on Kirkstead Bridge heading out of Woodhall Spa!!

Who can save us from it? Perhaps an elite squad of brave men from the East Lindsey Highways Department. Could they possibly pull off such a complicated and logistical nightmare, such as placing a road cone at the entrance to warn unsuspecting motorists of its presence before they too enter its realm and face the annihilation of their vehicle's suspension and wheels?!

In all seriousness, this is no laughing matter. Somebody is going to get injured unless an urgent repair is carried out. A very sub-standard repair was carried out recently and within a couple of weeks the hole was as big as it was before.

For those of you that haven't seen it, I can tell you it must be 9" deep by 15" wide and it will seriously damage your car if you have the misfortune to drive into it.

Keep your eyes open, Woodhall Spa motorists!

 

A difficult decision to make, but the right one.

We thought long and hard before reaching the decision that our 10 month old Cocker Spaniel "Bertie" needed to be re-homed recently.

I'm glad to say our business is doing very well, but the downside to this is that we were unable to give Bertie the time and attention he deserved. He would often spend 10-14 hrs lying under the office desk listening to embroidery machines and telephone conversations with very brief and hurried ventures outside.  Shani and I would, of course, arrive home tired and ready to flop down in a chair with little energy left to give him some well deserved attention. We could tell by his mood that he wasn't happy or fulfilled and as animal lovers we found this very upsetting.  

There is a silver lining to this story, however, as we have managed to find a lovely lady called Janet who owns a golf course near Peterborough, who was willing to adopt him.

We have been in regular touch via email and telephone and we get sent pictures of him running freely around the golf course looking happy and without a care in the world.

This eases the pain of not having him around a degree and I know that although I miss him it was the right thing to do.

 

The mystery deepens!

Unfortunately last month Broadway Carpets and Curtains in Woodhall Spa went into administration.

They also had a unit on our industrial estate which as a result became available for any interested parties. According to the letting agents it has already been snapped up, but by whom?

Who is the new occupier? A removal or building company, or perhaps a dog training school or possibly even a religious cult?!

I will let you know as soon as I find out!    

Gavin, a customer of ours, was hoping to get it, but he was pipped at the post it seems. If you know of anyone locally who has an outbuilding or any sort of industrial or commercial unit available for rent please get in touch and I will pass on your details to him.                      

 

Many Lancaster Bombers spotted in Woodhall Spa! 

We are lucky to be a short distance from RAF Coningsby and have seen the Canadian Lancaster, affectionately known as ‘Vera', flying alongside the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's own Lancaster, ‘Thumper', in the skies over our embroidery workshop and showroom recently.

I haven't been as proactive with the blog in recent weeks as a result, because we have been inundated with orders for lots of Lancaster related goods, such as badges and T-shirts.

It's been a very busy but rewarding couple of weeks!

 

Tradesmen and appearance

When I ran my own building company I was never short of well-paid work, but I knew plenty of other tradesmen who struggled to find work, week in week out. These tradesmen would often drop their prices as they were desperate to find work and keep their heads above water. Often they would under-price jobs and end up earning very little or even make a loss, time and time again.

I love analyzing human characteristics and I soon started to see where they were going wrong.

These were good tradesmen, but poor businessmen, and they would attract the wrong sort of customer or the right sort of customer and still not get the job even though theirs was the cheapest quote!

I would often hear their tales of how they had had enough of constantly struggling to meet their financial commitments and working long hours, week in week out.

Over a pint, I can remember discussing with one such friend where I thought he could improve his business.

 

The conversation went along these lines, I asked him if he was financially secure, which car he would buy and why.

"That's easy," he said. "I would buy an Audi RS6."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because it is a quality car with fantastic looks and great reliability," he replied.

"But aren't they expensive?" I said.

"Yes, they are, but it is money well spent because they hold their value well and nothing ever goes wrong with them." he replied.

"So you wouldn't buy an old Ford Mondeo even if it was very cheap?" I said.

"No, I wouldn't.It would only end up costing me money in the long term I would pay the extra for an Audi knowing it was the more reliable choice."

My eyes studied him from the head down, he was unshaven and he was wearing an old T-shirt that had bleached shoulders from the amount of time it had been worn in the sun and it was covered in old paint and silicone. I then looked down at his faded jeans with holes in both knees and finally took in that he was wearing an old pair of trainers with his toe poking out of one of them. My gaze then averted to his unwashed and nondescript van in the car park, which had numerous dents and rust scabs all over its body. The dashboard was adorned with old paper cups, magazines, screwed up invoices, hand tools and empty sweet wrappers.

 

I then asked him to look at my appearance. I was clean shaven, I had a clean smart company sweatshirt with a nice embroidered logo, my trousers were top quality work trousers with pads in the knee pockets and finally I had a pair of clean safety shoes on.

Then I said, "Look at my van", which was clean, well-maintained and had quality signwriting to match my sweatshirt.

"If money wasn't your main concern, which one of us would you choose as a customer?" I said.

"I guess it's about time I turned myself into an Audi RS6!" he said.  

The point I was trying to make to him was that if you drive around in a poor looking vehicle and keep an unkempt appearance, then you are only going to attract customers with no money to spend looking for a cheap tradesman. On the odd occasion that you are presented with the correct type of customer, they would rather use someone else even if you were cheaper (remember the Ford Mondeo). 

The customer that I wanted him to attract was somebody who was prepared to pay good money for a job well done, but the moment he pulled up outside the house and got out of the van, the odds were stacked against him.

Of course there are more factors involved than just appearance when it comes to being a successful tradesman, but the first impression will go a long way to improving your chances!

 

 

 

Ginger Cow Coffee House

We've had great fun this week embroidering the logo for Coningsby's Ginger Cow Coffee House. A great logo and a great cafe! Visit their facebook page here.

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones: Behind the Scenes Talent

We love following HBOs Game of Thrones in our family and we think the costume designers do an excellent job. However, did you know that there is a role especially for the costume embroiderer? The talented embroidery artist who currently holds the position is named Michele Carragher and she has her own website where you can see a time lapse of her process as well as galleries of her work, with close-ups of those incredible costume designs. See what she gets up to here.

 

 

Embroidery Quiz

 

1) When was the first Singer Sewing machine manufactured? 

a) 1792                  b) 1851                 c) 1908 

 

2) What was the first name of Mr Singer, who first patented the Singer sewing machine? 

a) Isaac                 b) Benjamin                 c) Charles 

 

3) The first recorded embroidery pattern book, created by German designer Johann Schonsperger, was released in which year? 

a) 1423                  b) 1523                 c) 1623 

 

4) "Pouncing" refers to which historical embroidery practise? 

a) Placing a soft backing underneath a garment before embroidery to prevent bunching.

b) Rubbing charcoal over pin-holes in a paper sheet to transfer designs.

c) Missing a stitch to leave room for a button.

 

5) The Illustrated Needlework Book, created by the embroiderer Florence Caulfield whose designs were bought by royalty, showed which kind of patterns? 

a) South African wild flowers

b) Scenes from British life

c) Butterflies and dragonflies

 

6) Elizabeth Parker's Sampler is an embroidered work, which is: 

a) A book of sample designs to be approved by royalty before being turned into clothes for monarchs 

b) A tapestry, illustrating the construction of several English churches in the 15th Century 

c) A complete confession and biography, entirely stitched by hand.

 

7) Which of the following is NOT a type of embroidery stitch? 

a) Satin

b) Hungarian

c)Tent

d) Bunch

e) Brick

 

8) Mary Thomas' Dictionary of Stitches, which grouped and detailed all types of embroidery stitch, was published in which year? 

a) 1834                  b) 1923                 c) 2011

 

9) In a play written in 1951, a woman embellishes her own clothes with embroidery. One of her garments is a quaife. A quaife is a type of: 

a) Cap

b) Apron

c) Belt

 

10) 'Opus Anglican' translates to: 

a) A brand of sewing machine

b) A type of embroidery work produced in England in the 1200s

c) The name of a famous embroiderer

 

With thanks to the Victoria and Albert Museum for their excellent website. Visit them here for the original articles.

 

 

 

ZSK Sprint 5 Embroidery Machine: Tension Set-Up.

 

When we first got our ZSK Sprint 5 embroidery machine it ran like a dream, as you would expect from a German built piece of machinery. After six months or so the embroidery stitch-outs, although still good, were not of the same quality as when the machine had been brand new.

I made the rookie mistake of starting to fiddle with the tension knobs with little knowledge of what I was doing, until the machine was stitching out awfully and I found myself in a right muddle! Thankfully we have multihead machines as well so embroidery production wasn't affected unduly.

After much experimentation and a lot of time, I found a good point to start from and I am going to pass this information onto you in case you require it.

The first thing I did was replace the bobbin case and when I did so, it made me realize how bad the old one had become. The new one was smooth and free running, where as the old one was very erratic and notchy probably from having been dropped one too many times! Lesson learned - don't drop bobbins onto concrete floors and still expect them to operate as before!

The correct tension for the bobbin if you have a tension gauge is about 300gms, but as most experienced embroiders will tell you, it is just as easy to perform a drop test which is as carried out as follows:

Place the bobbin in the bobbin case and thread it as normal but do not put the thread through the final hole or pigtail in the bobbin case.You then pull out about 9 inches of thread and let the bobbin dangle over something soft in case you should drop it. Then you gently move your hand up and down and the bobbin should gently creep down the thread by 35mm- 50mm with each up and down movement of your hand. Any adjustment should be made by means of the larger of the two screws on the side of the bobbin case; clockwise to tighten and anti-clockwise to loosen., If you imagine the screw as a clock face, only adjust it by two minutes each time until you get the required tension.

I then started with the two rows of top pre-tensioner knobs pictured below,


The main purpose of these upper tensioners, as I understand it, is to remove any loops or possible tangles from the thread before it reaches the main tension wheels. It does this by passing the thread between two stainless steel discs which are placed under tension by means of a spring which is adjusted by the black knobs you can see above. Always make sure the thread is threaded between the two discs! The tension on these discs is minimal and I found that if you wind both tensioners fully in and then unwind both rows by a full 9 turns each, you will have the upper tension about right. The secret from then on, is that if you adjust either of the upper tension knobs, you must make sure you adjust the corresponding knob by the same degree, as it is important that they are at the same tension.

Then I started with the main tension knobs pictured below,


These main tensioners operate slightly differently from the upper ones in as much as the thread is wound around one and a half times around a wheel, which is placed under tension again by means of a spring and knob. These are the main tensioners that should be adjusted if required. The upper pre-tensioners, when set, should require no further adjustment.

I found that unlike the top pre-tensioners, which if you wound them in fully and then wound them out the same amount of turns each, the stitch-out results were erratic. I then discovered that if you wound them all the way in and then wound them out and left the same degree of space between the knob and surrounding collar that the stitch-outs were pretty consistent.

By using a £1 pound coin as a gauge (see picture below) I set all the collars at the same depth and ran a tension test and the results were pretty good!

 

Next I carried out a tension test stitch-out which involves 12 blocks of embroidery  (one for each needle) 6mm in width and 50mm in length as pictured below,

Take a look at the back of the stitch-out pictured below,


As you can see most of the blocks are taken up by about one third of bobbin thread running through the middle which is ideal. Remember this is only a guide, for the best results use your eyes to see how the top thread looks, you might want slightly more or less of the bobbin thread showing depending on how your individual machine stitches out. In this particular example the three colours gold, white and black on the far left have too much tension on the upper tension and the main tension knob will need to be slackened off maybe a quarter turn or so to decrease the amount of bobbin thread visible.

If you can't get the right amount of bobbin thread showing by adjusting the main tension knob then simply reset it using the pound coin as a gauge as mentioned previously and adjust the tension by using the two sets of upper pre-tensioners, always adjust the upper and lower pre-tensioner knobs by the same amount, clockwise to tighten and anti clockwise to loosen.

If suddenly all 12 blocks have an increase or decrease in bobbin thread, then obviously the bobbin needs adjusting, tighten to decrease the amount of bobbin thread showing and loosen to increase. 

The good thing about the tension stitch out is that once you are happy with one colour you can then stitch out more of the ones that aren't right until you eliminate all tension issues.

Once you have good tension settings carry out this test maybe once a week to keep the settings correct.

 

Forties Fun in Woodhall Spa

What a wonderful weekend it was when Woodhall Spa hosted their annual forties festival! As a company that's new in town, it was our first time visiting the fair, and we must say, we were impressed by the efforts put in by everyone involved to make it such a great day. We were really interested to be able to see the contents of a parachutist's kit and even feel the weight of the gun he had to carry and enjoyed all the costumes that were on show. Our director, Paul, particularly loved the vintage car show. Here he is posing with one of the vehicles:


We're really looking forward to next year's show. Who knows? We may even have our own stall! Either way, we'll definitely be getting involved with the fancy dress. We loved the vintage clothes!

To find out more about forties Britain you can visit the BBC page here or to learn more about Lincolnshire in the forties, why not watch this documentary about 1940's Boston? 

 

 

We'd rather skip this palava!

It's a nightmare for any resident when they have dodgy neighbours, but even more so when you work on an industrial estate! This was the mess left by our neighbours when they failed to pay the costs of their skip hire and the company overturned their skip! Our poor landlord quickly righted the mess - we're grateful for the quick clean-up!

 

 

 

 

Motorbike Madness!

Our director, Paul, is a huge motorbike fan, so we've been very excited with all our motorbike orders lately. We've produced a number of badges for motorbike fans to sew onto their leathers and Paul has even convinced our digitilization specialist to recreate his Honda Blackbird for embroidery. We're looking forward to expanding our range for motorcyclists. Why not contact us today to see your own bike made ready for embroidery?

 

 

 

 

 

The King of Hobbies

If you have an interest in embroidery, you're in good company! We've found articles online which suggest that both Henry VIII and Kate Middleton have enjoyed the odd spot of needlework! Our customers are certainly not in bad company. We wonder how many royals have tried their hand at embroidery?

Read about Henry VIII's interest on the Royal School of Needlework website and about Kate's hobby here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wells Cathedral Embroidery Tours

It's not just the Victoria and Albert Museum that is celebrating the rich history of embroidery this month, but also the beautiful Wells Cathedral in Somerset which offers embroidery tours to showcase the stunning works of embroidery artists throughout the church's history.

Why not catch their "Turbulent Times" tour on Tuesday 22nd July to see some of the incredible Civil War works held by the cathedral?

Find out more about Wells Cathedral and their embroidery tours here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of First Impressions

When I first started teaching during my year abroad, I was always immaculate in my appearance. I wanted people to respect me and trust that I knew what I was talking about. I have a young face and I worried that nobody would take me seriously. So I made sure to dress the part in a professional suit every day, with my hair nicely done and a fresh face of make-up. Of course, over time as I became comfortable with my students, I became less bothered about that bit of ironing and the odd T-shirt crept into my usual wardrobe of smart shirts and business dresses. It was easy to underestimate the importance of a professional look until a new adult student joined my class or a parent wanted to come in to talk to me, and I realised I was wearing a woolly jumper with foxes on. You could understand why I wasn't taken seriously in those instances and judged as yet another gap-year wannabe. 

If only that first-week enthusiasm could carry on throughout the years and every first impression could be a good one! Fortunately, we at Shani's Embroidery can help there. We know that a smart, professional uniform with a custom logo or design can make all the difference. A uniform is essential for a number of reasons: 

1) Get recognised

During his years as a self-employed builder, our director Paul was known around our town as "The Batman" due to the logo emblazoned on his T-shirts and the huge bat on the side of his van. Whenever someone needed a job done, you could be certain that his name cropped up. Of course, he remembered the difference his uniform made, which was why he was excited to co-found Shani's Embroidery in 2014. 

2) Health and Safety

In some professions, a uniform is not just for looking smart, but necessary for the trade. Hi-vis jackets, steel-toed boots, durable gloves and waterproof heavy-wear jackets can make the job safer and easier to do. We stock a wide range of popular brands for tradesmen to make sure that your employees are protected in their work.

3) You get to choose how people see you

You're in control of that vital first impression. Unfortunately, the stereotype of the scruffy builder with his bum hanging out is all too prevalent nowadays. However, you can break that image and brand your company with recognisable uniform that sets you apart from other tradesmen in your area. 

Check out this article from the Huffington Post for more reasons to choose a uniform.

 

  

Hiroko Kubota

We at Shani's Embroidery are loving the work of Japanese embroidery artist Hiroko Kubota, who has become famous for her cute pocket kitten designs. The shirts sell for £140-£175 a piece and were inspired by Hiroko's son's love of internet cats.

We think perhaps we could have thought of the idea first ourselves if we'd had a slightly better model to work with. Unfortunately, our house cat Tolka isn't model material!

Still, we had a great time doing this embroidery of a customer's German Spitz last month - and we didn't charge £140! We think photo-quality embroidered animals are a fantastic way to bring your wardrobe to life.

Find out more about Hiroko here or contact us today to find out about how to get your own custom pet design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We've been caught by the Lions!

 

We at Shani's Embroidery are proud to have been approached by Coningsby Lions Club for some custom embroidery for their members. We have great respect for these worldwide volunteers. Did you know that the Lions Club has more than 1.35 million members worldwide? That's a lot of community work! We're glad to be able to recreate the logo that makes these social helpers recognizable and wish our local Lions Club all the best in their activities.

Find out more about the Lions Club and the work they do here.

 


 

6 Great Uses for Custom Embroidery

1) Uniform

Nothing counts more than a first impression! A smart uniform with a custom logo or design makes you recognisable and helps brand your company. It also cuts down the costs of dressing for work and saves time choosing what to wear in the morning! 

2) Clubs and Societies

Intimidate the opposing bowling team with your fierce look! Make those other dart players tremble in their boots! Easily spot that one person who always wanders off! The advantages of a team outfit are endless! 

3) Fundraisers

When I hitchhiked for charity in 2011 and had gone a couple of days without showering, I'm not sure anyone would have stopped to pick me up if I hadn't been wearing a recognisable T-shirt that explained my lack of hygiene!

4) Labelling

"That's my shirt!"

"I don't see your name on it!"

"Oh really?"

5) Advertising

Posters and websites are great ways to advertise, but limited by the number of people who stumble across them. Be a walking advertisement for your company or event with a personalized shirt or jumper!

6) Unique Gifts

I've called my friend Bagstrap for years. It's really hard to find a pen in the seaside gift shop that says that though.... Make your friends laugh at an in-joke as much as our director Paul laughed at this one.

 


Screen Printing or Embroidery?

 

When it comes to custom clothing, many people don't even consider embroidery, but opt immediately for its close cousin, screen-printing. However there are a number of advantages to choosing to embroider your design: 

1) A more sophisticated look

Embroidered designs are high-quality. Unlike screen-printing, the layering and direction of thread can create a 3D look which can bring a design to life. 

2) Durability

Although the initial costs of screen printing can be lower, they have a tendency to crack with wear and can soon begin to look worn. An embroidered design will last as long as the garment itself and can be washed over and over again without compromising quality. 

3) Greater range

An embroidered design is compatible with a far greater range of materials and products than a screen printed one. Whereas screen printing would struggle to work with a thick or fuzzy material, embroidery can cover cotton, fleece, towelling and tougher work materials, which means that you can brand your company with a wider choice of product. 

So why not browse our website and consider an embroidered product today?

 

Embroidery through the Ages

Although the process of embroidery is largely used nowadays for corporate wear and promotion, a recent Google search I ran revealed that our trade actually goes back a long way. So much so, in fact, that the Victoria and Albert Museum have a whole exhibition dedicated to embroidery! 

In Medieval times, embroidery was used to decorate tapestries and textiles, notably within the church and also for royalty! So our customers are not in bad company when they wear our designs. 

Today, it is relatively simple to turn artwork into embroidery through our technical digitizing process, so we can't help but be impressed by the skill of artisans in the 15th century, who had to work with artists and stitch commissions by hand. 

By the 16th and 17th centuries, embroidery was really becoming fashionable and less dominated by the church. People began to embroider at home and clothes became more decorative and personalized. 

By the 19th century, there was even a Royal School of Art Needlework which still exists to this day! 

Check out the museum's website to find out more about the rich history of embroidery through the ages: http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/e/embroidery/ 

We were particularly impressed with this video detailing the work of Martha Edlin:http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/videos/m/video-martha-edlins-casket/  

 

 

 

02 July

It's been a week of ups and downs for us here at Shani's Embroidery.

We were proud to be able to take part in the Rainbows Hospice Walk of Life on Sunday, walking ten miles through the rain to raise money for this worthy cause. It was a great day and an incredible number of people turned up to show their support for the charity. We'd like to take this opportunity once again to commend the charity for their work and praise their staff and volunteers for their ongoing commitment to making every last moment with an ill child count. We look forward to their future events.

Here we are looking a bit wet, but proud of ourselves!


As you can see, a lot of people turned up to show their support for the hospice.

After such a great weekend, it was a shame that the new week started with a bit of a hiccup! Our new 4-head machine and faithful singled-headed machine were due for their re-calibrations, which can be a bit of a kerfuffle! Our director, Paul, hasn't been blessed with delicate fingers, so the re-threading and adjusting tensions can all get a bit too much! Fortunately, the sun is shining and we took the opportunity to spend five minutes with our cakes from Woodhall Spa Bakery, sitting outside the unit having a family picnic whilst our neighbours next door gave us strange looks to see us sitting on the tiny strip of grass on the industrial estate eating our sandwiches!

With two of our children home from university, we have to take every opportunity to grab some family time where we can!


26th June

 

Shani's Embroidery support Rainbows Hospice for children and young people. They are the only children's hospice in the East Midands.

Rainbows is a place where life-limited children and their families can find care and support. Their incredible team of people helps relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, support parents and siblings through their bereavements and care for children until the end.

Shani and I, along with our son, Harry, daughter Faye and Bertie, our dog and company mascot, will all be taking part in the sponsored 10 mile Walk of Life to celebrate the 20 years of care provided by this wonderful charity. The event takes place at 10.30 am at Watermead Country Park in Leicester on this Sunday the 29th June.

If you would like to donate to this wonderful charity, please follow our just giving link below:  

https://www.justgiving.com/shani-Lee1/

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25th June

 

 

Top ten embroidered clothing designs to date.

I was looking at some of our previous embroidery designs and thought I would compile my top 10 to date.

I have given a brief remit of the clients' requirements and photos of the finished designs and my thoughts on each one below.

 

No 10 


This was a design I created for my son Harry who is at Bristol University studying psychology and philosophy. The image represents exercising the brain and the penguins are a private family joke.

This is a large design across the chest of a sweatshirt and I was very pleased with the crisp colours and lines and the way the image really stands out.

 

No 9


This design was for a local blinds and flooring installer and the image was replicated from his business card.

What isn't obvious in this picture is the size of the image. This is a large design on the back of a sweatshirt approx 150mm x 300mm in size.

On the first day he wore it, people were asking for his business cards. It should prove to be a good investment for his business. 

I was pleased with how accurate and realistic it appears.

 

No 8


This again is a large design on the back of a sweatshirt and was for a local motorcyclist called Ray. It is based on the Moto GP rider Valentino Rossi's logo.

I used elements of Valentino Rossi's logo but I had to make some of the design freehand!

I love this design because of its vibrant colours - you can't help but notice it!

 

No 7

 

This was done for a motorcycle instructor that works for Access Your Future, a social enterprise scheme that helps young adults get to a place of work or education by providing them with scooters at affordable rates.

I copied the image from their website and  recreated it in embroidery.

This again was a large design on the back of a high quality, well worn high-viz vest belonging to the instructor, although we also supplied several new ones as well.

I think the key and wheel design is very clever and the colours really stand out against the fluorescent vest.   

 

No 6

As we are based in Woodhall Spa, I took an image of one of the four signs on the approach roads and created this embroidery design.

If you ever come to Woodhall Spa from Martin Dales you will see this sign and I think this is a good representation of it.

This is a very small design on a cotton shirt that has been magnified to highlight the details of fine embroidery.

No 5

 


This symbol "Pegasus" is the insignia of the 6th Airbourne Division and was embroidered onto the sleeve of a tee-shirt for Memorial in Aviation, a good client of ours based in Coningsby.

Although it only contains two colours, I think the fine detail is enough to give the image an almost 3d quality and it reminds me of Wedgwood Pottery.

No 4

This is a well known logo for Lions International , a wonderful organization. With over 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members, they are the world's largest service club organization, and also one of the most effective. Their members do whatever is needed to help their local communities.

This was a first stitch out for the Coningsby Lions. In the final design the gold stitching was replaced with a canary yellow to represent their current logo design.

I think the quality of the logo speaks for itself.

No 3 


This is an image of one of only two Lancaster bombers still flying in the world today. This one is based at RAF Coningsby, the home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The only other remaining Lancaster is owned by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

It is scheduled to come to the UK in August for a once in a lifetime tour of the country. In all probability, you will never get to see these great planes flying together again after this point in time.

The photo of the aircraft was taken by the client and this is a first stitch out. I tweaked it a bit at a later point in time to make the aircraft number thicker and more legible. The letters on the actual design are only 8mm high and 1.2mm thick.

I deliberately left the stitches loose on the propellers to represent prop blur, they are no more than 4mm in length. 

No 2


This, as the name suggests, is a dog named "Dash" and is a breed known as a German Spitz.The dog's owner teaches his dogs agility and tricks and attends many dog shows including Crufts.

The owner supplied a photo of his pet for me to work from and this is the end result. The shirt was given to his wife as a present.

I was really pleased with the end result and the shading and individual stitch lines give a realistic 3d effect.  

 

No 1

Finally I have two designs that share the top spot. They were both on the same tee-shirt and I choose them not only for the finished designs, but for what they represent and the occasion for which they were worn.

 

The top design was representative of the 6th British Airborne Division, who were the first men to land in Normandy on D-Day. This design was on the left sleeve of the tee-shirt.

The second design was on the chest of the tee-shirt and was designed to be seen on the neckline just below the crews flight suits. It is of the Dakota that was actually flown over Normandy during the 70th D-day celebration.

These shirts were worn by the flight crews of the Lancaster and Dakota as they flew over Pegasus bridge during the 70th D-Day anniversary and it is with great pride that Shani's Embroidery was the embroiderer of choice for this very special event.  

 

 

19th June  EMBROIDERY LINCOLN

I like to see how our webpage is doing so I googled  "EMBROIDERY LINCOLN" and was surprised with the results!

 

 

19th June

Sorry I haven't been updating our blog, I usually do it at home after work in the evenings, but Sky left us without internet or phone for 12 days!!

To say I was annoyed would be a conservative description of my emotions, especially as I took a  day off work for the engineer's visit, only for nobody to show up! Just what you need when starting a new business!  

I am going through the Sky complaints procedure and will let you know how I get on!

 

 

 

9th June

We're looking forward to another busy week and it's Shani's birthday on Friday. I won't say how old she is!

We have got a lot of poplin corporate shirts to embroider for a coach company and aprons and chefs jackets for a local restaurant with custom embroidery.

6th June

Embroidered Badges UK

We can now offer embroidered badges to our portfolio of services. Here is one we made for a local biker called Adam.

If would like some custom badges please contact us.

 


4th June

We are getting more and more enquiries from garages, bikers, restaurants and today a handbag manufacturer. If you need some embroidered clothing in Lincoln or anywhere else in the UK, please get in touch.

3rd June

We have two ongoing projects at the moment, both of which we can't say anything about, as they are each linked to a launch or special event.

Both of these are for high profile corporate clients, which is very exciting.

We will of course let you know all about them as soon as we can!

 

 

2nd June 

Looks like it's going to be a busy week! We received some good orders last week: 75 polo shirts with embroidery, 300 tee-shirts with embroidery, motorcycle badges and a host of other other orders to keep us busy. It's hard work but the company is growing steadily which makes it all worth while. I will upload some pictures later this week, so you can see what we've been up to.

We've also received our sponsored walk numbers from Rainbows Children Hospice. Over the weekend we will be taking part in their 10k sponsored walk (29th June). See here for details. We're really looking forward to it. It will be a lovely day out for me and Shani with two of our children and even our dog Bertie is coming along, and all for a very deserving charity.

 


29th May

Sorry, we've been so busy in the last few days that haven't had much time to keep you up to date with our blog!

We are winning business at a rate of knots mainly through word of mouth, so thanks to everyone who has been singing our praises lately.

We didn't finish in the embroidery workshop until 20:10 last night. Another long but rewarding day.

Somebody asked us if we do ties today and I didn't know if we could or not as this was our first request for some. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I sought some advice from somebody much more knowledgeable than myself in these matters, and low and behold, yes, we can do ties and produced our first one today.

So if you need a tie with embroidery, maybe for fathers day, then get in touch!

10.25pm time for one last cup of tea and then I am hitting the sack!!

 

 

 

22nd May

Two new clients today! Business is starting to pick up.

Rainbows Children's Hospice has been in touch about their latest fundraising events. I am nearly 50 years old and if I die tomorrow I would have had a happy life. However some of the youngsters being cared for by this wonderful charity aren't so lucky to have as long. If you can help this charity in any way, please do. 


21st May 2014

A good day! We had a couple of very good leads this morning; one with a well established large company. We are starting to win more business. Word of the quality of our embroidery and customer service must be catching on1 It's 20:07. I just had my dinner and am about to do some work on the website for the next couple of hours.

19th May 2014

My wife Shani and I spent a lovely day in the beautiful sunshine visiting our daughter Faye in Cambridge yesterday.

Today's first task is to finish a custom embroidered tablecloth for a dental imaging company with branches in Birmingham, Oxford and London.

I am continuing with marketing and getting the word out about Shani's Embroidery. It seems to be working as we are getting more enquiries and a better web presence.

 

17th May 2014

Although our opening hours are 9am-1pm on a Saturday, I am still at work by the late afternoon with Shani, who is keeping the accounts up to date whilst I am updating the website.

The radio in the background is playing "stand by your man"  by Tammy Wynette and as I look over to the other office desk at Shani up to her ears in paperwork, working hard, the words of the song seem very relevant. I  think to myself I am a lucky man to have her by my side.

I am slowly getting to grips with social media which is something I have never dabbled with before. It's a steep learning curve but I am winning the battle!

 

 

 

 

 

15th May 2014

I'm nearing the end of another long working day and although weary, I am very positive about the business and the direction it is heading in.

We have won two more contracts today and the drive home will be a joy going through the Lincolnshire countryside with the windows open, music on and the warm sun shining.

Suddenly my thoughts are with the family of Stephen Sutton, the 19 year old who sadly passed away yesterday after bravely battling cancer for four years and raising over £3.2 million pounds for charity during his illness.

My daily struggles pale in comparison to what this inspirational young man had to endure in the last years of his life. I am getting goosebumps and tears are starting to well up when I imagine what his family would give to spend one more day with him in the lovely British weather we are having today.

I for one draw strength and fortitude from heroes like Stephen Sutton.

 

15th May 20.47

I have had my dinner and am relaxing for the last few hours of the day. Me and my wife Shani have recently started listening to Smooth Radio in the evenings and I am discovering that it's a great way to unwind after the end of the working day. I think televisions are too easy a distraction and I am planning to cut my viewing hours down considerably in future!

 


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