Things You'll Need
- Embroidery machine
- Embroidery alphabet designs
- Embroidery software
- Item to be embroidered
- Tape (optional)
- Disappearing marker (optional)
Most embroidery machines come with a few fonts built in. It is easy to design a monogram or embroider a word using these fonts, but there will be times when you'll want more flexibility. There are a variety of embroidery alphabets available for purchase. Generally, when you buy an alphabet, each letter, number and symbol is a separate file. It is necessary to combine the letters to make monograms or words. You can do this by using embroidery software or by carefully embroidering each letter separately.
Use Embroidery Software to Combine Letters
Preview the files associated with the embroidery alphabet and select the appropriate letters.
Open the first letter and save a copy of the file under a new name.
Open the next letter, copy the design and paste it into the new file you created. Note that each embroidery program has a different method for doing this. Some software programs may require you to "import" another design into the current file.
Use the software's grid to align the letters properly. Save the file. Repeat this process until all letters have been added.
Transfer the completed file to the embroidery machine to be stitched out.
Combining Letters Without Embroidery Software
Open the files associated with the embroidery alphabet and print a full-sized template of each letter. Trim the paper close to the outline of the letters but make sure that the horizontal and vertical axes and the center point are clearly marked.
Align the paper templates on the item to be embroidered. It may be helpful to tape the templates in place so you can see how the finished embroidery will look.
Use a disappearing marker to carefully mark the horizontal and vertical axes and the center point for each letter on the fabric. Remove the paper templates.
Use the markings for the first letter to hoop the fabric and stitch out the first letter.
Remove the hoop from the embroidery machine and re-hoop the fabric so that it is aligned for the second letter. Stitch out the second letter. Repeat this process until all letters have stitched out.
If your embroidery software does not allow you to combine designs, you can use the method of stitching each letter individually, but you should only use this method for monograms or very short words. The more letters you add, the more distortion there is likely to be in the alignment of the letters.
If you're combining letters using embroidery software, make sure that the finished design will fit in your embroidery hoop. If you need something larger than your hoop, you'll need to stitch each letter individually. Embroidery alphabets are just like any other embroidery design. The quality will degrade as the design is resized. Make sure you purchase the alphabet in a size that is appropriate for your project.
Barbara Thompson has a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from Clayton State University and more than 10 years experience developing print and web-based training materials for various industries. For the last seven years, Barbara has worked in a public university system designing online college courses and developing training materials for faculty and students.