Baby gifts blog
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Creating perfect gifts
Posted on 9:52am Thursday 19th May 2011
Whilst on a night out with a friend recently she asked me "so exactly how do you sew all those patterns on the blankets? I bet it takes you hours!". It was then I realised she thought I sat and hand sewed each design. I'm guessing may be a lot of people think this is how the Personalised baby blankets aanketre made, but in fact the design are all done by software and sewn out on embroidery machines.
Each blanket starts its life as a role of soft anti-pill fleece, its then cut by hand to the blanket size and the raw edges neatly finished on industrial overlockers, this is when the clever stuff starts! All the designs start life as a digital drawing which is then digitised by hand. Digitising is basically redrawing over the top of the original drawing to create a template that the sewing machines can read. You tell the machine what areas to do in what type of stitch and what colour to use. This is then converted into the format for the type of machine your sewing with and sent via a computer to the machine.
Once all the thread colours are loaded on the machine and threaded (it sews 12 colours in one go!) you can put the blanket on to a hoop to hold it whilst the machine sews the design on to it. Hopoing items is quiet an art too, its not as easy as just clamping the hoop down and off you go, hoop the material wrong and the design will come out awful, you can often see when an item is badly hooped as the lettering will by puckered or pinched together, of course setting the correct tension and needle size can also cause this look but mostly its due to poor hooping.
Then after all of that there it is your blanket, depending upon the design they take about 30 to 50 mins to sew each on out, quicker if its just a name and no design.
I took my friend to the workshop to see the machines in action, quiet noisy when they are sewing out, and she was amazed at how cleaver they where. Of course whilst there she noticed all the plotters and heat presses for the photo gifts and now wants a demo of how thats done, but that as they say is another story for another day.