If you want to try monogramming and embroidery, it is best to understand their difference. The primary purpose of monogramming is to personalize items, using only small patterns. But, in embroidery, you can create larger decorative designs using a needle and thread.
Monogramming and embroidery are both decorative sewing techniques to customize and personalize items. Many people usually interchange the terms “embroidery” and “monogramming. Although you can associate them, they do not have the same meaning.
By basic definition, a monogram is a motif made of two or more letters. The characters always have a connection of some sort. So, a design is not a monogram if the characters are distinct and look unconnected.
But, unlike monogramming, there is no such limitation in embroidery. Embroidery machines make most of the embroidery work nowadays. You can make simple letterings to complex, colorful designs, unlike in monogramming.
These two sewing techniques can both incorporate initials to decorate apparel or accessories. But, as I mentioned, they have many differences. Please continue reading to know more about monogramming and its difference from embroidery.
What is a monogram?
It is best to know more about monogramming if you wish to know its difference from embroidery. As I mentioned, a monogram is a motif made of two or more letters to form one symbol. It distills a person or brand into a design that best represents them.
In history, monograms first represented royal signatures on coins. They also used to represent Christian symbols and were part of military standards. Artists and artisans also used monograms to sign their artwork.
So you see, people always used monograms to decorate items showing possession and representation. Now, it evolved into a powerful tool in modern brand design.
You can decorate various items using monograms. Companies do not only use their initials. They also make sure to include their style to convey the brand’s ideals. There are different uses of monograms, which you can classify as:
- Crown: These are monograms that royalties use on their clothes and royal seals.
- Brand: Brands with long names usually only show their initials as monograms. The monogram’s style also reflects the feel of the brand.
- Personal: Monograms are also famous for occasions. Some incorporate them into invitations, cakes, clothing, and gifts. Wedding monograms are among the most popular, which serve as an excellent symbol of a union.
As I mentioned, companies also take advantage of a monogram’s style to convey their vision. When it comes to monogram styles, it is best to follow a brand vision. You can also use various arrangements to design a monogram. Here are some of the most popular formats:
- The initial uses a single letter, where only the company’s initial or name is on the monogram. It can also have other decorative flourishes, depending on the brand’s style.
- The block uses three-letter initials. Note that this monogram arrangement has all the letters in the same height and width.
- The traditional is also famous for three-letter and name monograms. The initials on the sides are the person’s first and middle name initials. And the middle letter is the person’s last name initial. The first and middle initials are smaller to emphasize the last name.
- The stacked arrangement works best for three-letter monograms too. The first and middle initials stack on top of each other and are on the left side. The last name initial is on the right side with the same height as the first two combined.
- You can commonly see the interlocking arrangement with fonts that have flourishings. You will see that in this type of monogram, the characters are touching each other.
- The circle arrangement works best for two-letter and three-letter monograms. The characters form a circle, or they are in a circle.
- The diamond arrangement works like the circle arrangement. The characters take the shape of a diamond or fit within one.
- The split-letter arrangement has a small space that overlaps the initial characters. This small space contains the complete word of what the initial represents.
How to monogram by hand?
There are many ways to incorporate monograms into various items. But, if you know how to sew, then embroidering monograms is probably the best method for you. Follow this guide on how to monogram by hand:
- Sketch your monogram.
- Choose where to place your monogram.
- Transfer your monogram onto the fabric.
- Attach your embroidery hoop and begin embroidering.
- Remove your hoop.
Your monogram design will depend on your preferences. Allow yourself to try different combinations, arrangements, and fonts. It will help if your sketch flows naturally and beautifully while capturing your vision.
– It is best if your sketch is the same size as the monogram you wish to embroider.
– You also need to choose a fabric that will work best with your design.
Once you are happy with your monogram design and fabric, you will decide where to place your monogram. Mark the area where you want to embroider it using a tailor’s chalk or any fabric marking tool.
– It is best to at least make a horizontal line on your fabric. It will serve as the bottom point for your monogram, ensuring that the characters do not look crooked. It will also help you visualize how your finished piece will look.
– It is also best if you have enough room around the design to attach your hoop. You can leave at least two inches around the outside of every edge of your design.
Get a piece of carbon paper and place it under the sketch paper. Then, place both papers onto your fabric and use a pencil to trace the monogram’s lines. You will see that you are transferring your sketch to the fabric using carbon paper.
Do not forget to remove the carbon paper and the sketch paper off your fabric. After doing so, you will see that you transferred your monogram onto the fabric.
– Remember to place your fabric on a firm surface and that the papers are in the correct position.
– It is best to be careful while removing the carbon paper after you trace the monogram. By doing so, you are ensuring that you are not leaving any marks on your fabric.
Embroidering without a hoop can be too challenging and might ruin your piece. It is best to secure an embroidery hoop around your design area to keep your fabric taut as you sew. Then, start embroidering.
Make sure to choose a thread color that goes well with your fabric. It is best to start embroidering on one edge and work your way across. Complete the outlines first, then fill in the letters.
Finally, remove your hoop and trim any loose threads to make your piece look neat.
How to monogram using a sewing machine?
As I mentioned, there are various ways to incorporate your monogram into your items. You can choose to do it using a machine if you do not prefer embroidering by hand. Follow this guide to know how to monogram using a sewing machine:
- Prepare your sewing machine.
- Choose where to place your monogram.
- Place your machine’s hoop onto the fabric.
- Set up your hoop and start your machine.
- Detach your hoop and take your fabric out.
Plug your machine and make sure you have enough space to move your project freely. Set up your machine and program it to produce the size and shapes you want for your monogram.
– You can only monogram on a sewing machine if it has an embroidery function. Some modern sewing machines have integrated programs. They allow you to embroider preset designs, including monogram motifs.
– Follow your machine’s instructions on how to choose which design and size to use.
– Remember to thread your machine with the correct thread color. It is best if you choose a color that works well with your fabric.
Next, you will mark the center point of where you want to place your monogram. It is best to make vertical and horizontal lines using a tailor’s chalk or pencil. It will also help if you ensure that these lines will come out of the center point of where you want to place your design.
– It is best to have enough room around your design so your machine’s embroidery hoop can fit around it.
– You can measure your hoop or place it on the fabric when choosing where to place your design.
Make sure that your center lines align with the center marks on your machine’s embroidery hoop. By doing so, you are making sure that your machine embroiders the monogram in the right spot.
– It would be best if you placed a piece of stabilizer under your fabric inside the hoop. It should be a bit larger than your hoop, so it covers your fabric’s whole underside.
– You can easily cut, wash, or tear your stabilizer after sewing. So, you do not need to worry much about it.
Remember that your machine’s hoop should snap in place so it can freely move as you embroider. Always follow your machine’s instructions when attaching the hoop before you start the program.
– Avoid placing any objects near the machine while it operates so its hoop can move freely.
Remove your hoop and fabric. Then, trim any excess threads and stabilizer. Remember to follow the instructions that came with your stabilizer so it will not ruin your finished product.