Machine embroidery is a special type of embroidery, performed by special automatic machines, functioning according to the man’s adjusted program.
This man is designer, constructor. He creates the embroidery program (design) – the machine operation algorithm, which can be in consequence repeated unlimited number of times. The machine following the given program, automatically executes the embroidery on material. In this way, the main features of machine embroidery are the absence of manual labor at the stage of outright embroidery, and the possibility of embroidery samples duplication.
The machine embroidery is a recent kind of activity, in contrast to manual embroidery, existing for thousands of years. The machine embroidery began its existence nearly 50 years ago and in 1980-ies the demand of the profession of machine embroidery designer began to grow. Nowadays the demand is actually as well. During the period of machine embroidery existence, its creation technology has changed beyond recognition.
The machines that once used as source of information the punched card, limited in speed and quality of embroidery, were replaced by microprocessor-based, highly productive, multihead machines with advanced technology equipment, optimizing the embroidery process.
The process of machine embroidery technologically consists of two closely associated stages:
The embroidery designing stage, or the construction stage of machine embroidery-represents the process of creation of embroidery machine program. At this stage are developed the construction components of machine embroidery.
The technical stage represents the direct embroidery manufacture by means of machine. At this stage are developed the technical components of machine embroidery.
Both this stages are at the same time quite independent from the point of view of manufacture, which helps to differentiate them and to mark out two different basic types of industrial activity accordingly. It is a question of enterprises that are specialized directly in program creation, or in materially embroidery creation. Each of these manufacture branches develops round itself a branching infrastructure system.
For example, nowadays there are a great number of producers of special program maintenance for machine embroidery, of embroidery machines and special concomitant equipment producers, of outlay materials producers, used for embroidery manufacture. Many companies, in accordance with machine embroidery branch needs are adjusting the directions of its activity. For example, the producers of textile dye stuff make special adjustments of qualities and spectrum, the clothing producers change the construction, adjusting it to the technology of machine embroidery manufacture.
Field of machine embroidery use
Historically the embroidery had, first of all, a decorative character. Nowadays this essential property favorable affected its use in advertising branch. We frequently see the embroidery bearing advertising-informational character, on clothing objects and other ready-made garments.
Machine embroidery as advertising; informational bearer
Embroidery can be an effective advertising-informational means, at the same time without loosing its artistic expressiveness. It is frequently used at trade marks plotting on the cloth, leather, felt, as well as on complete products, clothes etc. At embroidery it is possible the reproduction of trade mark of all color combination. The trade mark, plotted on by this method, frequently turns into fashionable attribute of article and becomes an organic element of its composition. It is possible to embroider on different types of clothes, including uniform, working clothes. The embroidery as characteristic index to any current of activity is widely used in many countries. Very often the firm workers bear the differential sign of their company. It can be a logotype on the head gear, on the front side of the sweater or on the back side of the jacket.
The cloth embroidery, on many indexes passes ahead of its “rivals”, like serigraphy or decal decoration (transfer seal). The embroidery is more lasting, the steadiness of threads color is higher, the volumetric texture of embroidery confers more expensive and spectacular shape to the logotype. That is why most of the firms, dealing with advertising campaigns development, recommend to their clients the very embroidery. The embroidery can be performed on different parts of clothes and on different articles. On head gears (caps, knitted caps), sport shirts, shirts, tolstovkas, even on footwear.
Technical constituent of machine embroidery
During the cycle of machine embroidery manufacturing is applied different means and tools. However, starting from the availability of two basic stages of manufacture, it can be market two fundamental corresponding tools of machine embroidery.
The computer with appropriate program maintenance and peripherals on the construction stage of manufacture. Automatic embroidery machine with concomitant supplementary equipment on the technological stage of manufacture.
Let us list the fundamental information of industrial automatic embroidery machines and some supplementary special concomitant equipment. Industrial automatic embroidery machines according to fulfilled activity and principle of operation can be divided in two groups:
Universal automatic embroidery machines.
Special automatic embroidery machines.
To special automatic embroidery machines can be attributed the machines using not quite standard embroidery methods, machines that are able to perform embroidery on out-of-the-way places of complete products and on materials that are difficult for embroidery. To one of the most commonly used type of special automatic embroidery machines can be attributed the so called Schiffli, machines that allow making embroidery with the utilization of decorative cord, to cut through material and at the same time to process the cut by embroidery. These machines are mostly used for finishing of light and thin, translucent, fashioned and other smart cloth and articles made out of it. For instance, Schiffli machines are often used at wedding dresses decoration.
Quite recently it appeared a new interesting kind of automatic special embroidery-the so called no-thread-embroidery and automatic no-thread embroidery machines. The principle of operation of such machines has a remote conformity with principle of producing of needle-punched fabrics. It consists in the fact that the machine with a set of needles (24 needles) runs through the structure of the main (working) material the locks of fibers of special auxiliary material. The auxiliary material is laid under the main material. After the auxiliary material removing on the main material remains an effective, specific pattern (picture).
Nowadays the leader in production of no-thread embroidery machines is the Japan Company Tanaka. In 2001 fashion show in Berlin and Paris were presented impressive collections made with the help of no-thread embroidery on “Vari-O-Matic” machine of this company. To universal automatic embroidery machines are related the machines of lock-stitch with coordinate displaced frame holder which is meant for manufacture of embroidery with threads on classical and most widespread materials and articles. The use of such machines supposes some limitations in properties of used materials and constructions of complete products.
But these limitations are constantly growing narrower due to constant modernization and improvement of universal automatic embroidery machines and due to use of manifold auxiliary facilities and special devices. All known universal automatic embroidery machines are of lock-stitch type of machines and the structure of many parts of the mechanism has many similarities with lock-stitch embroidery machines.
The main parts of single-head universal automatic embroidery machine are column, case, frame holder and head. The case is fixed on column and consists of pole and cantilevered arm. Inside the upper part of column is installed the stitch mechanism. Inside the case is installed the main shaft mechanism. On the head is disposed a set of needle mechanisms with thread takeup and thread guide mechanisms. The head is able to shift from case in the horizontal position, engaging with the main shaft stirring up the needed needle mechanism.
This enables the machine to make the shift of the thread color at one embroidery run. The frame holder mechanism is able to shift the frame holder in a horizontal level in four directions from the active needle. The shift is made in step-type on coordinate according to given embroidery program. In this way the machine can make loch-stitches on material of different length and in any given order and direction, executing if needed the shift of working needle with the thread of the definite color. The industrial automatic embroidery machines can be both single-headed and with few heads and with corresponding number of necessary working mechanisms. The last are called many headed or multihead automatic embroidery machines.
Under normal conditions of embroidery all the heads and frame holders mechanisms works synchronously.
The basic indexes of industrial embroidery machines
Speed of embroidery.
It is expressed through quantity of stitches per minute. The embroidery speed can be adjusted both manually and automatically while embroidering. The optimal embroidery speed of modern machines oscillates between 700-900 stitches per minute. Maximum speed reaches 1200-1400 stitches per minute.
Number of working heads.
In modern multihead machines the head numbers come to 2-4 heads.
The size of working area or the maximum size of used frame.
This index is concerned with possible size of performed embroidery. It is expressed through correlation of length and width of the working area in millimeters and is regulated for flat and cylindrical frame (used for caps, sleeves, etc). There are spread the correlations 800×600, 500×400 and other-for flat frame; 360×75, 400×350 and other for cylindrical frame.
It is equal to the number of needles on one head. It is defined by maximal possible number of thread colors used at one run of embroidery. The possible needle number in modern machines is from 1 to 12. The most spread are the machines with 9 needles. Other important indexes are the noise and vibration level, the compatibility of machine with different standard embroidery programs, the presence of accessories, error of linear measurements of embroidery elements.
The accessories can be presented through different additional hinged device for automatic let-off of decorative cord or ribbon, broadened control terminal, systems of laser and video navigation of working area, additional laser trimers (device for thread cutting) and other.
The concomitant equipment can be presented through devices of embroidery evaporation, various press equipment for adhesive chevron and braid production, special cloth-cutting machine in the form of laser cutter-machines, that can automatically cut of or drift on markings on cloth, which is widely used at combined with embroidery applique’works production.