Sewing vs Embroidery: What's the Difference

If you’re looking to learn more about the techniques involved in producing beautiful garments, it’s important that you’ve got a good understanding of the basics. While the words sewing and embroidery are often used interchangeably, there are important distinctions between them.

Sewing and embroidery are similar in that both use the same equipment (needles and threads), but after that point the two diverge substantially. The simplest way to differentiate between sewing and embroidery is to think of them as serving different purposes. Sewing creates the structure of the garment or piece you’re making, but embroidery is about polishing what you have created through patterns or beautiful designs.

Sewing it All Up

Sewing involves joining up pieces of fabric; it is about constructing something – whether that’s clothes or accessories – and is a functional process. Sewing can be done by hand or by machine, but importantly it is used to create the basis of something you might want to embroider. The stitches are used to hold edges and material together so that your finished item can work how you need it to. Sewing can also be used to patch up something which has frayed or broken.

While a few hobbyists still sew by hand, it is more common to own a sewing machine. Sewing machines vary in their complexity, precision and price ranges, so it is important to conduct a little research or speak to an expert if you’re not sure what kind of machine you need. You can contact us if you want some specific advice regarding your situation and requirements. Alternatively, if you’re reading this outside of our business hours, you can peruse our industrial sewing machine selection for more information about our stock.

The Finer Detail of Embroidery

If sewing is about substance, then embroidery is all about style. You might take an article of clothing you have already sewn together and add embroidery to it as an embellishment. In a business scenario, these embellishments make your clothing (or other sewn articles) stand out from your competitors. Embroidery enables you to further personalise your clothing and market it at a higher value.

The art of embroidery usually involves careful and intricate stitching to make the perfect pattern. Examples of embroidery are adding a beautiful floral trim to a pillowcase or putting a zig zag on a sleeve or neckline. Embroidery often includes an array of colours and threads, which can turn it into a painstaking process, but it is the perfect way to elevate your garment for a special occasion or to add a touch of beautiful luxury to your wares.

Throughout history, people have learnt to embroider by hand, but the industrial revolution brought the evolution of embroidery with it and now embroidering your designs is easier than ever. We recommend the or the for our clients who are fresh start-ups looking to learn the trade.

The best products often use a mix of in-house sewing and embroidery to make a product that is completely your own and beautifully finished, but both sewing and embroidery require knowledge of their different skill sets to achieve success with them.

If you’re looking to get started, then get in touch with us soon and we’ll help you find a great machine that will let you experiment as you’re starting out. We offer a variety of plans if you think you might have trouble financing your first machine, so we recommend that you speak to us so we can work together to find a machine that suits your business.