Friendly service, professional results @ Ken's Custom Embroidery

                                             We Do Custom & Do It Right!

Thank you for visiting our web site.  Ken's Custom Embroidery has been serving the West Coast for more than 10 years now and we pride ourselves on ensuring our customers are satisfied.   Not just basic satisfaction, but absolute satisfaction.

We invite you to visit our store in Antioch, CA, or call us and let us help you with all of your embroidery and screen printing needs today.  Also, feel free to browse around the site and see our craftsmanship and handiwork.  We do screen printing also!

Some of the products we sell:   Letterman Jackets (our specialty), polo shirts, dress shirts, blouses, t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, jackets of all types, hats, beanies, visors, aprons, golf towels, hand towels & more! (call and ask - we can get most anything you want or need...)

Personalized service:
Bring in your item and we will help you figure out how to get it embroidered. Frequently, customers have a shirt or jacket or hat that they found somewhere else and they'd like to get it embroidered. WE CAN DO THAT!

If it can be embroidered, we can do it!
"We'll keep you in stitches!"
Ken Forrest, Owner
About Embroidery
notes from Ken, the owner


I have learned, in the 10+ years that I have been doing embroidery, that the majority of people know very little about how the embroidery process is actually done.   Many people think we do embroidery by hand.   I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the folks out there who  have the skill and ability to create things with embroidery by hand, but we don't do that at Ken's Custom Embroidery.

Here are some facts and information about how commercial embroidery is done:

1.  All embroidery is done with a high-speed, computer-driven embroidery machine. 
2.  We can do almost any design you may have or wish to do.   But, #1: the design has to be
    "digitized", so that our machines can run it.  And, #2: It has to fit in our embroidery hoop!
3.  What is "digitizing"?  It's the process of converting a graphic drawing into a computerized
     embroidery file.   We provide the customer with a free estimate before doing anything.  The
     setup cost covers the digitizing and also a sewn sample of the design for your approval.
4.  The embroidery process involves several steps:

     a.  The design.  The design may be lettering that we put together in the shop from stock              fonts.  It may be a stock design that we have purchased from a design company, that 
           we have added lettering to, or, it may be a custom design of your own that you want 
           put on your garments, such as a business logo, or a graphic image of some type.  But 
           one way or the other,  the design has to be in embroidery format to do it.  That's
           where digitizing comes in.  There may be a setup cost associated with the design,
           which is based on an estimated stitch count of the item at whatever size is appropriate,
           or estimated time involved in setting it up, or both.

     b.  Hooping the garmentOnce we have the design ready, then we hoop the
          garment in an embroidery hoop.   The hoop fastens to the machine, so that
          the garment is held securely in place during the decorating process.   A backing
   material is applied to the back of the garment during hooping for stabilization.

c.  Loading the design.   Once we have the design, we load it into the machine.   This
            is similar to loading software onto your home computer.

d.  Setting up the colors.   The colors in the design are programmed to sew in a certain
            sequence.   A 'sew sequence' is written on paper and color shades are selected so
            that they match the colors in the design, as closely as possible.   Then, those thread
            colors are loaded on the machine, and pulled through the needle.  Then the machine is
            programmed to sew the colors based on the sew sequence so that the image comes
            out looking like the original design.  This process can take some time.

e.  Running the design.   The operator runs the design, keeping a close eye on the job
            to make sure the colors are sewing correctly.  He or she also is there incase a thread
            breaks or the machine runs out of bobbin.   Also, many times, a water-soluable plastic
            topping material is applied to the garment which helps the sewing process.

f.  Finishing and Folding.   When the embroidery is finished, that's not the end.   We still
           have to do some, or all of the following:  
            1.  Remove the backing material. 
            2.  Clip unwanted connecting threads that the machine did not trim during embroidery.
            3.  Remove the water-soluable topping that was applied during embroidery, by
                 spraying it with water and blotting it with a towel.  Then the garment is
                 allowed to dry.   These three steps are known as "cleaning" the garment.   
            4.  Last, we fold the garment, or hang it on a hanger for pickup.


I know that's a lot of detail!  But, I mention this process to show that there is quite a bit of labor involved in the embroidery process, that the customer does not see.  This is why embroidery may seem a little expensive, especially when we are doing one item.    Improvements in the equipment over the years has helped to streamline the process, though.   I remember when I first got into this business, we had an older machine that did not do thread trimming or color changing.  Now, the newer machines do the thread trimming and color changing automatically, which helps, but there is still a lot of labor that has to be done by hand.

Thanks for listening!

Ken