Charlotte Darling, director of Amaya Sales UK, explores why embroidery is still a go-to for designers and why this sector is only going to grow.
It seems to me that embroidery is on trend for 2022. At Amaya recent months have seen record sales of embroidery machines both to existing embroiderers and to new start-up accounts.
Aside of the pandemic, something none of us were expecting or have experienced before, it is fair to say that trends and fashions repeat themselves. Take the T shirt shape for example. We saw the oversized baggy T shirt everywhere back in the 80s and having come through the fitted styles in recent years comfort fit is back again, just under a different name.
So, is it the same with embroidery? Is the demand for it cyclical and affected by fashion or is it here to stay and consistently grow over the years?
I’d say the latter. However, you shop, online or at your local shopping centre, embroidery and application detail in women’s fashion is everywhere for 2022 – Zara, Mango, M&S or Boden – they are all featuring highly detailed embroidered patterns for this season, and it doesn’t stop with female fashion. It’s there in mens, childrenswear and home accessories as well.
The fashion recognition of this decoration method drives demand across the board and creates an enhanced buoyancy in the field that we are all experienced in, garment decoration.
The most established market sectors are probably workwear and schoolwear. Embroidery traditionally is seen as higher quality, more durable, more washable, and simply better, and this will take a lot to beat. As the workwear market grows exponentially, with more and more businesses and sectors opting for uniform, naturally the demand for embroidered decoration will continue to grow.
Sportswear and athleisure are another sector experiencing massive growth, and embroidery is often the failproof way to decorate a stretch performance fabric.
Another great emerging sector we at Amaya have been part of is brand development. We all know the Ralph Lauren horse or Lacoste crocodile, but as new independent brands emerge, often promoted through social media and influencers, embroidery is a natural progression in their product range. New brands usually start off with printed goods, but it is a natural transition for them to want to brand their merchandise further with embroidery on clothing, headwear, bags, and leather goods for example, as a means to demand a higher price point and promote the brand as premium.
Something else that cannot be ignored here is the development of embroidery through print. Kornit Digital has in the last 12 months launched its XDi technology – the means to achieve a 3D printing effect that both to the experienced and untrained eye looks like embroidery. Kornit refers to this as’ threadless embroidery’. While similar effects have been achieved in the past through screen print and transfer, the digital version of this is truly amazing and opens up huge opportunity for brands and the fashion sector for faster production.
So, what is my message here? From our experience and knowledge at Amaya an investment in embroidery has always been a good one, and the future looks even brighter.
If you are an existing embroiderer, look at your technology, your flexibility in production and ability to grow your output quickly and efficiently when the demand hits and don’t just stick with what you have done for the past 10 years because you think it works.
Listen to your customers
If your business is predominantly print driven, listen to your customers and their demand for alternative methods, and if they are not demanding it consider offering it to them as an add-on service to grow the spend from your existing customer base. We say that if you are out-sourcing more than £5,000 per annum in contract embroidery it is time to seriously consider bringing it in-house, to give you the control you need over your production and to make your more efficient and competitive.
We also recommend finding the right supplier of your embroidery equipment. You are not just looking for someone to sell and maintain a machine for you. You are looking for a company that understands the decoration on demand market, alongside embroidery. A company that can help and advise your business on how to take advantage of the new opportunities out there, driven by the current trends.
So, to conclude I am certain the power of embroidery continues. While 2022 is seeing a fashion and trend for the decoration method, which makes us all subconsciously more aware of it, the underlying demand and sector growth for it is there, and fundamental to its continued expansion.