Seeking advice for custom embroidery
August 1, 2014 7:43 AM   Subscribe

For my boyfriend's birthday in three months, I have a very specific gift in mind: black silk pajamas with a large embroidered Tree of Gondor on the back. I'm clueless about embroidery. Is this doable within a reasonable (say, under $200) budget?

Firstly, I'm assuming I'll have to get the pajamas and embroidery separately. Does anyone have specific recommendations for men's silk pajamas? How much should I be spending for a good, long-lasting product? I've found some on Amazon and Intimo that look about right, but I'm not too knowledgeable about buying decent-quality silk.

As for the embroidery, should I just call around various local companies to see who can do it, or does anyone know of specific Internet-based services that would be more reliable? And what kind of price would I be looking at for a fairly large embroidered image like this, especially on silk? As mentioned above, I have three months till the actual birthday, so I don't mind if it takes a while.

Also, I'm in the US, if that's relevant.

Thanks so much for your time!
posted by littlegreen to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd go to a local embroidery shop (places that do logos generally have them, unless they're silkscreen-only) and tell them what you want to embroider on. They may be able to tell you if the silk is a feasible material or suggest something better.
posted by xingcat at 8:14 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you don't have any luck locally, contact Too Toolicious here in Lousiana.
Phone (225) 939-9430
They do beautiful, perfect work, for a reasonable price and they are a delight to work with.
posted by myselfasme at 8:38 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

etsy has a lot of machine embroidery patterns that can be bought, and there does happen to be a tree of gondor design available at one shop that I found. So, if some shop that you contact starts talking to you about needing to digitize the pattern first, you can tell them that you will pay for them to purchase that (if the large size meets your needs).

In my opinion, embroidering on the silk shouldn't be a problem. If I had a larger hoop, I'd do it for you, but I have a 5x7 hoop only, which does not sound as big as you'd like.

You might consider asking that etsy seller if she would take the job as a custom job as well.
posted by freezer cake at 10:35 AM on August 1, 2014

You can buy the Tree of Gondor embroidery program/design from the shop on etsy and then you can find another shop on etsy and ask if they'll do the design. They'll give you an estimate.

I don't know that silk pajamas are going to hold up to a design like that, though.

If you mail the PJs to the embroiderer she'll be able to tell you. As another though, if there is any way you can find some silk that's the same style to send to the embroiderer to test on, that would be ideal.

(I did this for my wedding dress so PM if you want the name of the etsy shop. My wedding dress silk was thicker that PJ silk usually is, though.)
posted by small_ruminant at 12:43 PM on August 1, 2014

The weave in silk fabric isn't very resilient. Anytime a pin (or embroidery needle) pierces it, it tends to leave a visible hole. To make it work, the stitcher would need to use a very small needle and very fine embroidery thread, which isn't necessarily the best combination for such a bold design. I think you'd be better off choosing a different fabric, but I would certainly recommend finding someone (or a few someones) on Etsy who embroiders striking designs and ask them this question.
posted by DrGail at 2:24 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Are you talking about machine embroidery or hand embroidery?
posted by Oli D. at 6:18 PM on August 1, 2014

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