Do you buy embroidered apparel?

Before making a purchase, would you check to see if it is hand- or machine-embroidered? Do you know how to distinguish between them? I’ll try to highlight key distinctions between hand embroidery and machine embroidery that should help you shop with confidence and less anxiety about having regrets later on.

Let’s begin by examining the first question of why there are copies of hand-embroidered clothing available. Well, for the simple reason that machine embroidery, which employs a machine to perform the embroidery work, is much less expensive than hand embroidery and can generate greater profits if sold as handmade.

It could be difficult or even impossible to distinguish between hand embroidered and machine embroidery when viewing something for the first time. Try to identify which of the two similar shawls in the photographs above is hand-embroidered and which is machine-embroidered.

Not certain Here are a few tests that ought to be able to distinguish between the two. Before continuing, I’d also want to draw attention to a comparison of costs between hand stitching and machine embroidery of the same pattern:

As you can see the price difference is enormous. A machine embroidered jacket costs around 25% of its hand embroidered counterpart, but will sell comparatively higher because it was advertised as a hand embroidered jacket.

How to recognise the variations:

Looking at the reverse side: This is only useful for items without linings (shawls, sarees, salwar kameez, and kurtas). If you first simply look at the garment’s back, it will be obvious whether the embroidery is done by hand or machine. Continuous stitching is used in machine embroidery, which uses multiple colours of thread. As a result, there aren’t many breaks in the stitches. As opposed to machine embroidery, hand embroidery uses single-color threads, and the craftsman occasionally breaks off the previous thread (colour) to begin a new thread (colour), leaving a trail of threads hanging on the back of the fabric.

Hand Embroidery leaves lots of threads hanging at the back.

A look in the front: To pass this test, you must be well-versed in both hand- and machine-stitching techniques.

Machine Embroidery leaves very less threads on back.

Hand Embroidery is neat with good variety colours

Machine Embroidery is overlapped.

Notice the ascending shoot (brown) with its curves imparted by skilled hands.

In this instance, the shoot (brown) is more erect and overlaps the leaves (green).

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