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What are the differences between hand embroidery and machine embroidery? And how to distinguish them?

Embroidery has a long history. And traditional embroidery is embroidered by hand. However, now there appeared mass-produced machine embroidery. Although both hand embroidery and machine embroidery are embroideries. However, they have obvious differences in appearance, material, weight, workmanship, type, price, etc. We can also distinguish them by looking at the theme, line light, split line, details, colors, etc. of the embroidery. Let’s take a look at the difference between hand embroidery and machine embroidery.

What is the difference between hand embroidery and machine embroidery?

Embroidery has a history of more than two thousand years in China. It is a traditional handicraft. Traditional embroidery is embroidered stitch by stitch by the embroiderer by hand. With the development of industrialization, a kind of embroidery that uses sewing machines or embroidery machines instead of manuals has also appeared on the market. So what is the difference between hand embroidery and machine embroidery?

hand embroidery and machine embroidery: hand embroidery
Hand embroidery
machine embroidery
Machine embroidery

1, Appearance

The appearance of hand-embroidered embroidery is relatively bright. Embroidered landscapes, figures, flowers, and birds are more aura. Moreover, the scenery has a clear distance and a three-dimensional sense. However, machine embroidery has a dull appearance without a sense of hierarchy.

2, Material

In hand embroidery, we use silk as a canvas. And we use silk thread as embroidery thread. The embroidered products are rich in color and have a natural luster. Machine embroidery generally uses silk with relatively high hardness. The embroidery thread is made of chemical fiber that is not easy to break.

3, Weight

In general, for the same pattern, the weight difference between hand-embroidered embroidery pieces and machine-embroidered embroidery pieces is more than 3 times. That’s because machine embroidery cannot break the thread. And the back is full of connections. Therefore, the quality of the embroidered pieces is very heavy.

4, Workmanship

We can use hand embroidery to split silk. When embroidering patterns, it uses floral threads of different thicknesses and tones to reflect the layers of the scene. And the stitches used are not the same length. While the embroidery threads used in machine embroidery are all the same thickness, without layering.

5, Types

There are many types of hand embroidery. Such as double-sided embroidery, single-sided embroidery, and random stitch embroidery. Then, machine embroidery is generally based on ordinary single-sided embroidery. The embroidery pattern is also relatively simple.

6, Price

Hand embroidery requires manual embroidery. The working period is relatively long. The price will also be more expensive. However, machine embroidery can be mass-produced with high efficiency. Therefore, its price is cheaper.

How to distinguish hand embroidery from machine embroidery?

The method to distinguish them mainly depends on the following aspects:

1) See the subject matter

Machine embroidery is mass-produced. Considering the quantity of market demand, we will choose themes that more people can accept and like. Such as peonies, plum blossoms, landscapes, and animals. The subject matter of hand embroidery is more extensive. And you can embroider according to your own ideas.

2) See the line of light

The needle movement frequency of the embroidery machine is very fast. If you use pure silk thread, it will pill. And the strength of pure silk thread is not enough, it is easy to break. Therefore, the embroidery thread used in machine embroidery is chemical fiber or blended embroidery thread. The latter is very close to pure silk thread. But friends who are familiar with silk threads can still tell.

3) See the splitting line

Manual embroidery needs to split the embroidery thread into multiple parts according to the needs of modeling and craftsmanship. Then use several of these to make embroidery. Therefore, in hand embroidery works, the thickness of the embroidery thread varies. However, machine embroidery generally cannot split the thread. Improved embroidery machines can also use different thicknesses of thread to create different areas. However, the choice of thread thickness for machine embroidery is still limited. Therefore, it is difficult to achieve the level of manual work.

4) According to the details

Hand embroidery allows for very even and clean embroidery of details using proper stitching. However, machine embroidery cannot handle the details such as the edges and tips of the shape. So, its edges and tip are usually fuzzy and jagged. Therefore, the details of machine embroidery are not as delicate as hand embroidery.

5) According to color

The colors of hand embroidery are rich. There are many levels of transition intermediate colors. In addition, its picture is delicate and vivid, and its charm is smooth. However, the color options for machine embroidery are limited. The transition between color blocks is relatively blunt.

In conclusion

All in all, hand embroidery and machine embroidery have their own pros and cons. We can choose according to our own needs.

Taking embroidery patches as an example, machine-produced embroidery patches have a 3D effect. And they are highly efficient and low in price. Therefore, machine embroidery is suitable for mass production. Hand-embroidered embroidery patches are more delicate though. But, its production efficiency is very slow. So, it is not suitable for bulk orders.

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