Embroidery blanks are plain fabric pieces designed to be accented with machine or hand embroidery. Pillowcases, T-shirts, tote bags, baseball caps, and hand towels are some of the most common embroidery blanks. The best blanks are made from good-quality, durable fabric and have an embroidery panel or area that is easy to reach. Different projects will require different types of embroidery blanks, and the best blank for one project may not be ideal for another.
Before adding embroidery or embellishment onto a blank piece, the item should be checked to be sure it is in good condition and free of stains or tears. The blank piece should be tried on or measured to be sure that it fits the end user, if it is designed to be a clothing piece. White is the most popular color for embroidery blanks, though they can come in different shades and seasonal prints as well. Craft, quilting, and sewing stores all stock embroidery blanks for individual crafters; blanks can be purchased in bulk from wholesalers as well.
Using an embroidery blank allows the crafter to create a personalized item in a minimal amount of time. Most embroidery blanks are pre-assembled and ready to use, so the instant the embroidery is complete, the item can be worn or pressed into service. There is no additional assembly or other finish work required. The best blanks require the least amount of special preparation or finishing work. Matching the right blank with the right design is the key to a successful embroidery project.
For hand embroidery, the best embroidery blanks have a smooth, level surface that is easy to stitch through. Pieces that are very flimsy or slippery may not be the best choice for hand embroidery. For redwork or blackwork, clean, bright white embroidery blanks will show off the stitchwork and pattern best. Stretch knits may not be the best choices for hand embroidery; they could stretch the design completely out of shape.
For machine embroidery, textiles with sturdy, quality fabric accept embroidery well. More delicate fabric blanks can be used if a stabilizer is applied prior to embroidery. Plush chenille, flannel, and cotton knits all work well for machine embroidered designs. Blanks designed for machine embroidery can come in any color, shape, or size; the best way to evaluate a particular model is to embroider on a sample before working on an actual project.