How to Embroider a Tote Bag | Avancé 1501C 

Why Machine Embroider a Tote Bag?

Tote bags are not only one of the easiest items to customize using an embroidery machine, but also one of the most practical. Personalized tote bags are used in almost every household throughout the United States for purposes like shopping, sports, travel, and work.

Today’s consumer is now more than ever concerned with environmental sustainability and practicality, feeling the importance of reducing their own carbon footprint. Tote bags provide consumers with a reusable bag thus lowering their consumption level. Consumers are gravitating towards fashionable eco-friendly durable fabrics like cotton, jute, hemp, and recycled materials. These types of materials are simple to embroider, expanding the product range of embroidery businesses.  

The high demand for custom tote bags is benefiting companies large and small, giving them the ability to brand their business and further market their products and services.

Essentially this increase in popularity drives up the demand for branded totes, creating a large consumer based for companies with the able to customize this product line. Embroidery companies can meet this demand by customizing tote bags for both business and consumers. If an embroidery business isn’t selling customized tote bags, it is missing out.  

What Is the Best Material for Tote Bags?

It’s tempting to choose tote blanks/inventory based on color shape or size, however selecting the fabric or material is more important. Reusable eco-friendly materials are most popular with consumers and businesses. Ranking in popularity is canvas (layered cotton), cotton, jute, leather, and twill.

Sizing and Measuring Tote Bag Designs and Layout

Size the designs appropriately, depending on the dimensions of the tote. Adjust the width and length before digitizing.  
Measure the stitchable space when choosing where to embroider a design. Adjust size for things like straps, zippers, and pockets on both the outside and inside of the tote. 

How To Choose an Embroidery Needle?

Choose the size and strength of the needle according to the type of fabric. Use a larger needle for heavy fabrics and a smaller needle for lighter fabrics. Embroidering on dense fabrics might require a sharp point needle.   

How Do I Know What Stabilizer to Use for Embroidery?

Stabilizer supports the fabric and thread and the registration of the design, preventing things like puckering. When choosing a stabilizer remember to check its texture for consistency. A stabilizer that’s texture appears lighter and darker might not lead to a consistent stitch.

Do You Need Adhesive Spray for Embroidery?

Adhesive spray is necessary when hooping or gripping a machine embroidery design. It helps to hold the stabilizer to the fabric creating an even stitchable surface and preventing things like wrinkles, folds, and the fabric from creeping.  

How To Use Temporary Adhesive Spray for Embroidery?

Temporary adhesive spray is applied directly to the stabilizer, covering the entire surface. The adhesive is fast drying and will dissolve once the embroidered fabric is washed. Stabilizer coated with temporary adhesive spray is adjustable, while still maintaining hold. 

What Is an Embroidery Grip Used For?

Just like an embroidery hoop an embroidery grip or clamp is used to hold the material and any stabilizer in place during the design stitch out. When a design is unable to be hooped due to the material or design shape, size, or structure a grip can be used. A grip allows items like purses, shoes, belts, and bags of all sizes to be embroidered. 

How To Use and Embroidery Grip

An embroidery grip is simple to use to stabilize any embroidery project.  Adjust the width of the grip’s arms/legs to the appropriate size based on the design, extra space will be necessary to account for stitch out. After adhering stabilizer to fabric simply insert the embroidery grip legs under the stabilizer so the design area is shown. Using the levers lock the grip arms in place, the fabric should feel stable with little give. The embroidery grip mounts just like an embroidery hoop, directly sliding into the machine’s hooping frame. 

Learn how to customize a 100% cotton canvas tote bag. In this video you will learn how to step-up and stitch-out a design using the Avance 1501. 

Step-by-Step Tutorial on Embroidered Tote Bags:

What Do You Need to Embroider a Tote Bag? 

How Do You Embroider a Tote Bag?

  1. Adhere the cutaway backing onto the tote bag using Adhesive Tempo Spray
  2. Hoop the tote bag using the Universal Embroidery Grip
  3. Set up the embroidery design onto the machine
  4. Place the Universal Embroidery Grip with the tote bag hooped onto the machine
  5. Stitch out the embroidery design
  6. When finished, remove the Universal Embroidery Grip
  7. Cut away the backing from the inside of the tote bag
  8. And the tote bag is complete!



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