I thought I’d talk specifically about monogramming towels this month since we are only a couple of months from the holidays and if you haven’t already started making your holiday gifts, OMG you should start now.
Monograms were first used in Greece; coins were branded with letters to designate their origin. Monograms were also used by artists and craftsmen to identify their work, and as most of us know, monarchies across Europe used monograms as a way to identify their families. By the 17th century, there were several well known monogram designers that catered to nobles and aristocrats. This lead to monograms becoming symbols of status and luxury.
Very simple monograms were used in the 18th Century. These were small initials embroidered in red to identify the owner of the item in villages that did laundering as a community. Ornate monograms were still mainly only seen in wealthy households.
Today, we love monograms because they add an artistic personal touch to our items and home. Adding a monogram to a set of towels takes them to a whole new level of luxury and decoration. It transforms an everyday ordinary item into something special and symbolic.
As a digitizer, I adore creating monograms for towels. There is a unique technical piece to it because of the pile of the towel. Creating monograms for plush towels is a 3 dimensional task. I have to think about the depth of the pile as part of my design. A delicate design can be totally lost in the plush towel, but even bold chunky designs can look ragged and messy because the little fibers break the clean edge of the embroidery.
I use a technique called “knockdown” on my towel designs. This is a light fill stitch that is done under the actual design. I make it slightly wider and it is intended to be sewn out in the same color as the towel. The idea is that it just knocks down the pile so that the design can pop out and look clean and crisp.
My “little cousin” (cousin’s daughter) just bought her first house and I wanted to give her something really special for her new home. She’s a typical twenty something that loves mid century modern. So it’s a simple design but slightly retro.
I created the two letter monogram with a knockdown under the design to make it pop from the thick towels. This also allows the fluffy towel to come through everywhere else. I’m very happy with the result. I like the 3D effect on this design. I used a mid-weight tearaway stabilizer and I don't use any topping on my knockdown designs. It's just not necessary. I bought the towels at Costco. They are lovely quality and adding the monogram turns a $25 set of towels into something special.
This month, I’m sharing this design in a single letter version with you. Since the knockdown looks best if it contours the letter(s), I have to do this as a single letter design. If I did a two letter, it would be 1,352 designs! Each letter is sized to fit the frame. They fit in a 4x4 hoop. If you are doing a non-plush item, just skip the first thread color.
Hope you enjoy this design and make someone a lovely set of monogrammed towels for a holiday gift. They will treasure them for years.