Add Value With Embellishments And Trims

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What can you do to set your garments apart? Glitter!

Okay, just kidding. Instead, try embellishments and custom trims. The infinite possibilities here can be daunting, but with help from the pros I interview here, you can add value without a ton of cost. Let’s delve into a few of the most popular ideas here.


Bias Binding & Straps

Most factories can do small amounts of binding and straps while they’re working on your production, but if you want something a bit extra, companies like Metro Trimming can hook you up. They are some serious craftsmen. You want a perfect vertical stripe down your teeny tiny dress strap? Done.

These guys take your order seriously. As Artie toured me through their factory, he explained how much detail they put into every step. It’s this attention to detail that gives designers the most perfectly straight binding or strap they’ve ever laid their pretty eyes on. As we watched Ralph, one of the pros at Metro, roll up some fabric preparing it to be made into bias, Artie commented, “that guy has hands of butter.”

Not only can you do straps and bias binding, but belt loops, hanger loops, cording, round straps (w/filler), and fabric flowers are also in these companies’ repertoire.

Metro-stripe strap


  • • Fold a piece of paper exactly the way you want it finished. Make it the exact same width and type of fold that you want your finished goods to have.
  • • Look up standard yields merely as a suggestion. Be sure you tell them how much finished yardage you need and what type of fabric you’ll use. They know about shrinkage and all of those other details. They will tell you how much fabric to provide. They know these things. Trust them.

Appliques & Patches & Embroidery

So you want everyone to wear your logo or favorite sketch? You want to re-create your high school varsity jacket? Or how about fabric embroidered with a bunch of tiny anchors, birds, thumbs-up, or flowers? ……You get the idea. Well, you’re in luck.

You don’t need to get them shipped from overseas. Companies like Jonathan Embroidery can help you with samples or production runs bigger than you can imagine right here in the US. They can use chenille, sequins, fabric, or just plain old thread to create the patches, appliques, and embroideries of your wildest dreams. They can also quilt your fabric, put buttonholes into it, or grommet and rivet the bedazzles out of it, if that’s what you’re into.


  • • Bring them a file (or printout) that shows how you want it to look. This includes how wide you want the stitches to be. People never indicate that and if you do, they’ll love you forever—and you’ll love the final product.
  • • Know the scale or bring your sample with you to test different scales.


“But where do I begin?”

You begin at the end. Think about the FINISHED PRODUCT.

When I asked Metro Trimming and Jonathan Embroidery about common mistakes, both answered in the same way: “terminology” and “lack of preparation.” Know what you want your finished product to look like. Explain that to them. Exactly. It’s their craft to figure out the process to get you exactly what you want (and they are WAY good at it!). It’s your job to be prepared enough to answer specific questions about what it is that you want.

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The Devil Is In The Detail:

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