Since quite early on in this project, something on the wish list was an embroidery machine. A few weeks ago I bit the bullet and finally invested in one.
Despite the large initial cost, due to the large number of varied badges the American Ambulance used, it is by far more economical to make our own than get them from an external company. This way we can make smaller quantities, tweak our designs and make changes to the material we use to try and make them look more authentic.
First we’re looking at the distinctive American Ambulance arm badge, the gallery shows the progression of the embroidery. The machine splits up the colours, white, blue, yellow then red. It takes about 25 minutes in total to embroider. Once done, the slightly tedious task of cutting all the excess thread off the badge. After this the stars are hand embroidered, this gives a more authentic look, and the machine struggles to do these small details. After all this the badge is cut out and ready to sew on.
This series of photos shows the process of getting our designs right, these are the service badges, given to members of the American Ambulance each year. The design and size I’m happy with now. These prototype versions are embroidered on white, I’m yet to track down the authentic looking “service dress” fabric but once I do they will be embroidered onto that!