Embroidery

Monkey Mei Tai Embroidery

Monkey Mei Tai specialises in bespoke freehand embroidery to add that extra touch of beauty to your baby carrier.  We create artwork either by appliqué (where pieces of fabric are stitched onto the carrier in various patterns – see the fish, below), or freehand ‘free motion’ embroidery. Each piece is handmade to order and, as such, is totally unique.  Artwork doesn’t have to be confined to just your baby carrier, either; we happily accept commissions for individual pieces; more information can be found here, and there are many more examples of our embroidery pieces and artwork here.

Monkey Mei Tai Embroidery

Framed Embroidery

Our embroidery proved so popular with customers and fans alike that we decided to offer it up as a product in its own right.  We will now be creating a limited number of framed embroidered pieces each month, and will be accepting commissions for bespoke framed embroidery.

Monkey Mei Tai Embroidery

Each piece is individually sketched, then sewn onto vintage, wrap, or otherwise awesome fabric.  Once finished, they are pressed, trimmed, and backed with a neutral fabric.  Choose from two frames: the traditional wooden embroidery hoop, and the woodgrain-effect display frame. To hang, choose from rainbow ribbon, or crochet cotton ribbon; or your frame can be left plain to be hung straight on the wall.  Gift boxes are available.

Monkey Mei Tai Embroidery

How it’s made

We don’t use embroidery machines here at Monkey Mei Tai; we do everything using a standard sewing machine in a process called ‘thread painting’ (or free motion / freehand embroidery).  It’s a lot like painting, except the ‘brush’ is fixed, and the ‘paper’ moves under it!  Free motion embroidery involves preventing the machine from automatically feeding the fabric under the needle, instead relying on the sewist’s own hands to move the fabric back and forth; ‘painting’ the fabric with the thread.

Embroidery

It gives each piece an individuality not found with digitised designs, and allows us complete freedom to create almost any design imaginable.   From large swathes of colour, to tiny intricate details; free motion embroidery allows for flexibility of design, and grain of thread, allowing for far more detail than a simple appliqué.  If you’re wondering whether a particular design is possible, the answer is most likely ‘yes’, so please feel free to get in touch to discuss your design ideas with us.

Embroidery

Prices

Framed embroidery:  Frame prices vary with the complexity of the piece.  For more details please see our shop.

Embroidery for baby carriers: prices vary, depending on the size, and complexity of the work involved, but we charge £15.00 an hour.

There are two ways to price your artwork:  either you can give us a description of what you would like, and we will provide you with a quote, or you can give us a rougher idea and a budget, and we can work to it.

If you want ‘something’ but aren’t sure what, or if you have a vague idea that you’re struggling to pull together, please do get in touch.  Adding that extra touch to your carrier really is the best part of this process, and Helen is always happy to discuss, at length, how we can make your carrier even more personal and special to you.

As mentioned, price depends on size and complexity, but to give you a brief idea of ballpark quotes, here are three examples of recent artwork, along with their associated cost:

Small, simple design. Approximately 2" x 2". This was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques and took around 30 minutes to complete.

Small, simple design. Approximately 2″ x 2″. This was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques and took around 30 minutes to complete.

Small, simple design. Approximately 3" x 3". This was created using appliqué techniques and took around 30 minutes to complete.

Small, simple design. Approximately 3″ x 3″. This was created using appliqué techniques and took around 30 minutes to complete.

Small, complex design. This measures approximately 4" x 3" and was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques, and attached using appliqué. It took approximately 1.5 hours to create.

Small, complex design. This measures approximately 4″ x 3″ and was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques, and attached using appliqué. It took approximately 1.5 hours to create.

Large, simple design. Approximately 8" x 8". This was created using appliqué techniques and took around 1 hour to complete.

Large, simple design. Approximately 8″ x 8″. This was created using appliqué techniques and took around 1 hour to complete.

Small, complex design. Approximately 4" x 2". This was created using a combination of appliqué, hand-directed embroidery techniques. It took approximately 3.5 hours to complete.

Small, complex design. Approximately 4″ x 2″. This was created using hand-directed embroidery. It took approximately 4 hours to complete.

Medium, complex design. Approximately 6" x 3". This was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques. It took approximately 4 hours to complete.

Medium, complex design. Approximately 6″ x 3″. This was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques. It took approximately 4 hours to complete.

Embroidery

Large, complex design. This piece spans the width of the carrier and was created using a combination of appliqué (corners) and hand-direct embroidery (centre) techniques. It took approximately 6 hours to complete.

Large, complex design. Approximately 9" x 4". This was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques and took around 6 hours to complete.

Large, complex design. Approximately 9″ x 9″. This was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques and took around 6 hours to complete.

By now I'm sure it's no secret that I'm a *huge* Harry Potter fan. So when a customer comes to me and sayd "make it all Hogwarts!", I do a little dance and make a (hugely unprofessional) squeaking noise. This is a reversible, baby-sized wrap conversion mei tai, created from the timeless and epic Girasol Gothic Rainbow. It features Infinity straps, and an adjustable flat hood with extra hood ties (for rolling), and the panel embroidery is "all Hogwarts". This was a massive undertaking - seven and a half hours of applique and embroidery, to create the Hogwarts coat of arms (including a banner featuring the school motto). I was also instructed to "sneak a hallows symbol in there somewhere". Check! It was very difficult to ship this one off to its new customer, but hopefully she'll be happy ;) And please do take those wise words to heart: NEVER tickle a sleeping dragon!

Large, complex design. Approximately 10″ x 10″. This was created using hand-directed embroidery techniques and took around 7.5 hours to complete.