Frequently Asked Questions About Shipping

Sometimes it seems like deciding how your order should be shipped is the hardest part of placing an order.   How fast does it need to get there?   How much money do you want to spend?  Does one carrier operate a little more efficiently than another in your area?  There are a lot of details that need to come into play to make sure the shipping option you select is the best one for you,  and today I wanted to answer some common questions about shipping from EnMart,  in hopes of making that decision a little easier.

What shippers does EnMart use? Currently our primary shipping option is Federal Express.   We also offer shipping via USPS for package ten pounds and under.  We do have the ability to ship via UPS as well,  although that must be requested.  We can also ship on a customer’s account number.

How do I request you ship on my account?  “Use my Fedex/UPS Acct #” is an option on the pull down menu where you can select shipping.   If you select this option,  we will ship on your account.  Please make sure your account number is either included in the notes on your order or listed in the designated spot in your account record.

Who determines if a location is business or residential? That determination is made by the carrier,  usually based on USPS zoning tables.   EnMart has no control over how a business is classified.  The carriers charge us based on those classifications and that is how we charge you.

Is USPS always the cheapest shipping option? Not always.  USPS can be a great option for things like blank patches,  but it isn’t always the least expensive way to ship.  Make sure to check out all your options and compare prices when deciding how your order should be shipped.

How quickly do items from EnMart ship? Most items that are in stock and on the shelves will ship same day. Larger orders may take an additional day.  Orders placed later in the day may also ship next day.  Items,  like blank patches,  that need to be made,  will ship based on the posted production times.

Can I pick up items at your facilities? We do have a local pick-up option which is available for customers who are near one of our locations.   Polyester Thread and stabilizer are available for pick-up at every location.   Other items may only be stocked in certain locations.   You will be notified if you elect to pick-up locally and the item is not available.

Does EnMart offer free shipping? As a general rule we don’t offer free shipping.  We do occasionally have a special where free shipping is offered,  but those are rare.  Our problem with free shipping has always been that it isn’t really free,  the cost is generally just passed on in the cost of the items purchased.  Rather than raise our prices to provide “free” shipping,  we decided to keep our prices and shipping costs reasonable.

Remember,  if you have questions about the best way to ship the items you order from EnMart,  you can always contact us and ask.

Stabilizer Secrets: Choosing a Stabilizer

One thing that many embroiderers overlook,  or may not be aware of,  is the fact that using the correct stabilizer can have a huge impact on the success of failure of a stitch-out.   Yes,  there will always be that one embroiderer who uses one type of backing for everything and does well  but,  for the most part,  a good marriage of stabilizer and fabric and design is required for embroidery to appear at its best.    The correct choice of stabilizer can make your sew-out smoother,  faster and provide a finished piece that is of a higher quality.   Because this is such an important decision,  we wanted to offer some things to consider before you choose.

First,  as we already know from this post backing/stabilizer comes in different types.  If you take it down to the most basic level,  you’re dealing with either cutaway or tearaway stabilizer.  Even the specialty backings will most likely be one of these two types,  so knowing when and why you might want to use a particular type is crucial.  Tearaway stabilizer is easier to remove as it tears away,  so it might be a good option for jobs where there are time constraints.  Cutaway stabilizer generally has less stretch to it,  so it may be a better option for performance wear or other stretchy fabrics.   When choosing which stabilizer to use make sure to take into account all the qualities of the fabric,  requirements of the design,  and things like time and effort expended when making your decision.   The right stabilizer choice will improve both your sew-out and your production time.

Second,  stabilizer weight matters too.   Nothing is less attractive than a stitch-out that is weighted down with a wad of backing.   Or a design that is so dense that it’s like a lump of wood attached to the fabric of the garment.   As a general rule,  light weight fabrics should be stabilized by a light weight backing,  and heavier fabrics with a heavier backing.   The goal is to find a backing that will stabilize the stitch-out without weighing down or distorting the fabric.

Third,  don’t forget backing does have a color palette.   Granted,  it’s not much of one,  generally being confined to black,  white and beige,  but there are color choices available.   If the item to be embroidered is thin or if there’s a chance at all the stabilizer might be seen,  it’s best to try to use a stabilizer that is close in color to the item being embroidered.

Finally,  don’t forget that specialty backing can have a huge impact on how well the finished design works.   Poly mesh is a great option for polos and lightweight fabrics. R2000 (a polypropylene stabilizer) is an ideal option for performance wear.   Adhesive backing comes in very handy when there are items like socks of blank patches to be embroidered.  Water soluble topping helps monograms and other embroidery stand out on fleece or towels.    It is entirely possible that you could go your whole embroidery career using only a standard cutaway or tearaway,  but why would you do that?  The specialty stabilizers can offer a variety of qualities that will help make your jobs easier and the execution of the design much smoother.   While specialty backings may,  in some cases,  be a slightly pricier option,  they will pay for themselves in speedier production time and quality finished products.

Remember,  stabilizer is the foundation on which everything else is built.  Just as you wouldn’t build your house on a sinkhole,  don’t build your embroidery on a stabilizer that can’t do the job required of it.   Choosing your stabilizer with care and after thinking about the requirements of the fabric and the stitch-out will ensure that you make a choice which will stand up to the needs of your embroidery and help create a finished product that will delight your customers.