Machine embroidery is an embroidery process whereby a sewing machine or embroidery machine is used to create patterns on textiles. It is used commercially in product branding, corporate advertising, and uniform adornment. It is also used in the fashion industry to decorate garments and apparel. Machine embroidery is used by hobbyists and crafters to decorate gifts, clothing, and home decor. Examples include designs on quilts, pillows, and wall hangings.
There are multiple types of machine embroidery. Free-motion sewing machine embroidery uses a basic zigzag sewing machine. Designs are done manually. Most commercial embroidery is done with link stitch embroidery. In link stitch embroidery, patterns may be manually or automatically controlled. Link Stitch embroidery is also known as chenille embroidery, and was patented by Pulse Microsystems in 1994. More modern computerized machine embroidery uses an embroidery machine or sewing/embroidery machine that is controlled with a computer that embroiders stored patterns. These machines may have multiple heads and threads.