Bag personalisation doesn’t need to be complicated, says Chloe Greetham of Madeira. Follow her advice to carry off embroidery perfection

Embroidering on large, bulky items such as bags, straps and luggage might appear to the uninitiated to be a challenging technique to master, but actually is remarkably straightforward.

With the right embroidery tools and some tips from Chloe Greetham, digital marketing apprentice at Madeira, you’ll soon be decorating these items perfectly, time after time.

Firstly, notes Chloe, the embroidery design choice is important. “Bag fabric is usually quite thick so designs that are too dense with a high stitch count are not recommended. Opt for low-density designs with longer stitches to keep the number of holes in your fabric to a minimum.”

For this step-by-step, the Madeira team digitised a simple monogram, using Wilcom EmbroideryStudio software, in the Times Roman font.

If you’re working on a waterproof bag then she recommends applying a specialist waterproof film, such as Madeira’s ST104 Water Seal Film, to the back of the embroidery in order to seal the needle holes.

Supplied by Ralawise, the bags for this step-by-step are from the Boutique Collection by BagBase, which says the range is “designed with the trend-conscious city-goer and jet-set traveller in mind”.


(1) To help keep the backing in place, lightly spray the corners of the cut-away Weblon backing with temporary adhesive spray and fix it to the frame. This lightweight yet high-stability backing won’t add any extra bulk

(2) As the fabric is thick and the area suitable for embroidery is often restricted on bags, we selected a magnetic snap frame. The strong magnets make hooping over zips and seams easy

(3) The design was run on a Melco EMT16X machine

(4) We chose recycled polyester thread in colour 6812 from the Polyneon Green range for a tone-on-tone subtle finish. Polyester thread was selected due to its strong durable nature and resistance to abrasion. The size and style of needle is also important; here we used Groz-Beckert MXK5 SAN1needles. These are special application needles with a titanium coating for extra strength. We used size 70 to pair with the 40-weight thread with a sharp point to penetrate the tough fabric

(5) To remove the backing, leave the item in the hoop so it remains taut. Using the sharp end of a seam ripper carefully make an incision in the backing, then flip the seam ripper over, ensuring the ball is against the fabric, and follow around the edge of the design for a neat finish

(6) Remove the hoops, and the bag is ready to go