Embroidery vs Monogramming: What’s the Difference?

The terms “embroidery” and “monogramming” are often used interchangeably but, while the two words are related, they do not have the same meaning. If you are requesting either embroidery or monogramming from a business, you are probably going to get what you ask for based on the description of what you want. For example, if you ask to have your name monogrammed on a tote bag, that’s probably what the business owner will do. But once you know the meaning of each of these types of art, you will understand why monogramming your name on anything is not possible! If you are offering embroidery or monogramming services to friends or customers, you should know what the real difference between embroidery vs monogramming.


embroidery vs monogramming

A monogram is a motif of two or more initials that are used to add decoration or to show possession, depending on where it is placed. Monogramming got its start with early Greek and Roman rulers as a means to sign documents or to mark currency produced during their time of rule. Initially, only two initials were used. During the Middle Ages, monograms became useful to artisans who wanted to personalize their crafts. The monogram became a symbol of prestige during the Victorian era. Although the lower class used monograms too, they were typically imprinted using a personalized stamp while noblemen would have their monograms embroidered on household linens.

A monogram may symbolize something other than a person’s initials, but that is almost always the case. The definition still holds true whether the design is made by cutting into a material, painting it on a wall or a rock, adding ink to paper, or embroidering the design into fabric.


Embroidery is the art of stitching to create decorative designs on material using a needle and thread. Historically, embroidery was also used by some countries to record important historical events but the various techniques used by different countries are most commonly noted for their beauty and realism in design.

The form of embroidery used in America today reflects the various techniques brought here by immigrants from other countries. Although hand embroidery has become a common interest for many crafters, the introduction of embroidery sewing machines for the home has made it possible to create professional quality embroidery at home for personal use or for business. The internet allows home sewers to download hundreds of designs to their sewing machines where they can edit or combine them so that the scope of designs available to them is virtually unlimited.

 Janome Horizon Memory Craft 12000Singer Futura XL-400 4-in-1Janome MB-4S
Max. Embroidery Space9.1” x 11.8”11” x 19”9.4” x 7.9”
Editing FunctionsYesYesYes
Embroidery Designs4253,90050
Special Features2 and 3 Letter Monogramming Function, Multiple Editing FunctionsSwiftSmart™ Threading System, 6 StayBright™ LED Lights, Multi-Hooping CapabilityStores up to 1,500,000 Stitches or 100 Designs, First Home-Use 4-Needle Machine, Hat Hoop
Built-in Stitches51030N/A

Bringing Monogramming and Embroidery Together

Today, monogramming has become a popular form of personalization for clothes, household linens, and all types of accessories for kids and adults alike. Modern household embroidery machines may include monogramming designs when you purchase them or you can buy stand-alone monogramming software to provide you with more monogram patterns so that you can create one-of-a-kind looks.

People realized centuries ago that embroidery was a more preferable way to symbolize a monogram than with any other method available. Embroidery thread allows you to create vibrant, sophisticated, or fun monograms for any use or age that is also long-lasting. Home embroidery businesses may include monogramming as part of their offerings or they may be dedicated to monogramming gift items without providing any other type of embroidery. No matter what your monogram is embroidered on, there is simply no better way to symbolize your sense of style or your ownership!


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