St. Louis Embroidery was founded in 1887. The first item produced was embroidered eyelet facing. Over the next six years, St. Louis Embroidery became a large embroidery production factory and is considered to be the founder of direct embroidery. Reconditioned looms were used to embroider directly on to women’s undergarments. In 1931, St. Louis Embroidery designed the first 7-UP soda emblem. In 1935, St. Louis Embroidery began sewing on shoes and ladies dresses, as well as producing oil company emblems, which became a large part of the business.
When the war broke out in 1939, St. Louis Embroidery produced military emblems as they were in high demand and the main source of income until the late 1940’s. During the war, St. Louis Embroidery set a precedent for the correct positioning of the American Eagle head. It was brought to the Military’s attention that the face of the American Eagle was facing to the left (which was a disgrace to our country) and in fact, was suggested that it should face to the right! Today, all products wearing the American Eagle head face to the right.
During the late 1940’s, business was flourishing. St. Louis Embroidery had large accounts with firms such as Unitog, Angelica Jacket Company and the Boy Scouts. In 1952, President Eisenhower in a national news conference introduced the official Boy Scout logo, which was designed and embroidered by St. Louis Embroidery. From 1960-1964, there was a tremendous demand for military emblems, patches and Chevrons which kept the factory filled with work along with the Unitog Corporation.
In 1965, St. Louis Embroidery became a division of the Unitog Corporation until April of 1999 when St. Louis Embroidery was purchased by the Cintas Corporation which in turn sold to Jim and Leslie Zimmerman in November of 1999. The company was last purchased in May of 2015 by Patrick and Lisa Byrne. Pat Byrne is a retiree and 30-year member of Local 2665 and Local 777.
St. Louis Embroidery has been a member of the trade union, Unite, Local 1170 since the early 1960’s and is one of only a handful of unionized embroidery operations in the United States today. St. Louis Embroidery also recently became a member of the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 6-505 thus covering the screen-printing division of the company.
For the past 132 years, St. Louis Embroidery has always produced the highest quality of embroidery and service to all customers. TOTAL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION “with over 100 years of Experience” is still St. Louis Embroidery’s main focus. As of August 2017, St. Louis Embroidery was awarded the exclusive rights to the I.A.F.F. of the International Association of Fire Fighters and in November 2018 was also granted permission to use and reproduce the UAW, International Union’s “Wheel” logo and it’s lettered UAW.