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Understanding Embroidery Design Tips, Techniques, and Requirements for Hats and Shirts

Embroidery is a distinctive art form that adds a beautiful look to clothing, including shirts and hats. Whether for ornamental purposes or involving a design like a company name or logo, the needlework can be an alternative to other decorative techniques, such as direct-to-garment (DTG) or screen printing. The following are essential tips, techniques, and requirements to remember while you plan to have embroidery done to ensure a high-quality look for your hats and shirts.

Discuss the design placement

Embroidery companies may have requirements about the size of designs and their placement. For example, they may require a specific distance a design has to be between the shoulder and a shirt pocket or have a max height and width for an embroidered logo on an item like the Bella+Canvas unisex raw seam crew pullover.

It is vital to discuss the design placement with the company before they start on your order rather than assuming how the final design will look. They can suggest placement options based on what design you want and where you want it, such as if you prefer your company name on the upper left of the chest or if you want a line of flowers going along the neckline of a shirt. 

Consider what they are saying, even if you are adamant about the placement. They are trying to look out for the integrity of the design, their company, and the appearance of the final products.

Embroidery requirements can vary by company

The size of the embroidered design, the products offered, image size requirements, and more can vary from one embroidery business to another. Remembering this is especially important, so you do not assume requirements are the same everywhere. As a result, you want to avoid placing an order with one company thinking they will operate in the same manner as a previous one with which you did business. Instead, reach out to the company and ask the business any questions about the process before placing orders for embroidered shirts or hats.

Designs on hats are usually front and center

The designs on various types of hats, including beanies and caps, are usually right in the front and centered. However, designs may be possible on other hat areas, such as the back or the top, depending on its structure. Know that embroidery on the bill of caps likely will only be an option due to its construction if you get it done before complete manufacture.

If you are still trying to decide what type of hat to embroider, reach out to the embroidery company and see what they offer. Let them know the design you want, and they could make suggestions that would most benefit your plans and the recipients of the clothing.

Embroidery is durable when done right

As long as the thread is strong and the technique is high-quality, embroidery can be a durable option for hats and shirts. Embroidered clothing is often easy to wash but can vary between products. Hand-embroidered clothes may need a more gentle method of washing than those embellished by machine.

Also, include a small sheet of washing instructions with each embroidered garment you sell or give away to avoid any confusion or accidental clothing damage. It can help the clothing last as long as possible without any problems or harm to the design. If the embroidery company offers the choice between hand and machine embroidery, ask them to discuss the pros and cons and what would be better for your needs so you can make a reasonable decision.

Order a sample before a bulk order

It can be a bit nerve-wracking placing a bulk order, especially if you have never before ordered from that embroidery company. Although the cost would be lower than if you paid retail, it still involves significant money. Therefore, it is one of the reasons it is best to request a sample of an embroidered hat or shirt before you place a wholesale bulk order.

Ordering a sample can allow you to see the quality of the clothing they offer and their embroidery work. It is one thing to hear about how a hat or shirt will look after getting embroidered, but having the two items in front of you is another, so you see and feel the embroidery for yourself. 

You can get the sample for free but will typically have to pay. However, it can be worth it for reassurance that you are ordering from the right company and can feel confident in the products you will receive. 

Embroidery does not prefer thin fabrics

Not all fabrics are ideal for embroidery. Even if you have a particular idea of what material you want, doing what is best for the finished product design is essential. A 100% cotton, a poly-cotton blend, or a 100% polyester piece of clothing is often the best option for embroidery. The embroidery company could give you insight into what fabrics would be ideal based on your desired design and preference for the overall look of the finished product.

Choose your products according to what works best

Some heavier embroidery thread weights might not work well on thin, lightweight t-shirts, but they could work great on heavier shirts like polos and many button-downs. For example, if you need a business name embroidered on an employee’s shirt, polo could be a great choice over a t-shirt. Talk with the embroidery company about what shirt options they have that can hold up to the weight of the embroidered design while still meeting your preferences.

Hats will likely be fine, with hats holding up to the weight of embroidery since they tend to consist of a heavier material. Options like caps and beanies could be excellent selections. Ask about a hat’s weight vs. the embroidered design you want to do to ensure you order a product that will give you optimal durability and the best look.

It is worth repeating how discussing several aspects of your order with the embroidery company can be beneficial. First, hearing advice from trained employees about their requirements and what they recommend for your particular order can help you get the best-looking shirts and hats. They have been doing it for a long time and want to ensure they have satisfied customers.

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