Embroidery close up

Embroidery – The basics

Learn the basics of embroidery with Gold Hats

Here at Gold Hats we want to offer the best possible products and services. To fulfill our mission, we will be adding resources to our site, featuring well kept secrets in our industry. We used to keep information of great value for our clients, but we have decided to share it with you and anybody with a genuine interest in custom headwear (hats, baseball caps, trucker, …).

Let’s start with the MOST popular embellishment option: embroidery. There are several embroidery types (flat embroidery, 3D embroidery, multi-panel embroidery, …) that we will develop in a separate article. In the present article, we will focus on the basics you should have in mind when creating an artwork for embroidery.

What exactly is embroidery?

3d embroidery in the making

Embroidery is the process of decorating fabric with needles and threads. We refer to the number of stitches (for example: 5000 stitches) when we talk about the number of times the needles go through the fabric. Obviously, a greater number of stitches result in better details. Since our market is premium headwear, we only use recent heavy multi-heads embroidery machines. Using industrial machines from manufacturers such as Tajima or Barudan allows us to produce high quality embroidery and their multiple heads are the key to increase productivity in order to offer better pricing to you.

Did you know? 3D embroidery is made using foam to raise the surface, giving a three-dimensional look

What type of file should I send?

You should send a file of the highest possible quality (ideally vector format but standard high quality JPEG or PNG will work). Often overlooked by most factories, digitizing is the most important step to get great results with embroidery. Digitizing is the technique of converting an artwork to a file that can be interpreted by an embroidery machine. Basically, the digitized file tells the machine how to prick the fabric, stitch by stitch.

Digitizing an artwork requires a skilled digitizer

Is the size important?

Yes, size is a very important variable when using embroidery. Since the artwork is embroidered to the fabric, the number of stitches will determine the level of detail. For obvious reason, a surface is limited to a certain number of stitches. This is why tiny details may not look great with smaller embroidery. If your artwork has a lot of tiny details, we may have to simplify/loose some details or to increase the total size of the artwork to get a clean embroidery.
You are encouraged to check with your sales rep whether the size you want for your logo is appropriate.

What is the difference between 3D and FLAT embroidery?

Flat embroidery is the most basic type of embroidery, it is… flat, while 3D embroidery is refers to an embroidery that is raised.

Mix of 3d and flat embroidery

The Beavers embroidery features flat and 3D embroidery and it covers two panels. The front logo is made of a 3D black lettering outlined with white flat embroidery

Is there a limit to what can be done with embroidery?

There is no short answer to this question. As we have seen before, the size of your artwork is important. If you size your artwork up to a scale that allows you to get all details, the possibilities are almost limitless. You can combine flat and 3D embroidery, you can have an embroidery spread out over several panels, … Your imagination is the limit.
Also, our hats are made from scratch. Why is it relevant here? embroiderers that decorate blank caps aren’t able to embroidery many locations: usually, only the front and side panels can be embroidered. Since our hats are made to measure, we are able to embroidery any parts of the hats before they are assembled. This means that we can embroider the visor, several panels, …

How much does it cost?

Unlike screen printing that is priced on a per color basis, embroidery is priced per stitches: the bigger the embroidery, the higher it cost to embroider the artwork due to a higher stitch count. Don’t worry, embroidery remains one of the most inexpensive embellishment option (no matter the size).

Our team is here to help

In addition to possessing expertise in the field of headwear, our sales reps have solid skills in customization so they will be happy to accompany you in the choices you will have to make when designing a cap or a beanie. Don’t by shy to ask, we are help to help!

Want to see embroidery examples? Click here!