Custom Embroidering your logo on apparel (Hats, T-shirts, Polos, Jackets, etc.) is a great way to advertise your business and look professional. It would be to your advantage to understand the process involved with creating quality custom embroidery. I have made a list of points to keep in mind so that your embroidered goods can be completed with the highest quality: #CustomEmbroidery
1. UNDERSTANDING THE LINGO – The terms used in this industry may not be familiar to you. Like everything else in the world, the embroidery industry is completely computer animated now. Embroiderers must take the image of your logo and “Digitize”it, which means transform it into a pattern of stitches that is saved as a computer file and gets loaded onto the embroidery machine. A “Stitch-out” or “Stitch Sample”is sometimes mentioned, this is either an actual stitched sample or a computerized image of what the finished product will look like. The two common types of embroidery stitches are “Satin” and “Fill”. Satin is mainly used for text or lines of an image where one stitch covers the full width of the line, and fill is used for larger areas of the image. I usually describe it by thinking of a classic smiley face – the outline and features would be Satin stitches and the yellow background would be Fill stitches. This is just a little of the lingo that you might encounter.
2. CHOOSING THE BEST IMAGE – When sending your logo for digitizing, some key points may help you. If possible, send them your image as a vector file. Programs such as corel draw can save images as vector files, but if you don’t have this capability, many digitizers can easily convert your image for you from a JPG, BMP, etc image file. Either way, it is preferable to have as little shading or fuzzy edges as possible. Also send the image file in already sized to the approximate size you wish the logo to be. This will help avoid mistakes by the digitizer in sizing your logo. Also make sure that you rotate your image if necessary before emailing it. (I completed an order one time that I thought came out beautifully, and then the customer received it and informed me that the image he emailed was rotated 1/4 turn!!). All-in-all, Digitizers are usually very good with creating your logo from your image file when provided with the right details, which leads to #3….
3. PROVIDE ALL THE DETAILS – This is the most important step! The size of your logo, the thread colors, the alignment of text, the font, these and any other details should be thought about while putting together an order. Make sure, for example, if you are having shirts made of various colors, that you choose a desired thread color for each shirt color. Sometimes a customer will say “I want my logo to be all white”, not thinking about the fact that some of the shirt colors they chose are very light. Also consider some common industry standards for size….
4. SIZING YOUR LOGO – The key factors that affect your embroidery price is the dimensional size of the logo and the number of stitches. The most common size limitation is for the chest area of a shirt – which is usually 4″x4″. This is because it has to fit inside the embroidery hoop, and many companies prefer this size for thier machine. This is not to say that your logo cannot be larger, most embroiders have the hoops and machine capability to do very large designs (my current machines max out at about 16″X20″). For hat logos, the common limit is the height, usually less than 2 1/2″ tall. However the width limit for hats is very different depending on the embroidery machines used. Regardless of the actual size of your logo, your price will most likely be determined by the number of stitches…..
5. STITCH COUNT – The golden number! Commonly in this industry, you are charged according to how many stitches your completed logo contains. It is often broken down as a rate per thousand stitches (say $1.00/k), with a minimum charge for small designs of usually $5 or so. The digitizing process can sometimes be adjusted to help lower the stitch count, but primarily the size and complexity of the design controls it. Very dense or complex designs can have 2 to 3 times the number of stitches of a simple logo even though they take up the same space. Often times, sellers will make listings less confusing for the buyer by advertising a listing that covers up to a certain number of stitches, and then they will notify you if your logo is above the limit. As an embroiderer, I would ask that you be flexible while working with your seller to resolve the pricing issues that this causes. Please know that these additional stitches represent more time on thier machines and takes away from other orders that they can complete. Many Embroiderers will gladly estimate the stitch count for you based on your image before you buy to help eliminate these additional charges.
6. THINK AHEAD – When ordering, please consider everything discussed here to realize that custom embroidery is best done when not in an extreme hurry! Please give appropriate notice by buying well in advance of when you need an order completed and shipped. Our shop, for example, strives for 10-14 days of completion time on every order. We often try to complete orders in a rush when asked in order to not lose the business, however the final product may not be as high in quality when the order has to be squeezed into the schedule.
7. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK! – especially when it comes to custom services like embroidery.