Embroidery & Digitizing FAQs and Tips

Jump to a Question & Answer by using the links below, or simply scan the page to pick up some new facts about embroidery and digitizing!

What kind of lettering works best for embroidery?

Different kinds of lettering work better than others, depending on the size of your design.

  • Block capital letters usually look good even when they're as small as 0.2 inches high (and occasionally even smaller, depending on the fabric and stitch).
  • Lowercase letters typically need to be a little larger to be clear, around 0.25 inches.
  • The “closed” portions of letters, like the loops on the letters p, b or d, need to be around 0.2 inches in order to stitch well and look good.
  • Serif fonts (like Times New Roman) and script fonts don't usually come out well at small sizes. When stitched too small, those fonts can look sloppy and illegible.

I will work with you to ensure your design looks as sharp, professional and clear as possible, and I'll advise if it seems that the size or font style you've chosen may not stitch out clearly.

In general, remember to consider the overall size of your design. If it's a small design, keep your text to a minimum and only include the most important text.

How big can a design on a baseball cap be?

For best results, baseball cap embroidery designs typically should be no larger than 2 inches tall and 4 inches wide.

What type of garment should I use or order?

Different garments handle designs differently.

For example, a design that works well on the front of a sweatshirt may not work well on the sleeve of a T-shirt, or a design that looks great on the corner of a blanket may not stitch well on a baseball cap.

If you're unsure whether your design will work well on the garment you've chosen, just ask! I've got lots of experience working with lots of different design styles and garments, and I'll gladly help guide you in the right direction.

Why does the color of my garment matter to my embroidery design?

Designs may need to be digitized a little differently depending on the color of the material they're being stitched on. Different color schemes will look a little different when they're stitched out, as light-colored threads tend to be a little bit thicker and cover differently than dark-colored threads.

What material will work with my embroidery design?

The kind of material factors into the digitizing of your design:

  • Sweatshirt knit and fleece can “bury” stitches, making letters and other lines look very narrow.
  • Pique (polo shirt material) can break up small letters and cause some distortion.
  • Jackets with linings cause distortion and shift the alignment of the design.
  • Lycra stretches, and can pull the design out of shape.

I take into account these kinds of factors whenever I digitize your design and when I advise on what kind of material you might want to consider for the design you want. Because of the differences in material, a design I digitize for use on the left-chest of a pique knit polo shirt, for example, may have to be re-digitized if you want it stitched on the back of a jacket.

Can you replicate a printed image with lots of color shading in embroidery?

Color blending is possible with embroidery, but shading (like you’d see in paintings or photographs) can’t be duplicated exactly. If your design has lots of shading and gradients, it will likely need to be simplified for embroidery. I can help advise you on how to turn your print design into a workable embroidery design.

Why can't embroidery just duplicate a screenprinting design?

Embroidery is thread, and as such, is limited to what thread can do. Lines thinner than a thread cannot be created. Too much detail packed into one small area probably won’t stitch well. Too many colors and details on top of one another can make the design overly dense and uncomfortable to wear.

We will always offer advice on the best ways to modify your designs to get you the best, highest quality results. We want your job to stitch well, efficiently and professionally, and we will work with you to achieve that!

Can I bring you something to embroider?

Sure! I'm happy to work with your garment, material, and apparel. I’ve had customers bring everything from jackets to aprons, handkerchiefs to tote bags, throw blankets to athletic apparel, lunch bags to quilts — you name it, I've probably stitched it!

I will advise you if for any reason it looks like you may not get satisfactory results from the embroidery design you’re considering on the item you’ve brought in. If that’s the case, I can help you select material better suited for the embroidery design you’ve chosen, or explain how I would need to modify your design to better suit the material you’ve supplied.

Can I order items through you to be embroidered?

Yes. I can order a wide variety of apparel and items for your embroidery needs, in a broad range of brands, colors, and sizes. You can view my catalogs here, and feel free to ask me any questions you might have about what you find as you browse.

Whether you’re shopping for a gift, for your business, or for yourself, I'm happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Question not answered here?

If you've still got questions about your embroidery or digitizing, you can reach me by phone at 260-622-8001, by email at info@sewcreativecustomembroidery.com or simply use the contact form below.

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