workers-wearing-custom-embroideryEmbroidery on company apparel is popular mostly because it renders a neat, professional and sophisticated appearance. There are so many different options for what is available, it can be confusing if you don’t know what to consider. Before ordering custom embroidery, be sure you understand what’s available and the type of embroidery that will work best for your needs.

Fabric Affects Embroidery Appearance

The type of fabric that's used can affect the look of an embroidered logo. When you specify what type of fabric you prefer, your embroidery service will digitize it so that the best stitching techniques are used for that particular type of material. Usually, the sturdier and smoother your fabric, the better the embroidery looks. For example, embroidery can be done of all kinds of polo shirts, but if you have a finely detailed logo that includes fine print, it will reproduce the best, and look the most crisp, when sewn on an interlock or jersey knit, rather than a pique knit shirt. A tightly woven (high thread count) dress shirt fabric is more prone to puckering than shirts with lower thread count. Rest assured, your embroiderer is familiar with all the gory details. If you're aware that fabric choice can make a difference in how your logo appears, you know to discuss that issue with your embroidery professional.

Artwork Quality

example-of-custom-embroideryIt's not totally a case of "garbage in, garbage out," but it is true that if the artwork you provide your embroiderer is fuzzy, distorted, or low resolution, then either you will get distortions in your embroidery, or there will be additional costs involved to "fix" your artwork before it can be converted to embroidery. So it's worth spending a few extra minutes searching through your files to find the best copy of your logo that is available. If you only have your logo in printed format, than provide your embroiderer with the largest, best quality printout you have. High resolution JPG files are preferred, but PDF and .AI are also welcomed.

Embroidery Stitches - FYI

custom-embroidered-lettermanEmbroidery is as much an art as science, and a good embroidery professional gives much more consideration to deciding what kind of stitches will most faithfully reproduce your logo. There are several types of stitches used in custom embroidery, and while there is no reason that you need to be familiar with them, it might be interesting to know some of the basic tools of the trade:

  • Satin stitch—This stitch, which is zigzag sewing, is ideal for lettering, small details and thick outlining. Its width ranges from 2mm to 12mm wide.  
  • Fill stitch—Embroiderers use the fill stitch for colored solid spot and for covering a large area.
  • Walking stitch—This stitch is reserved for stitching thin outlines and creating the tiniest details.

  • Underlay stitches—These are those placed underneath embroidery stitching to help stabilize your fabric, besides producing various effects. In most cases, they run in the reverse direction of the top stitching.

Size Matters

And finally, it's good to have an idea how big you want your logo to appear on the garment, and where. Embroidery prices are primarily based on how large and detailed your logo is. It comes down to how long it takes to apply the stitching on the garment. Embroidery is generally quite cost effective when it's around the size of a chest pocket. If you get much bigger than that, the cost goes up. Large (full width) embroidery can be quite expensive, especially for elaborate designs. If you are going to want to embroider your logo in two different sizes, be aware there will likely be editing costs or even separate set up charges, depending on how much different in size the two versions of your logo will be. As a rule of thumb, the minimum height for embroidered lettering is ¼ inch, which is quite a bit larger than we're used to when reading print. A good embroiderer will have ideas about how to adapt your logo for best legibility if small lettering is an issue.

Here is a video with more information on keeping your designs affordable, specifically when ordering shirts!

EmbroidMe San Diego started out as an embroidery company, and today although our offerings have expanded considerably, we remain specialists in that particular technique of garment decoration. If you have any questions about what we can do, or how your logo will translate to embroidery, please contact us or just stop by our showroom at 7710 Balboa Avenue in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego.