8 Tips For Customers When Ordering Custom Embroidery

8 Tips For Customers When Ordering Custom Embroidery

Custom items aren't the easiest to order.  The process requires a lot of patience from both parties, the customer and the embroiderer.

Sometimes you, as the customer, have something in your head that you can't quite describe or even draw. Believe me when I tell you all we want to do is be able to get you exactly what you need.  So, here are some tips for a smooth ordering when it comes to custom embroidered patches, caps, biker patches and custom shop shirts.

1-Think of everything in terms of stitches: When you have a particular image in mind for custom embroidery, remember most of the image will be stitches (the rest will be fabric).  So, there is a lot of overlapping involved to avoid gaps in the embroidery.  For example, look at the pic below.  The orange line is supposed to border the white, so it has to be overlapped properly with plenty of stitches to avoid the gap you see in part of the border.  More than 3 overlaps of thread makes for messy embroidery.  It also stiffens that area of the garment or patch.  Be sure to keep that in mine when choosing your custom image.


2-Small Text: Text less than 1/4" of an inch may be hard to read. Especially, if it's a funky text.  What I mean by "funky" is, anything that isn't regular block text.  Because of a high amount of concentration of stitches in one area, very tiny text may be hard to read.  Sure, you may get the gist of it, but if clear, legible text is what you're looking for and you want to keep your embroidery crisp or clean, you may want to stack your text or eliminate it all together.  Also, borders around small text may become unaligned.  Again, that has to do with the concentration of stitches and the small text.  Structured caps are the hardest to embroider with tiny text, especially with an outline.

3-Fades and Color Transitions: Color transitions always look good digitally and on printed items because the ink can blend easily.  But please keep in mind, thread is solid and so even though we can blend colors to a certain degree,especially on larger embroidery, color blends may not look so pretty on smaller logos on items such as caps.  Again, that has a lot to do with the concentration of stitches and also, structured caps are thick. So, adding a lot of stitches in one area will make it look messy and unprofessional.

4-Lots of Detail Takes Time to Digitize: A digitizer is the artist that manually recreates your artwork and turns it into stitches. If your image has a lot of detail, please keep in mind it may take more than normal to get it right. Plus, they have to sew it out to ensure everything looks appropriate.  If your artwork has a lot of detail, your set up fee may cost more because it requires a lot of more time to digitize.

5-Drawings: If you're a good pencil sketch artist and want it turned into a biker patch, it's best to already know whether you want the embroidery to reflect your sketch and stay in a gray scale or if you want it to be filled in with colors.  The pic directly below is a sample of a sketched skull. The artist wanted a custom back patch to reflect the colors of his sketch.  

Below is a drawing in which the artist wanted to add color to his embroidered patch.  so he detailed what colors would go where.  It's also best to already know the approximate size you need the patch to be when requesting a quote.

6-Knowing When You Require a Graphic Artist: It's always best to submit the exact artwork you want duplicated into a custom patch or embroidered logo.  Often, you may have an image you like, but want adjusted. Let's say it's a sihoulette of a man holding up a barbell...only, you don't want him holding a barbell, you want his arm at at his side, holding a towel.  You will need to find a graphic artist and have him graphically create the exact image you want and then submit it to us as the exact image you want changed into embroidery.  It's easy to find great graphic artists and reasonable prices.  You can do so on fiverr.com or craigslist.com.

7-Give Yourself Plenty of Time: I have yet to experience a customer who didn't care about quality.  So, give yourself plenty of time when ordering custom items.  The process takes time. For instance, custom biker patches can take up to 2 weeks to get everything right.  Especially, if we hit some bumps in the road.  They need to be digitized, approved, embroidered and then trimmed, laser cut and heat sealed.  This set, along with thousands of other patches.  If there is a date you need your custom items in hand, please always be sure to let us know when requesting a quote. 

8-Certain Items Have Size Limitations: Keep in mind, there are size limitations on caps, over the pocket of a shirt, on the sleeve, etc. The smaller you go on an item, the more detail you sacrifice.  If there is something we think may not look appropriate, we will let you know before hand.  We can also work with you to eliminate part of the design that won't change the integrity of the logo or artwork. 

Back to blog


I believe that using embroidery designs would be a terrific way for my sister to personalize a jean jacket that she already owns for a concert that she is attending. Thank you for pointing out that, despite how well color transitions appear digitally, combining colors with threads can be challenging, particularly in smaller patterns. I’ll make sure to let my sister know about this so she can keep it in mind when picking a design. I’ll also check out original artwork embroidery designs for her. Thanks for sharing!


Victoria Addington









Leave a comment