How to buy custom embroidery.... what you should know.
Good custom embroidery is fairly complicated. You can learn as much or as little as you like when you go on the hunt for an embroiderer. There are some easy things you can decide before getting a quote that will make things for you and your embroiderer easier.
I am an embroiderer and I hope I can speak for most and say that we just want to provide you with great-looking products. In order to do that we need information... Here is what to know!
Do you have a picture of the design you want?
Try to find a decent-resolution picture of the design you want. The optimal file would be a nice .jpg or .bmp. If you are truly fancy and have a design that is vector design you would have a file that is a .eps, .emf, or .svg. To be honest, I have worked from scratch drawing on a napkin. We have to have something to start with though.
How many colors is your design and does it impact the price?
Embroidery is very different from screen printing. In embroidery, the number of colors is fairly unimportant. Most designs for a left chest design are less than 4 colors. An embroidery machine usually holds 9 to 15 colors at a time, so the color is pretty simple. So... color doesn't normally impact pricing unless you want specialty threads like metallic, fire-resistant, or glow-in-the-dark.
How many items are we putting your design on?
The number of items we are embroidering does impact pricing. As long as the design is the same size and colors we can put it on many flat items and count them together for a quantity discount. The following items are a good example of the types of items that would be able to be embroidered with the same design. Polos, sweatshirts, t-shirts, tote bags, blankets, jackets, and sweaters are all items that can be embroidered with the same size logo.
How do we make the embroidery design file?
We take your design image and place it in a digitizing program as a background image. We then rebuild it in stitches. We place each item and program its type of stitch, density, angle, length, and a ton more. Digitizing is a true skill. You can have a top-of-the-line embroidery machine that stitches terribly just because the design was made poorly. We do not send out our digitizing. We do it right here. I have control issues and want to ensure that your items are fantastic!
Why are hats so much different?
Hats and other round items are very different. With flat embroidery, you only have to worry about front-to-back (X-axis) and side-to-side (Y-axis) motions. When you switch to a round item you add in around (Z-axis) motions. Hats are also much hard to hoop and have absolutely no movement inside the hoop. The other hard thing about hats is the center seems. The machine has to stitch thru 2 layers of fabric, 2 layers or built-in stabilizer or buckram, and then also stitch thru the stabilizer you add when you hoop the hat. It gets very very thick! Awesome hat designs usually don't have a ton of small stitches over that center seem. If you see a hat that has crazy detailed embroidery across the seem and on the brim it is usually a hat that was embroidered before it was fully assembled. The brims of hats are not embroidered able due to the hard plastic inside.