I often get calls and emails from customers who want to know if their logos are suited for embroidery for logo baseball caps. Customers also often ask me for advice on their custom caps line to be sold at retail. So I thought I would provide some information in more details here. I will write a separate article on the custom hats meant to be sold at retail.
In this article I will only talk about caps decorated with embroidery logos, as the majority of logo baseball caps made in the US are done with embroidery on hats that have already been sewed together. Caps that are one hundred percent custom are usually made overseas, mostly in China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. These custom orders usually have a high minimum, and require long lead times most people can’t afford to wait.
When it comes to custom embroidery on caps that are already sewn together, one has to remember that the embroidery for the most part is done on curved surfaces instead of flat ones. This poses two production issues. One concerns registration. When two parts of a logo are tightly budded against each other, the embroidery needle has a hard time registering the area seamlessly due to the fact that the needle is moving at a high speed and on a curved surface. There is a margin of error that must be compensated for. One way is to overlap the two areas so there is no gap showing in between.
The other issue concerns the size of any alphabets in the logo design, the name of your company, for example. Again due to the curved surface and the speed of the traveling needle, letters could be tricky to embroider clearly if they are too small. In this case there is no upper size limit per se (of course you have to stay within the maximum embroidery area of about 2.5” high x 5” tall), but there is a lower limit as to how small each alphabet can be. Depending on the font style, with a thin script style font requiring a larger size than a block style font, the usual minimum size limit is 0.25” tall per alphabet at finished size. So whatever logo or design one wants to embroider on a pre-sewn cap, it is important to keep this in mind.
For any pre-made hat, the locations where one can put any decoration, whether it is a design or a logo, are limited. The most common place obviously is on the front center of the hat, but one can’t put the logo too close to the brim as the needle needs room to maneuver, and not too high either. To make the design more interesting, it is not unusual to put the logo above the eye. But this location requires that the logo be much smaller, and therefore any small text would have to be eliminated. One may also consider putting decoration on the sides of the hats, and on the back. So although there are many restrictions to decorate pre-made hats, one can use a little imagination to make the designs more interesting.