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Embroidery Design Guideline


Embroidery pricing is based on stitch count, design size, number of colors, and complexity of the design. Minimizing number of colors used as well as decreasing the size can lower the price of a design.





Embroidery is most suitable for designs with solid colors and clear color separation. Designs with gradients and shading are difficult to reproduce properly in embroidery and is not recommended.

Keep in mind the apparel color when choosing design colors, dark colors will not be as vibrant on dark apparel, and vice versa. Choosing contrasting colors will help the design be as visible as possible.

Gradients cannot be produced for embroidery because it is not possible to blend solid thread colors.


Different sized designs will show different results. Small designs (4 inches or less) will be unable to support complex details or very thin lines. For best results, complex designs should be a minimum of 8 inches in height.


Hooping is a vital part of machine embroidery, for the best results, a piece of garment is held into place by a hoop before being placed into the embroidery machine. Properly hooping the surface will ensure that the design will be stitched neatly. The purpose of hooping is to keep the fabric from shifting while in the machine. To avoid shifting, hooped items must be at the correct tension. Incorrect hooping will cause unaligned stitches and disappointing end results.

The size of the design is limited based on the size of the hoop and the size of the apparel. Not all hoops are able to fit in specific locations of your desired garment and not all designs fit in the hoops in the specified location. In order to prevent such situations from occurring, there are standards that we follow.

Hoop Sizing

Small Circle Hoop: designed to be placed in the wrist area for small embroideries.

  • Hoop Size: 3” x 3”

Standard Circle Hoop: perfect for designs that are placed on both right side and left side of the chest, sleeves and hoods.

  • Hoop Size: 4.5” x 4.5”

Large Circle Hoop: slightly bigger than the standard circle hoop. This hoop can be used for designs that will not fit the standard circle hoop because of the space needed. Typically used for right and left chest designs.

  • Hoop Size: 5.5” x 5.5”

Standard Front Hoop: popular for designs on the front of garments. These designs can be in horizontal or vertical layout.

  • Hoop Size: 8” x 14”

Standard Back Hoop: ideal for standard sized back designs or larger front designs.

  • Hoop Size: 13” x 12”

Large Back Hoop: used for larger back designs that will not fit in the standard back hoop.

  • Hoop Size: 13” x 15”

Standard Stole Hoop: better fit for designs that require more space due to additional lines. This hoop is usually used for stoles, sweatpants or sleeves due to the design being of longer length than normal going vertically.

  • Hoop Size: 5” x 9”

Large Stole Hoop: designs with additional lines that do not fit in the standard stole hoop are hooped with a larger stole hoops for more space.

  • Hoop Size: 5” x 14”

Cap Hoop: designs placed on the front of caps are hooped with this form of hoop in order to be thrown into the machines.

  • Hoop Size: 2.5” x 5.5”

Side Cap Hoop: ideally used for caps with side or back designs that are not possible with the cap hoop.

  • Hoop Size: 2” x 3.5”

Common Issues

Use of Photographs or Low Resolution Artwork

It is not possible to embroider photographs or low resolution artwork. These images would have to be redrawn to include solid lines and colors in order for the image to be embroidered.

Use of Distressed or Textured Artwork

When it comes to fine detail like distress and textures, details may get lost when embroidered. This occurs especially when the design is 5 inches or less, larger designs tend to show details better.

Use of Too Many Colors

Using over 5 colors for designs under 5 inches is not recommended because it will create bunching of threads and misalignment in the design.

Use of Artwork Not Suitable for 3D-Puff Design

For best results,bold shapes and texts are most suitable for 3D-Puff embroidery. Designs that are too thin will not be visible and designs that are too wide will not stitch properly.

Use of too many characters per line of text

For small designs, under 5 inches, the amount of characters per line of text should be kept under 10 characters. Having too many characters will force the text to be squished, which reduces legibility.

Helpful Tips

  1. Be sure to consider the colors of the design and the color of the apparel. Similarity of colors between the design and the apparel will reduce visibility. Higher contrast between colors will increase visibility.

    • e.g. White embroidery on a white apparel or navy embroidery on black apparel

  2. When mentioning orientation (left or right) it should be from the perspective of the person wearing the apparel.

  3. Having a general idea of the design dimensions is will allow us to provide a more accurate quote.

    • Note: Certain design sizes are not viable due to artwork or apparel limitations.

  4. Please be as specific as possible with your preferred colors, stitch type, sizing, placement to get the most accurate desired design.

  5. There are line thickness limitations for satin and 3D puff embroidery.

    • For satin embroidery, minimum thickness for objects is .05 inches and maximum thickness for objects is .5 inches.

    • For 3D puff, minimum object thickness is .2 inches and maximum is .5 inches.

    • For objects that are outside those guidelines, running stitch or flat (tatami) stitching will have to be used instead.

  6. When submitting final artwork please be sure to submit it as the highest resolution file available.

    • For Best Results: .AI, .PDF, or .PSD

    • Acceptable Files: .JPG, .JPEG, .PNG, .BMP, .EPS


  • We will use our standard sizing per application, unless otherwise stated.

    • Note: Some size requests cannot be fulfilled due to item / hoop constraints.

  • Location of designs will be our standard locations, unless otherwise stated.

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