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Embroidery Tips n Tricks , Cap Challenges


Avoiding pit falls of working with Caps

When dealing with your customers you may need to educate them on what the placement and size of the logo for your particular machine is, as often the customer will want the designs to be too large for the cap frame. Some cap frames can accommodate a 270 degree rotation and some only do 180 degrees, the height will depend on the hat.

Rule 1 , Placement

The designs should be places 1/2 inch above the brim of the hat this allows the needle to clear the metal bracket that holds the hat to the frame.

Rule 2 , Size

The size of the embroidery designs for the front for most hats should be less than 4.5 inches wide and no more than 2.75 inches high.

Some caps will allow for larger areas.

Rule 3 , Backing

Its very important to have precut sheets of tearaway backing, I recommend buying in a roll and should be med to heavy tearaway for caps.

Rules 4 , Embroidery Design

The embroidery designs should be made for caps, this will eliminate the push of sewing to the middle. All text should be design to sew from the center out, ( In Tajima Pulse their a tab called sew direction for setting this ) The embroidery design should be made specific for hats.

Rule 5 , Speed of machine

I recommend slowing your machine down to 600 spm when embroidering on hats, this will help reduce distortion,.

Rule 6 , Needles

When working with hats you may experience higher number of needle breaks as some caps, like the flexfit caps seem to have a hard ridge in the center of six panel hats, using an 80/12 needle will eliminate some needle breaks.

Ridge on Six Panel Caps

When working with six panel hats that are structured and feel thick in the center of the hat , there are several methods for making it easier to embroider on.

Method 1 Water

With a spray bottle wet the front of the cap where your embroidery design is going to be, this will make the material more pliable and easier to work with.

Method 2 Heat

With a hat press you can pre-press the area where you need to put the embroidery logo on this will soften up the areas specially on the seams.

Alternate Placement Brims

Often you will get request to place logos on other areas of the hat, and you may have seen designs embroidered onto the brim of the hat, this is only available on custom hat orders where they embroider the design on the material before adding the brim and sewing the hat.

Alternate Placement Sides of hats

This various methods for placing logos on the side of hats, however your limited to the hoop fitting on the side often the brim will get in the way of hoop large than 3.5 inches, so your designs should be no large than 3 inches wide. You can get around this by using specialty hoops,


Alternate Placement Back of Hats

This can be done with a standard 4 inch hoop and works with a wide range of styles, Often you will need to arc your text to match the contour of the back of the hat depending on the style.


Check with your hat vendor many of them will have a custom hat program or pre made hats with logos embroidered on them . Usually a minimum order is required for custom hats to be made. I deal with AJM International or Headwear and they both have custom hat programs.

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I've actually got a friend who does embroidery, and I've been very impressed with some of the things he has done.  I've been thinking about learning how to do it myself, and so I really appreciated this article.  These rules and methods were very helpful, especially the tip to spray water onto the front of a cap in order to make the material more pliable and easier to work with.  Thanks for sharing this!  http://moboenterprises.com/en/

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