Friday, December 28, 2007

Compare Costs

After obtaining permission, research the cost of having your own shirts embroidered. Don't forget to include set-up and shipping fees. Compare your cost with what your franchise would charge you. If you need just a few shirts then purchasing shirts from your franchise may be a better deal. But, if you need a large quantity now or in the future then ordering your own shirts should be a better buy. Also remember that if you purchase your own shirts then you'll be able to choose the garments and you'll have more control over what you spend per shirt.

more costs to come...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Order Shirts For Your Franchise

Before deciding whether you want to order your own embroidered shirts you need to obtain permission to reproduce the franchise logo. Without this you risk facing copyright infringement issues in the future. Once you've received permission, ask for an artwork file and PMS (Pantone Matching System) color information. You should also inquire about how the logo is to be used. For example, must it in a specific location and have a specific size? Can information be added to the logo such as your name, location or phone number?

coming...set-up fees

Friday, December 14, 2007

Order Shirts From A Franchise?

You’ve decided to order embroidered shirts for your new franchise business. Do you need to purchase shirts from the franchise company? Most franchise companies sell decorated apparel but the cost per shirt is often more then you’d like to pay for a shirt, especially when you’re starting a new business. But, if you order shirts on your own you may pay set-up fees. What’s best?

Friday, December 7, 2007

If You Provide Your Business Card As Artwork...

You can provide a business card, web page logo or other form of your logo but keep in mind that your artwork will probably need to be adjusted for embroidery. This may involve resizing text and images. Often design elements must be simplified for embroidery. The detailed serif font that looked great on your business cards won't translate well into embroidery and will need to be modified. The drop shadow effect highlighting your business name on your web page may need to be eliminated. Your embroider will know what changes to make so your embroidered logo looks good but its a great idea to check an artwork proof of your embroidery set-up before your shirts are embroidered.

Friday, November 30, 2007

What Type of Artwork Do I Need for Embroidery?

Generally speaking, you don’t need to have vector art (resizable line art) for embroidery but if you provide poor quality artwork that may have a negative effect on the look of your embroidery. Bitmap computer files are usually fine but a poor quality (low resolution) bitmap may not accurately represent a detailed design. If you are not sure about the quality of a file and your logo exists in different file formats then email all your file types to your embroiderer so they can choose the best file.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Can I Add Colors To An Embroidered Logo?

Sometimes additional thread colors can be easily added to a design depending on where the colors are located in the design. With items such as text, it’s easy to change a word from one color thread to another color but with more complex items such as realistic wildlife, adding a section in a different color may effect how a section is set-up and require additional editing. For example, if you have an embroidered design of a horse in shades a brown and you want to change this to a brown horse with white stocking feet this change would require editing the design.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Can My Logo Resized For A Jacket Back Design?

If your embroidered logo is a small design (4 x 4” or less) it can’t be resized for a jacket back design. Digitized embroidery designs can only be resized 10 -20% if at all. Different stitch types are used to embroider larger designs. If you want a jacket back design, you’ll need to have your logo digitized for that size. This can be costly but you’ll have great jacket!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cotton vs. Blend!

What’s the difference between a cotton versus a blend fabric? Cotton is cooler; a blend will be less likely to wrinkle. Cotton will shrink more than a blend. If you need a dark colored shirt, a blend is less likely to fade. Cottons are available in different types such as Egyptian, supima, ringspun and pima cotton. Blends come in many varieties including cotton/polyester and cotton/polyester/spandex.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Can Text Be Added To My Embroidered Logo?

Sometimes people ask me if they can add a phone number or web address to their left chest embroidered logo. The answer? It depends on the available space in your logo. The traditional left chest logo is approximately 3.5 x 3.5” depending on the general shape of the design. If your business name is short you might be able to add a brief tag line but often there isn’t enough room for additional text without diminishing the size of your business name. Your logo is valuable real estate! Why risk lessening the impact of your logo by decreasing the size of your business name? If you must include a phone number or a web address save these for the back of a hat or a woven shirt. Potential customers are more likely to jot down a phone number if they can do it inconspicuously. Keep the focus on your business name!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Can My Logo Be Embroidered On a Knit Cap?

Yes, your logo can be embroidered on a knit cap. But, depending on the size of the elements in the design and the amount of detail, it may be better to embroider a "foundation" fill for your logo to lie on so your design won't sink into the knit of the cap.

More "Questions Answered" next week!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Select The Right Polo For Your Group!

While its hard to satisfy everyone in a large group, look for a style that's available in lots of sizes and comes in a ladies companion style. The women will be more likely to wear an embroidered polo shirt that fits better and is more flattering. Many styles are available with a different neckline for women such as as the K500 V neck button polo. Consider offering more then one color such as a "warm" and a "cool" shade so employees can choose what color looks best on them. Also, let staff members choose what size they need and have samples available to try on. Employees will be more likely to wear a custom embroidered polo shirt that fits well.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Looking for A Great Polo Shirt?

Are you looking for a great polo shirt? One that fits well, feels wonderful, is available in the colors and sizes you want?

You’ve ordered custom embroidered polo shirts before but often the shirts weren’t worn. Before placing your next order, try getting some feedback from employees about why the shirts weren’t worn. Did they fit correctly? Did they look good throughout the day? Did the polo shirts wash well? Did the shirt color work for most people?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Embroidery vs. Screen Printing Cost

If your logo design has a few colors, screen printing may be more expensive because you’ll have a screen charge for every color. Although most likely you’ll pay an embroidery set-up charge, the number of colors in your embroidered logo won’t affect your cost unless you exceed 12 to15 colors. If your logo isn’t too complicated then your embroidery set-up charge could be less then your screen charges. Also, almost any type of artwork format can be used for an embroidery set-up. With screen printing, vector art (line art) is often necessary so you may be charged an artwork fee to convert your artwork into vector format. Still not sure whether to choose screen printing or embroidery? Ask your decorator!

Friday, September 28, 2007

What about Cost?

Okay, you’ve decided that the T shirts you want to use have enough “weight” for embroidery, your logo design isn’t too stitch intensive and embroidery will give you the right “look”. What about cost? Embroidery will be a lot more expensive, right? Not necessarily. If you only need a small number of T’s – say 24, and there are a few colors in your logo, then embroidery may be very cost effective.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Screen Printing Vs. Embroidery - Get The Right Look!

Sometimes screen printing is the prefered decoration method over embroidery because it creates the right look. A logo that looks great printed in a distressed style cannot be recreated in the same way with embroidery but you can create a different type of distressed look with embroidery. Screen printing can reproduce fine details such as small stylized fonts; outlining and color gradations. In embroidery, small fonts many need to be increased in size or converted to a block font, outlining may need to be eliminated and color gradations may be possible if there is enough room to make them work.

More on the way...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Can My Logo Be Embroidered On a T?

One of the common questions we get is “Can my logo be embroidered on a T-shirt?” The simple answer is, it depends on the logo, some designs work, others don’t. During the process of embroidery many holes are put into a garment. A garment needs to have a certain fabric weight to support a lot of stitches. Most T shirts can be embroidered with a left chest (heart size) logo unless the design is very stitch intensive but I wouldn’t recommend doing a larger design.

More considerations to come!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Thread Width - All the Same?

Is all embroidery thread the same width? No. Most applications require the same thread weight but sometimes its preferable use thicker thread. An example would be an embroidery design on a leather jacket. In order to avoid punching too many holes while embroidering and thus cutting the design out from the jacket, a heavier weight thread can be used so that proper thread coverage is maintained without putting too many holes in the leather. Some applications such as tiny lettering can require thinner thread to create crisp, clean letters. Using the right thread type can really make the difference for special projects!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Add Pizzazz to Your Threads!

Besides rayon and polyester threads, speciality threads such as metallic, solar activated and multi color are used for different custom embroidery applications. Most people are familiar with metallic thread which is available in a variety of colors including gold, silver and copper. Because metallic thread is more difficult to embroider with it isn't suitable for every application but it can add sparkle to a holiday design. Solar active thread, which looks like white thread until it is exposed to sunlight, comes in basic colors such as red, blue, green, yellow and purple. This thread can produce surprising results. Imagine a wedding dress that appears to be white until the bride exits from the church! Another nice effect is produced by using multi color thread to create a camo look. This thread looks great in a wide column font on hats. Expect to pay more for speciality threads but when used correctly, these threads give pizzazz to your design!

One last thread to come!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rayon Thread's Advantages

Although polyester thread is less likely to “run” during laundering, rayon thread has its advantages. Rayon thread has more “sheen” and is better at reflecting light. Because of this sheen rayon thread may be desirable for large, detailed designs. Also, rayon thread is available in more shades and may work better for realistic designs (e.g. animals, birds, fish) that require lots of thread colors.

More "threads" to come!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Embroidery Thread - Is It All the Same?

Not really. Most embroiders use either rayon or polyester thread for the upper thread in most embroidery applications. Embroiders will have their preference as to which type they use. Generally customers don’t need to be concerned about what type their embroider uses but there are some exceptions. For example, if you’re purchasing embroidered uniforms that will receive heavy laundering with bleach, then polyester thread is necessary. Another example would be if you’ve had trouble with embroidery thread “bleeding” such as a fill (area) of red thread, then polyester thread is a better choice.

Friday, August 10, 2007

PMS (Pantone Matching System) Colors in Thread?

Your logo may be designed with PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors, a system where a specific reference number is associated with each color. If it’s important to maintain these exact colors for your embroidered logo, you can get an exact or close match in embroidery with a little extra work. Check with your embroider to see if the PMS colors in your logo are available in thread colors. Many thread colors are assigned a PMS number but there are more PMS print colors than thread colors. Sometimes more than one thread color is listed as a close match. This may be because there isn’t a perfect match or more than one match may exist because thread is available from different manufacturers. If more than one color is listed as a possible match then you might want to have your embroider order more than one thread color to see which color will work better.

More to come next post!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Extra Care Embroidery Items

Need custom embroidery for a special garment such as a wedding dress or christening gown? To get the best job you need to find an experienced embroiderer who does specialty embroidery. Start early (2-3 months before you need the item) and call different embroidery shops to see if they have experience with this type of work. Ask specific questions such as, “Do you embroider wedding gowns?” and” Do you have samples that you can show me?” You want to use an embroiderer who will carefully clean the machine work area before embroidering to avoid getting dirt, oil or grease on your garment. Make sure to discuss the font style, sizing, exact placement and thread color (usually tone-on-tone for wedding & christening dresses) to be used. This type of embroidery takes extra time, experience and care. Even though you may only be adding a name to a garment expect to pay more for embroidery on “extra care” items.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Right Care for the Best Impression

Giving your embroidered shirts a bit of extra care will help keep your shirts looking great! Before washing, turn embroidered garments inside out and wash with like colors. Avoid hot water and a hot dryer. Don’t leave wet garments in a pile before drying. For best results, dry clean dress shirts such as oxfords. With a little extra care, your custom embroidery will look sharp and you'll make a knockout first impression!

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Great Silk Touch Styles!!

Need pockets, long sleeves? No problem. The K500 Silk Touch shirt is available with long sleeves in men’s, ladies & youth styles and short & long sleeves with pockets. This versatile shirt also has a collar trim detail version. You can view all the great colors at
Custom Embroidered Polo Shirts!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Need a Great Shirt?

Need a great embroidered shirt for everyone in your group? The Port Authority K500 Silk Touch Sport Shirt (L500 & Y500 for ladies & youth) is available in fifteen colors! This polo shirt is constructed from a 65/35 poly/cotton blend that’s wrinkle resistant and easy to care for. It has a light weight pique fabric that is comfortable to wear and fade resistant. The K500 comes in sizes XS – 6XL for men and XS-XXL, plus 1X & plus 2X for ladies. This golf shirt embroiders well and is easy to keep looking sharp!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Custom or Stock?

When speaking with customers at Sun Embroidery Screen Printing occasionally someone will ask for a quick custom embroidered design for a gift. They’ll mention that they need a certain type of tree, boat or object that is representative of a special occasion, event or hobby in the gift receiver’s life. I usually suggest that they use a stock embroidery design with their choice of thread colors and personalized text. This solution works for most people. Although you may not get quite what you pictured, this is a quick, cost effective way to customize an embroidered shirt, bag or other item.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tips for Tanks

If you need to coordinate men’s and ladies tanks, manufacturers such as Anvil and Gildan offer women’s tanks that coordinate with men’s styles although you are limited to a few basic colors.

The “Hanes for Her” line offers tank tops in three different cuts: fitted, classic and relaxed fit. This line is great for getting the best fit when buying for a group of women that vary in size and shape. Not every color is available in each style but there is a range of pretty shades.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Get the Skinny About Tank Tops!

Custom embroidered or screen printed tank tops will keep your group cool in the summer but choosing the right style can be a challenge. Okay, men are easy but choosing the correct size and style for a group of women can be difficult.

Tank top styles for women run the gamut from tight-fittings styles that work best for teens to relaxed styles that are comfortable and flattering for older women. Junior /teen styles often contain spandex or are constructed from a ribbed knit fabric. These styles usually have thinner straps and are shorter in length so if showing “tummy” or becoming untucked is an issue, you may want to choose another style.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Add PUNCH to Your Logo!

If you pick a polo shirt style with an accent trim color that is in your embroidered logo, you can create a really sharp looking custom embroidered shirt. For example, if your business name is embroidered in black thread, choose a shirt with a black trim detail in the collar. This added color will reinforce your logo and you’ll have a great looking shirt. My personal preference is to pick a shirt style that has the trim color in just the collar. Some styles have trim on the packet and/or sleeve and IMO that can be too busy & actually detract from your business logo. Shirts with contrasting trim are usually a bit more expensive but the extra cost is worth it!

Friday, June 8, 2007

What Do We Sell?

As a provider of custom embroidered & screen printed apparel, we are often asked, “Do you sell hats, jackets, aprons, scrubs…. The answer is yes; but, we really like to think that we sell ADVERTISING. Custom embroidered & screen printed garments, headwear and bags are great for advertising a business, thanking customers and promoting an upcoming event. Logo wear, as it is sometimes known, is also excellent for introducing a new product or strengthening corporate identity. Shirts, hats and bags can be given to employees, friends and family. Don’t forget small children. Kids are seen and noticed so give them a shirt or hat. Remember, “You advertise wherever you go when you wear custom embroidery & screen printing”.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Jacket Backs, Children's

Jackets: custom embroidered jacket backs are great but the cost can be prohibitive. Expect to pay for the additional time involved to digitize (set-up) a custom jacket back design. If the cost is too expensive, consider using a stock embroidery design, simplified version of your custom design or just your business name or web address.

Children's Clothing: consider placing left chest embroidery center front for small children. If you're using the same design for children and adults, depending on the size of the design, you may want to have the design sized down for smaller shirts. Children are seen & noticed so don't forget them when advertizing your business with custom embroidery.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Knits, Sleeves??

Knits: Yes. Since embroidered stitches tend to “sink in” to loosely woven knits, you may need a background fill (block of embroidery in the same color as the garment). This fill acts as a foundation for your logo giving it a flat surface to lie on so your embroidery won’t sink into the weave of the knit. This technique is commonly used for custom embroidered knit caps.

Sleeves: Yes. Small embroidery designs place near the cuff of a short-sleeve polo shirt are easily embroidered. Long (4” plus) text placed long ways on a long-sleeve shirt is more difficult to set-up and embroider so expect to pay more for this type of placement.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Visors, Pockets

Visors: You are limited to 1” height x 4” width. Most logos will need some adjustments to fit. You may want to simplify your logo or just use your business name.

Pockets: As expected, you are limited to a small design. Pockets vary in size so a design that fits on one style may not work with another style. Also, pockets can vary in size depending on the size of the garment and whether it is a men’s or women’s style. If you need a pocket design for a large group, make sure the design works with the smallest sized shirt.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Can You Embroider On…?

One of the most common questions I get from customers is whether their custom embroidered logo can be embroidered on a particular item. Usually the answer is YES; but, sometimes small changes are needed to accommodate the type of garment.

T-shirts: Most left chest (heart size) logos can be embroidered on a T-shirt unless the logo is very stitch intensive. An example would be a logo with a large fill (e.g. rectangular area of solid stitches). This type of logo needs a heavier garment to support the extra stitches. Choosing a garment made from a heavier fabric such as a pique polo or sweatshirt would be a better choice.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Get The Word Out!

Need to advertise your business web address? A web address can be advertised on the back of a custom embroidered hat or shirt. On the back of a shirt, your address can be embroidered below the yoke or on the collar.

If you want to make a big impression, have your address embroidered on the back of a jacket. This works especially well if your web address is the same as your business address. You might consider dropping the "www" and capitalizing the first letter of each word if your name contains multiple words. Also, each word (or individual letters) can be embroidered in a different thread color to add more clarity. For example, if your business colors are red and blue and your name is " consider using Most important, don't forget to keep your text in a simple, easy to read font. Depending on the length of your name. you might need to use a font that is more narrow so that the letters take up less width.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Let Your Customers Advertise for You

Need a good give-away to promote an upcoming event? Custom embroidered visors are inexpensive & easy to distribute. Due to their simple construction, picking the correct style isn't really an issue, just choose a color that contrasts well with the colors in your logo. You may want to experiment with a brighter, more "fun" color than you usually use for embroidered hats or shirts, just make sure the color of your business name can be easily seen. Give out custom embroidered visors & let your customers advertise for you!

Friday, April 20, 2007

My Pick

What is my pick? For a women’s polo I like the Devon & Jones ladies pima cotton polo with the “Y” placket. This style is available in a range of colors, washes well, looks great wear after wear and has a men’s companion style. Gone are the days when women received their “men’s” polo, wore it once, realized that it wasn’t flattering and never wore it again. Just where was all that hem fabric supposed to tuck into anyway?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Comfortable Performance Fabrics Boost Confidence

Along with a better fit, new fabrics for women’s custom embroidered polos and knit tops have given a more comfortable feeling to ladies shirts. Pima cottons have a light, wonderful feel and wash well. Spandex gives a comfortable, curve-hugging look that is very feminine. Polos constructed from moisture-wicking fabrics help you stay dry, comfortable and confident.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Limeade? Cotton Candy??

The array of great styles come in new feminine colors such as lavender, soft pink, and pistachio. In t-shirts, color combinations such as a limeade/cotton candy tank and a pink/asphalt baseball tee bring pizzazz to custom embroidered shirts. Picking the right colored shirt will reinforce your logo. For example, a black ringer tee with a hot pink trim would work well for a logo that uses hot pink in the design. Want a new location for your design? Don’t limit yourself to left chest embroidery. Designs located below the neckline and near the hemline can be a fun alternative for ladies tees.

Coming…Fabrics with Function

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fashionable Features

The days are gone when women wore resized versions of a men’s companion shirt. Today, many women’s styles have a youthful, more feminine look with different collar options such as the “Y” placket and jonnie collar. Other styling features include different strap widths for tank tops, sleeve length options and women’s plackets with smaller scaled detailing. Companion styles, offering a women’s style that compliments the men’s version, are still available but without the former restrictions. Gone are the days when the cute styles were restricted to junior sizes. Today’s styles fit better and are fashionable to wear.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ladies: Get Your Best Fit in Polos and Knit Shirts

One of the best recent improvements in the apparel industry is the development of ladies styles that are sized to fit women. Women are no longer restricted to wearing a men’s styled shirt in a smaller size. Businesses would invest in custom embroidered shirts to help brand their corporate image but the women wouldn’t wear the “men’s” shirts. Today there are many women’s styles that fit comfortably and are fun to wear. Discard those once worn men’s shirts and read on!

How can you find the best women’s style for you? One of the primary considerations is the fit. The first thing to check when looking for women’s sizes is to make sure that you are not looking at juniors styles. Junior sizes are modeled on teens and tend to cling to the body. The overall length is often shorter and the sleeves may be shorter too. Once you verify that you are looking at women’s sizes, depending on which sizes you need, you may want to choose styles that have extended sizes. Port Authority brand carries many styles in plus sizes in addition to 1X and 2X sizing. Hanes “Hanes for Her” line includes knits cut to fit different silhouettes. Styles are available in “fitted”, classic” and “relaxed silhouettes. Style information includes a silhouette image showing how the style fits on the body. Choosing a brand with additional sizing options is a good choice when purchasing shirts for a group.

Next…Plackets, Pistachio & Soft Pink

Friday, March 16, 2007

What Is Your Hat Style?

What about cap pricing? As you might expect, styles with more details tend to have a larger price tag. The number of embroidery locations on a cap will affect the price. Expect to pay an additional fee if your caps are embroidered in more than one location. Caps run the gamut from “value” priced caps to designer styles. If you’re unsure about what style will best suite your budget consult your embroiderer. Most embroiderers have samples of styles they like. Occasionally an embroider may recommend against using a particular style because they think your design won’t work well on that style or that cap is difficult to embroider and you won’t be happy with the results.

Still not sure what baseball hat to pick? Ask your embroiderer! He or she can suggest styles that will work well with your logo and satisfy your needs. Most important, don’t forget to order plenty of hats so you have enough to give to your friends, family, customers and employees. Hats make great advertising! People wear hats everywhere and they are seen. Let them be seen wearing your hat advertising your business.

What is your hat style? My favorite is the Adams LP 101 pigment dyed cap. It’s your basic unconstructed, low profile cap in pigment dyed 100% cotton with a mesh lining and adjustable strap. Why this cap? Besides the great quality and styling, I love the leather strap, I'm partial to pigment dyed fabrics and it comes in sixteen different shades including Caribbean blue, coral and cactus!

What is your hat style?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Zippered Pocket? Scrunchie Back??

You may want to choose a hat style with a unique feature. Hyp makes a cap with a zippered pocket. If your need a scrunchie back then Adams has the cap for you. Port Authority carries a few caps with racing flames for racing fans and high visibility caps in safety yellow and orange for workers who must be seen. A few patterned fabric styles can be found including floral fabrics, tie dye and camouflage patterns. If you choose a patterned fabric just make sure that your design will be seen. If your logo contains a lot of detail then it is probably better to use a solid color cap unless you want a subtle, tone-on-tone look where the embroidery closely matches the cap’s fabric. Can’t find the right style in the right color? If you have a large order and are not rushed for time, custom made caps may work for you.

Do all hat styles fit all heads? Most styles come “one size fits all” but there are a few styles such as Yupoong’s Flexfit Cool & Dry Cap that are available in S/M & L/XL. Flexfit hats with the stretch sweatband are a good choice for those who want a snug fitting cap.

The Finale…

Friday, March 2, 2007

Cool Max, Cool Crown…

Don’t forget to check out all the style details before choosing your cap. Details range from contrasting eyelets to stripes. And what are eyelets? Most styles have eyelets in the side of the crown. Often these are sewn with thread that matches the color of the crown. Sometimes they are brass grommets. Styles with contrasting brim, sandwich visor, bill decoration, stripes and contrast stitching can give your hat a unique look. Check out Port Authority’s Vintage Washed Contrast Stitch Cap and Big Accessories’ Brushed Twill Structured Cap with stripes. Trim color details can make your hat stand out in the crowd. If you coordinate these colors with the colors in your logo, you can create a really unique-looking custom embroidered hat.

One of the newest trends in cap design is providing styles that help keep you cool. Features such as mesh linings, “Cool Max” sweatbands and “Cool & Dry” fabrics wick away moisture so you stay comfortable. Check out Port Authority’s Signature Sandwich Bill Cap with a Cool Max sweatband and Yupoong’s Flexfit Cool & Dry X-Cap with mesh fabric and a sweatband designed to keep perspiration away and let air in.

Another option is choosing a hat with the manufacturer’s logo embroidered on the cap. Manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas, Champion and Ping have great hats and depending on your needs this may be a good choice for you.

You’re Almost Ready to Place Your Order...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Location, location, location…

You’ve decided on a profile, closure and fabric type. What other hat features should you consider? When having your logo embroidered on a hat it is important to remember that you might not be able to put your entire logo on the front of the hat. Most hats can accommodate a design that is 2 ¼” high by 4” wide. What if your logo doesn’t fit into this area? Smaller text may need to be eliminated or enlarged. A vertically orientated logo may need to be reorganized to have a horizontal organization. Your embroiderer can help you adjust your logo so that it will work for caps. If you have a large logo, a high profile style may be better for your design because there is a larger embroidery area. Your embroiderer may be able to embroider your vertically orientated design on low profile cap but you won't be able to see the top part of the design when the hat is worn.

When reworking your logo for caps it is important to emphasize your business name. So what happens to that small text you eliminated from the front of your hat? You might be able to have your tag line, web address or phone number embroidered on the back of your hats. Additional information can also be added to the sides of hats. Keep in mind that only small designs and limited text can fit in these areas. Don’t feel like you have to put your design on the front of a cap. Sometimes a small, subtle logo on the side of a cap may be all you need. What about embroidery on the bill? Unless you are having custom hats made this isn’t possible because embroidery on this section must be sewn before the stiff part of the bill is added.

Next… Contrast Stitch, Cool Max & more

Friday, February 16, 2007

Enzyme Wash, Mesh, Sandwich & More

Hats come in a variety of fabrics including wool, twill, brushed cotton, canvas and mesh. Some hats are constructed from fabric that has received a special treatment such as pigment dye and enzyme wash to give it a worn look and comfortable feel. Some styles are available in different fabric combinations such as nylon/mesh. When considering fabric types keep in mind what activities will be performed by the hat wearer. You may love a particular wool hat during the winter but your landscaping crew won’t wear it during the hotter months. Fabric colors should also be considered. A black hat will be tolerant of stains but the dark color will attract heat in the summer.

Speaking of color, hats come in a rainbow of colors and color combinations. From desert camouflage to tangerine there’s a color for everyone. It’s important to consider the colors in your design when choosing a hat color. You need to pick a hat color that is different from your logo colors and contrasts well with your business name. You may want to pick a two-color hat with the color of the bill, sandwich or trim being the same color as your business name. This will emphasize your name and help make your logo look really sharp.

Don’t Order Your Hats Just Yet! Stay tuned for “fitting” your logo on your hat, embroidery locations, & more.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Buckram, D-Ring...Those Details

Finding your embroidered hat “style” is somewhat of a personal choice depending on what you think looks good and is comfortable. But what about all those details in the catalogue descriptions? First, what is “profile”? The profile describes the height of the front part of the crown, the part that covers your head. Profiles range from unconstructed/ low profile to high profile/ trucker. Unconstructed caps lie close to your head but aren’t tight fitting. Constructed or high profile caps are stiff in the front crown area so that the higher profile and shape of the crown is maintained. Often buckram (a stiff backing) is used inside the front of the cap to keep this shape. Hats with the same profile can vary in shape. For example, trucker hats have a fairly flat front appearance while other high profile hats have a curved, “athletic” look.

Baseball hats come with a variety of adjustable back closures attached to a strap or fabric tab. Different types include Velcro, snap, D-ring and buckle. Flexfit caps are constructed with a stretch headband inside the cap instead of a closure. This style is great for workers who want a snug fitting hat that won’t blow off.

Another style consideration is the type of bill. Bills range from being almost flat to fairly curved. Some styles have a short bill while others have an extended bill, a good choice when you need to keep out the sun.

Coming…Choosing the Right Fabric & Color for Your Hats

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Flexfit, Trucker or Buckram, What Is Your Hat Style?

You’ve decided to purchase decorated baseball hats to promote your business. Why hats? Hats are fun to wear, inexpensive and they are a great way to advertise your business. You flip through some catalogues to check out the different styles and you realize there are hundreds of caps, some with unknown descriptions. Unconstructed, buckram, flexfit? What do these terms mean? How do you choose a hat style that will work best for you and your business?

First, you may be wondering if your hats should be screen printed or embroidered. I strongly suggest embroidery. If you need lots of hats for a giveaway and your design doesn’t have many colors then screen printed hats may work for you. In that case, choosing a hat style is easier because you are limited to five panel hats (no center front seam) for screen printing. Otherwise, embroidered caps will have a higher valued appearance, enhance your logo and be worn more often.

To come…Hat Profiles, Closures & Bills.