Saturday, February 20, 2010

Embroidery On The Bill?

Can hats be embroidered on the bill and side? Occasionally I receive requests for custom embroidery on the bill and side of caps. Often these inquiries include images of hats with this type of design. We've all seen these designs so it must be doable, right? While its possible to embroider a small logo on the side of a hat its not feasible to embroider on the bill after the hat has been assembled.

Due to embroidery machine limitations, hat front designs must be started approximately ¼ inch above the brim, thus preventing the embroiderer from embroidering to the brim. When embroidered the bill area, the needle must penetrate the bill at a high speed while maintaining consistent thread tension from the upper thread and lower bobbin thread. Because the brim is supported by a heavy piece of cardboard, the needle can't penetrate this thickness to make a stitch. Thus, the bill can only be embroidered before it is assembled.

So, what about the bill designs you've seen? Those hats are from large quantity runs where it was cost effective to have the design embroidered before the caps were assembled. While the embroidered bill look is "cool", most orders aren't large enough to consider having the hats embroidered before they are sewn together.