As you can imagine, embroidery works a little differently to printing.

Embroidery machines need to be told where, when and how to place the stitches required to create your design, and this information can't be coded into a standard image file, like a PNG or JPG. For that we need something a little more specialised: we need to digitise your design file. 

But before we digitise your artwork, there are some guidelines that need to be followed to make sure your design is suitable for embroidery. These guidelines apply to every product we embroider. 

Design file guidelines for flat embroidery

Embroidery is great. It's durable, vibrant, and looks fantastic. But it has some limitations imposed by the production method, which means your design file will need to meet certain criteria to be suitable for digitising.

Maximum size of embroidery

This varies depending on the product you're having embroidered:

  • Beanies - 11 x 4 cm rectangle
  • Caps - 10 x 5 cm rectangle
  • Clothing - 10 x 10 cm circle

Your design can be any shape as long as it fits within the boundary of the product you're having embroidered.

Minimum size of design elements

Embroidery can only be so detailed before the finer details are lost. With this in mind we recommend an absolute minimum width of 0.5 cm for flat embroidery.

Thread colours 

For flat embroidery you can use a maximum of 4 colours.

The colours used can be changed, even after your design has been digitised. This is because the digitised file does not determine the colour of thread used, that's decided when it comes to fulfilling your order.


Please be aware that it's unlikely the thread colours used will match your design exactly. Whilst we make every effort to match colours as closely as possible, threads are dyed before they can be used for embroidery.

Negative space

When setting up your artwork we advise against using negative space. For the best result we suggest filling in any negative space in your design with a solid colour. For example if we are printing the above design on a white cap by filling in the text white we get the same effect but get a much neater result as you can see below.

Design file guidelines for 3D embroidery

3D embroidery can really make your design pop but can be restricted by what is possible which means there are a few best practices to follow to get the most out of this process.

Maximum size of 3D embroidery

3D embroidery is currently only available on caps. The print area is the same as flat embroidery at 12 x 5cm rectangle.

Your design can be any shape as long as it fits within the boundary of the product you're having embroidered.

Minimum size of design elements

3D embroidery needs a wider design area to ensure the foam within the design can be tightly sealed underneath the thread otherwise more of the foam will be visible underneath the thread.

The simpler and wider the design the better the result and we recommend an absolute minimum width of 0.75 cm.

The design below is at exactly 0.75cm where you can start to see some of the foam start to poke through the thread.

Thread colours 

You can use a maximum of 2 colours with 3D foam.

The colours used can be changed, even after your design has been digitised. This is because the digitised file does not determine the colour of thread used, that's decided when it comes to fulfilling your order.

Please be aware that it's very unlikely the thread colours used will match your design exactly. Whilst we make every effort to match colours as closely as possible, threads are dyed before they can be used for embroidery.

We also recommend choosing white or black or very light or very dark colours; the foam we use is either black or white, so foam may me visible through thread colours that contrast more.


Negative space

When setting up your artwork we advise against using negative space. For the best result we suggest filling in any negative space in your design with a solid colour. For example if we are printing the above design on a white cap by filling in the text white we get the same effect but get a much neater result.

We recommend using either back, white, very dark or very light colours in your design as we use with white or black foam to fill the embroidery. When using different colours you can sometimes see the foam through the threads so by keeping to very dark or very light colours from our selection above you can ensure this as obvious in your design.

Embroidery FAQ

Can I use the same digitised file across products?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that the digitised file will need to be compatible with the product, otherwise it will need to be digitised again. Beanies and clothing can only have flat embroidery, and the clothing boundary is a square as opposed to the rectangles for hats. 

3D embroidery uses a different digitised file than flat

If you're in doubt, get in touch. We'll let you know if your design will be cross-compatible, or what you'll need to change for it to work on all products. 

How much does digitising cost?

The costs is £10 plus VAT per design. Thread colours can be changed at no additional cost, but re-digitising a design from 3D to flat, or vice versa, will require a second digitising fee. 

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