Advice and answers from the Inkthreadable Team

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 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:

  • Caps - a 12 x 5 cm rectangle. Your design can be any shape as long as it fits within this boundary. 
  • Beanies - a 12 x 4 cm rectangle. Your design can be any shape as long as it fits within this boundary. 

Minimum size of design elements

Embroidery can only be so detailed before the finer details are lost. With this in mind we recommend the following:

  • Regular embroidery - an absolute minimum width of 0.5 cm.
  • Embroidery with 3D foam - an absolute minimum width of 0.75 cm.

Thread colours 

The amount of colours available depends on whether or not you're using 3D foam:

  • Regular embroidery - a maximum of 4 colours.
  • Embroidery with 3D foam - a maximum of 2 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 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.

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