As you can imagine, embroidery works a little differently from printing.
Embroidery machines need to be told where, when and how to place the stitches required to create your design - this information cannot be coded into a standard image file like PNG or JPG as it would have no instructions for what is being 'drawn'. For that, we need something more specialised: digitising requires an artist's touch!
But before any work begins on converting designs from paper onto fabric, some guidelines must first apply. These will vary depending on which product has been chosen, but they're important factors worth considering before ordering embroidered designs.
Design Guidelines for Flat Embroidery
Embroidery is a versatile and beautiful product that adds warmth to any garment or accessory. Designs can be created in 3D or flat styles, with multiple colour choices available for the most realistic embroidered appearance.
The design file needs to meet certain criteria before it's digitized, and the maximum size of the embroidery depends on which product you're using.
Size of embroidery
The size of our embroidery varies across hats, but on all clothing, it’s always 10x10cm (this will cover an area about the size of a drink coaster).
Beanies: 11 x 4 cm rectangle.
Caps: 12 x 5 cm rectangle.
Clothing: 10 x 10 cm circle.
Your design can be any shape or size, as long as it fits within the boundary of the product you're having embroidered.
You can make your embroidery look more creative if you try to thicken the finest details so they won't be lost.
For best results, we recommend a minimum line width of 0.125 cm for flat embroidery projects. Any smaller than this, and the threads can become lost in the fabric and appear messy.
For text, please stick to a minimum width of 0.5cm per letter.
We've updated our service to allow 6 colours per design instead of 4, and we've also added 16 premium thread colours! In addition to our 16 standard colours, this means you have a huge 32 colour palette to choose from.
Our premium threads are an additional £0.99 each because they're not part of the standard range; there’s extra labour involved in using those shades!
You can also choose to have fewer colours; for example, if your design is all black, choose the thread colour 'Black' first, and then 'None' for the rest.
The colours used can be changed, even after your design has been digitised. The digitised file does not determine the colour of thread used; that's decided when fulfilling your order.
Please be aware that it's unlikely the thread colours will match exactly with what you designed in mind - threads are dyed before they can be embroidered on fabric!
Below is a list of the standard coloured threads we use for embroidery and their corresponding hex code as well as Pantone Colour number:
And below is a list of our premium thread colours:
Please don't take these thread colours as a guarantee of the colours in your design after embroidery. Due to inconsistencies in dye batches and the differences between colours displayed on the screen and seen in person, the colours you see here may look slightly different in person.
For the best result, we advise against using negative space in your work. Fill any empty areas of your design with a solid colour for a more polished look and feel. For example, if you're embroidering on black textiles like this beanie, covering it up with white will give you a much neater finish!
Design Guidelines for 3D Embroidery
3D embroidery can really make your design pop, but there are restrictions on what is possible. There are a few best practices to follow to get the most out of this process.
3D embroidery is currently only available on caps, and the print area is the same as flat embroidery at 12 x 5cm rectangle.
3D embroidery needs a wider design area to ensure the foam within the design can be tightly sealed underneath the thread; otherwise, more 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.
You can use a maximum of 2 colours with 3D foam.
We recommend choosing white or black, or very light or very dark colours. The foam we use is either black or white, so foam may be visible through thread colours that contrast more.
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, so if you want to use the same design for both embroidery options, you'll need to pay the digitising fee twice to have two files created.
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 cost is £12.60 per design. Thread colours can be changed at no additional cost, and the same digitised file can be used as many times as needed.
Can I increase the number of colours in my design?
If your design has been digitised for 2 colours, but you now want to use 4, the design would most likely need to be digitised again. The digitised file includes information about thread changes throughout your design, and this information will change if you increase or decrease the number of different colours used in your design.
Can I change the size of my embroidery after it's been digitised?
To change the size of your design it must be re-digitised as a new design.
After your design has been digitised it is fixed at the size you originally specified and can't be changed because the digitised file tells the embroidery machine exactly where to place each stitch to create your design at that size.