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Beginner's handbook

All about embroidery – start offering hats on your online store

By Reading Time: 2 minutes

The world is changing – so far Printful has only offered Direct-to-Garment (or DTG) print products. But this is about to change as we move into the recently launched embroidery, and the soon-to-come screen printing.

Embroidery is a little different than DTG printing, and so the process and guidelines are a bit different. But no worries, because it’s easily doable, and in no time you’ll be offering styling hats, caps, beanies to your customers.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 13.53.05

Choosing a design that works well on hats

One of the limitations of embroidery is that you don’t have as much freedom of color as you would with DTG. With embroidery, you’ll have to limit the colors and intricacy of your design. “Less is more” is a good motto to go by. Choose images that are simple, sharp, and high definition.

Here’s an example of a bad image to use for embroidery. The pixelized, unclear sides make it difficult to convert to an embroidery design.

Small sizes, unclear lines are not a good fit for images to be made into embroidery files

Here’s a good example of a design. The minimal colors, sharp, clear sides make it ideal.

High resolution images with sharp, clear lines work best

Not all designs that you have on your other print products can be translated to a hat design. They have to be sized down and fit the guidelines. Fine lines should also be avoided, because they might be too small to stitch nicely.

Converting your design into an embroidery file

So far in Printful you’ve always had to upload your print file, and we take it from there. But for embroidery you need to submit a special type of file for our printers to be able to create your hat.

We have to digitize the file, this means converting if from Bitmap or Vector into a digitized .EPS file with data/stitch information that’s readable by our Brother Embroidery Machine.

It may sound difficult, but all YOU have to do is send us the file – we’ll take care of the digitization process. When your print file is uploaded to your order, you’ll be charged a one-time fee of $6.50 for digitizing that particular image.

Technical info you should know

When you’re thinking about your hat design, keep in mind that you’re limited to a maximum of 4 colors of flat embroidery, and max 2 colors of 3D puff embroidery. Here are the colors you can choose from:

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 13.52.39

Make sure you check out the guidelines for even more detailed info on preparing your embroidery files.

These are the hats you can choose from for embroidery

These are the hats you can choose from for embroidery

So all that’s left to do is to choose your hat, send in your file to be digitized, and start selling!

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  1. SF

    It’s all very promising! Love how there are new things being added all the time.

    Any chance that a small size embroidery option will be available for hoodies and sweaters at some point?

    Would love to have that option for these products in my shop.

    1. Julia Gifford Post author

      That’s a really great suggestion, and it’s a logical direction to develop. But we can’t give you an estimated arrival time – just “on the horizon”. But it’s good to hear your interest – feedback always informs our decisions on what to develop next.

  2. Kenneth Montgomery

    Hey, are there any updates to SF’s request. I too would love to offer embroidery hoodies and sweaters. Thanks!

    1. Julia Gifford Post author

      Hi Kenneth, sorry to say that embroidered hoodies aren’t planned within the foreseeable future. But good to know that there’s interest, thanks for letting us know!

  3. Antonio

    Are there any options for custom labeling on hats? I would love to use the service for my cap designs but I can’t find any information on custom branding any of the hats with some kind of label.

  4. Kerby

    Hey, I have an online store with Shopify which I’ve added t-shirts too recently using Printful. I am still adding more products to the store. I would love to add hats to my store using Printful but I do not know how to. It seems like it can not be done the same way that I added the t-shirts. Can anyone help me?

    1. Julia Gifford Post author

      Hi Kerby,
      To add hats, you’ll have to do that manually, since that option isn’t available through the generator. You’ll have to upload the products to your store first, then go back to your Settings->Store and go to “sync” and then manually sync each variant. Hope this helps!

  5. Joquan


    I see that the color options for embroidery you have a color labeled as dijon. Is that color close to a metallic gold or more of a mustard color? I know you don’t have metallic gold as an option, so I wanted to see if it was close to it. I’m looking to have gold or goldish thread for a navy hat. Thanks!

    1. Julia Gifford Post author

      HI Joquan, I asked our head of embroidery about this, and this was his response:
      “I would say Dijon is closer to a Metalic Gold, it would look great with a Navy hat.”
      Hope this helps!

  6. Sam Walker

    Hi there,

    I got a sample embroidered hat, and now I want to add the hats to my store, but I can’t figure out how. I am integrated with shopify but I can’t even add the hat to my Printful store, only make an order manually.

    1. Julia Gifford Post author

      Hi Sam, it’s possible that you’re trying to add the products by going to Stores->Add. However embroidery products aren’t available through that method. What you’ll have to do is first to create the product manually in your Shopify store (that also means that you’ll need product images, that you can take or you can have our Photography services to that for you -> Then you go to your Printful account and go to Stores->Sync. Then you’ll see the products you’ve just created in your store, and you’ll be able to match it up with the product you want to fulfill. You can check out this video:

  7. Matt Briscoe

    Hi…I love the option to do embroidered hats However, the embroidery area height is very small (2″). Is this a limitation of the machines you guys use? Is there any plans to increase this in the future.

    1. Julia Gifford Post author

      Hi Matt, yes, that’ll be a manufacturing limitation. At the moment there aren’t any plans to change this, though we are constantly developing, so you never know.

  8. corry

    So did you raise the prices? You’re charging $20 now, versus what the article says: $5 one-time fee.

    Please explain.

    1. Nora Inveiss

      Hi Corry,

      Thanks for your question – sorry, you’re right. We had our old price listed. We’re now charging a $10 digitization fee.

  9. John Small

    I have a website through Spotify and I just added a dad hat to my hat collection with two colors (black and old gold). On printify it comes out perfectly but when it gets added to my website only the Black part of the yarn shows up. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Liva Spandega

      Hey John,

      Have you tried getting in touch with our support team? You can reach them at – describe the problem in as much detail as you can, and they should be able to help you. From your description here it’s not quite clear where exactly the problem appears.

      You can also take a look at this blog post for some more info on creating embroidery products.

  10. Peter

    Do you know more about 3d puff embroidery or can you give suggestions on how to remove the foam properly after stitching it on foam, is there any particular thing do we have to apply on digitizing ?

    1. Marianna Zvaigzne

      Hi, Peter!

      Issues with the foam are most common when the shapes of the design are too thin (less than 0,2″) or the elements of the graphic don’t have the required spacing (minimum of 0,05″). For more information on the dos and don’ts of preparing embroidery files, I suggest checking out this page, where you’ll also find a link to our embroidery guidelines.

      We’ll take care of the digitization for you, all you need to do is make sure your print file is prepared according to our guidelines! 🙂

  11. Jack Tonge

    Hi, for the Yupoong dad hat there are two gold options for the embroidery thread: gold 1951 and old gold 1672. Which of these is closer to a metallic colouring? I am looking for almost a shiny gold thread if possible as opposed to yellow.

    You help will be much appreciated!

    1. Nora Inveiss

      Hi Jack! I’d say the old gold 1672 is closer to a metallic color; the gold 1951 is more yellow. I suggest ordering an embroidery sample – it’s a sample of our thread colors and stitching styles. That way you can see in person before ordering a hat.

    1. Giedrė Šulčinskaitė

      Glad you found it useful. We don’t have a separate tutorial because we digitize embroidery files for our customers ourselves.

      1. Giedre Kronberga

        Hi Teodora,

        You can’t use your own digitized file for embroidery. That’s because all embroidery files have to be digitized in a way that our printers can read them.

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