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Printful 101

All about embroidery – start offering hats on your online store

By Reading Time: 3 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 idea.

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 $8.95 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. 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.

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. 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.

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