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Fashion Trends: Getting Started with Custom Embroidery

By on April 27th, 2021 Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s no secret that fashion repeats itself. While some fashion trends would be better left in the past (looking at you, popcorn shirt), there are times when a forgotten oldie is just the thing. Right now custom embroidery has returned to the limelight and embroidered apparel has become increasingly popular. From high-end to casual clothing, it seems custom embroidery is, if not one every corner, definitely on every block.

Despite the advance of machine embroidery, which takes less time and effort, embroidery with its classy, personal touch still represents a slower, more personal attitude towards fashion. 

That’s why every apparel store owner should know that this design technique is the way to create uniquely personal and noticeable fashion items. To help you jump on the trend as quickly as possible, let’s take a look at some of the most popular embroidered products right now and explore some tips on how you can get started right away.

At the end of the article, you’ll also find free downloadable embroidery graphics that will help you get started.

Embroidered Products

In the age of fast fashion, we’re used to seeing apparel items in thousands of exact copies all over the world. An embroidered detail, no matter how small, adds that little extra twist to an otherwise simple outfit.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular products you can embroider.

Embroidered t-shirts

The t-shirt might seem like the most basic fashion item, but it’s also the most versatile. After all, a good t-shirt never goes out of style. 

Creating your custom embroidery designs on a shirt is a good starting point because this clothing item can be worn and styled for many different occasions and sold to different target audiences.

Embroidered jackets, hoodies, and sweatshirts

While t-shirts are highly favored items because of their versatility, when it comes to embroidery, jackets, hoodies, and sweatshirts are the ones that take the cake. 

Custom embroidery for jackets is one of the most popular design techniques and can make an otherwise simple garment come to life by adding a pop of texture and color. Denim doesn’t work well with printing, but it’s always been a close friend to embroidery, thanks to its durability and wrinkle-resistance qualities.

Couple with embroidered denim jackets
Source: Printful


With the rise of loungewear and streetwear fashion, hoodies and sweatshirts are also great products to embroider. Adding a unique logo on these casual wear items gives you a higher chance to stand out among your competitors.

Woman with an embroidered sweatshirt
Source: Printful

Embroidered hats

A hat is one of the most noticeable accessories one can have, especially if highlighted with a unique design. For example, the bucket hat is a very popular choice of streetwear, and it makes frequent appearances on catwalks all over the world.

By adding custom embroidery to a hat, the design becomes part of an already bold piece. So don’t be afraid to go wild when creating designs for the headwear in your store.

Woman with a bucket hat
Source: Printful

One of the best things about embroidered items is that they are eye-catching not only in real life but also in your online store. That’s why adding them to your product list can help drive sales and make your brand more recognizable, personal, and trend-setting.

Embroidery design tips

Now that you’re familiar with the most popular products for your custom embroidery, here are some design tips that will help you along the way.

Choose the look

Embroidered logos and designs work great on most knits and cotton blends. However, it’s important to pay attention to the fabric and its weight. For example, denim is more durable and wrinkle-resistant, therefore a great canvas for all kinds of embroidery. Performance fabrics, on the other hand, are designed to be worn for training and are usually more lightweight. To avoid wrinkling, these types of fabrics are best suited for small embroidery designs.

The great thing about custom embroidery is that you can also choose fabrics and patterns, such as tie-dye or denim, that are not suitable for other design techniques!

Choose the placement

When it comes to apparel, you can choose between left and center chest embroidery. Hoodies are highly popular for center chest and t-shirts for the left chest designs. For a super trendy back embroidery, choose a denim jacket

As for the most noticeable accessory—the hat—front is the most popular placement, while the sides and the back are commonly used for branding purposes.

Woman posing
Source: Printful

Follow the embroidery file guidelines

For your embroidered design to come out just right, follow our requirements and guidelines. Because of the way embroidery machines work, small details and gradients don’t translate very well, but you can have lots of fun with solid shapes and color blocking!

Embroidery file and design
Source: Printful

Where to start

If you’ve only been doing prints, branching out to embroidery might seem like an unknown territory since it’s a completely different production technique. But Printful’s got you covered! Here’s what you should know about embroidery before you get started on the designs:

  • If you’re not sure whether embroidery’s for you, order some samples for yourself.
  • Don’t have the designs yet? Our design services team has created some pretty sweet sample graphics that are yours to use.
  • There are different types of embroidery. When it comes to shirts and aprons, Printful offers flat embroidery where stitches are embroidered flat on the product. Hats are a bit more robust, so you can pick between flat, 3D Puff, and Partial 3D Puff embroidery.
Woman smiling and eating pancakes
Source: Printful

Embroidery requires a special type of file our machines can recognize—one that is digitized—so when you upload an embroidery file to your order, you’ll be charged a one-time fee for digitizing that particular image. The fee depends on the type and placement of your design:

  • Standard digitization fee for most designs: $6.50 (€5.75) per file
  • Designs created in our Design Maker’s Text Tool: $3.95 (€3.70) per file
  • Designs on the back or sides of a hat: $2.95 (€2.50) per file
  • Adjusting flat embroidery for hats to apparel: $2.95 (€2.50)

If you order 25+ embroidery products, you get free digitization for all the files you submit in the order and can use them repeatedly at no extra cost. Free digitization is also available as part of Printful Pro. With the subscription plan, you’ll skip the fee for every new embroidery design you add.

woman with a pineapple
Source: Printful

Note that embroidered products are generally a bit more expensive than their printed equivalents. To learn how to market expensive products, read our blog article on how to use smart pricing and selling tactics.

So decide on the vibe you want your customers to feel, pick the product that reflects it most, and start designing custom-embroidered details!

Embroider away!

Embroidery is infiltrating the fashion industry, one stitch at a time. And for any retailer, it’s essential to follow important trends to attract new customers. After all, custom embroidery represents a bold, personal, and fresh take on products that otherwise might seem quite ordinary.

So go ahead—take a look at the products in our catalog, download the free embroidery graphics and start selling.

This blog post was originally published in July 2018; it has since been updated.

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Ilva is a Content Marketing Specialist with a Bachelor’s degree in media production. At Printful, she specializes in product marketing and has a passion for content creation, visual arts, and social media.

Comments

    1. Ilze Folkmane

      Hi Kelvin! This option won’t be available in the nearest future, but it’s definitely something that we’re considering.

  1. Ejeta kelvin

    I always try to get access to as much Fashion items as i want because, becoming a fashion designer has been my dream ever since i was a boy. although i have been to so many amazing fashion shows i have never felt more alive because all i really need is to be toe designer and not just some random boy sitting by and watch the show. This content is no doubt very engaging. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking it weekly to read more contents like this. Open this link to reach my website and check out its contents. Please let me know if this okay with you. Many Thanks

  2. Sergej Yakymenko

    Will we get a larger embroidery area on the whole width of the chest? For example for t-shirts and hoodies

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, Sergej, unfortunately, it’s not planned for the nearest future, as our equipment isn’t suitable for such a large-scale embroidery.

  3. Rad

    Great! What about logo embroidery for the denim jackets, is that going to be available any time soon? As far as now, you can only do embroidery text on the back there, which is such a shame imo. Thanks:)

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, Rad, there’s no ETA available for this feature just yet, but we hope to add it in the future.

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