More top tips to help you run your garment decoration business effectively, efficiently and profitably

How can I improve the quality of my embroidery on caps?

Embroidery on caps has been popular for many years and it’s easy, as long as you follow the rules.

Design Have the design digitized for caps. Don’t try and use a design digitized for knitwear as it probably won’t work. Not only is the cap a woven material it also presents a curved surface. Correct digitization is especially important where text is concerned as the order in which the blocks of embroidery are applied will be different. Failure to work to these rules can result in a pattern going off-line.

Backing Because caps are made from stable woven fabric there is a tendency to think that backing is not needed – it is! Use a heavyweight backing. You can buy this ready-cut to the correct width. Firstly the backing will do the job of adding extra stability, but it also serves another purpose as it covers the panel seams which can be troublesome. Even though these seams are flattened they can, occasionally, catch on the arm of the machine. This will not only ruin the cap, the design, or both, but it has been known to cause damage to the machine, too.

Needle Use the correct needle. Because the cap fabric is closely woven it can cause the needle to deflect, which can result in untidy embroidery and missed stitches. You need to use a needle that will avoid this problem. Contact your supplier and ask them to recommend the best needle for the job.

Retro tip: Some caps used to be supplied with a cardboard stiffener for point of sale presentation, and some still are. Some embroiderers liked to use this stiffener in place of using proper backing. Don’t: the needle has a hard enough task as it is without making it even more difficult by forcing it to pass through a sheet of cardboard.

Roy Burton, Your Embroidery Services

Quick tip: Stand on a rubber mat when you’re using a heat press in a carpeted area. The heat press generates static electricity and a rubber mat will help to reduce the risk of shocks.
Martin Borley, Target Transfers