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Everything You Need to Know about Ordering a Custom Embroidered Garment

Eventually there will come a time when you want to put your logo on some high-quality apparel. Whether it’s for the high school golf team, end-of-the-year presents for your staff, or work uniforms, that time will come. In fact, that time may have already come and that’s why you’ve found your way to this blog post.

While ordering an embroidered garment is just as easy as ordering some screen printed t-shirts, there is a different process involved in getting your logo onto your apparel.

Let’s go over the most frequently asked questions we get about embroidery – feel free to jump ahead to the question you need answered the most using this handy list:

Which promo items can I have embroidered?

In general you can embroider hats, jackets, polo shirts, backpacks, padfolios, coolers, towels, tote bags, and blankets. For a full list of items, go to our homepage and search “embroidery.”

You can enter your thread matches to our order form and the exact color will be applied to your design.

You can also update your embroidery color  in the “Logo Setup” section of our exclusive No Surprise Pricing table:

What is the benefit of having my item embroidered instead of screen printed?

There are pros and cons to both embroidered and screen printed items.

Embroidered items can cost a little more, but their perceived value is much higher. The imprint will also last a lot longer since the embroidery won’t fade away with the passing of years and tons of washes.

You should also consider the fact that an embroidered logo literally stands out from your item. Screen printing sets a very fine layer of ink to your product; embroidery has more mass to it so it will rest slightly higher than your item.

Also the majority of embroidered items allow you to have multiple colors without having to pay extra. The allowance of extra colors makes embroidery ideal for schools and organizations who have a multi-color logo and don’t want to simplify their color palate.

Pro tip: if you’re looking at a fuzzy and/or fleece item, it’s better to go with an embroidered imprint. Due to the uneven nature of fleece, screen printed logos have the tendency to crack or flake off.

What kind of artwork do I need?

You’re in luck! While most promotional products distributors like Quality Logo Products® generally need vector artwork to process your order, this is not the case with embroidery. While we strongly encourage using vector artwork, any high-quality image file will work. This is because all of the images are digitized and then programmed into the embroidery machine.

If you do chose to use raster artwork (.jpeg, .gif, etc.), make sure the image is a little bigger than the area you’re going to have embroidered. The clearer the image, the better quality of embroidery.

Unsure if your image is good enough? Then using vectored artwork will ensure that your logo looks clear and crisp on your final product.

What is digitizing?

Digitizing is the act of taking your artwork and turning it into a digital file that the embroidery machines can read. Once that digital file is uploaded, the embroidery machines can stitch out your logo onto your garments. Digitizing lets the factory know exactly how many stitches it will take to recreate your logo.

Who does the digitizing?

Different factories have different policies and fees for digitizing artwork. Quality Logo Products® also has their own artwork services that can digitize your logo or design. Depending on the garment you want embroidered, our reps will work with you to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck.

What is stitch count?

Stitch count is how many stitches it will take to replicate your logo or design on your item. Surprisingly, it takes a lot of stitches to recreate a logo on a garment. The included stitches are determined by the factory.

It is always possible to get more stitches on your garments if your logo needs them. Just keep in mind that the more stitches required to finish a garment (over the amount included in your base price), the more expensive your item will be.

How is the stitch count of my logo determined?

Don’t worry, you will know how many stitches you need before your product goes into production!

Once Quality Logo Products® has your artwork we obtain a stitch count estimate so you get the most accurate pricing.

If you would like to estimate your stitch count before sending in your logo, take a look at this chart:


To estimate a stitch count, hold up what you are considering having embroidered up against this chart. As you can see, there are 16 larger squares with 16 smaller squares inside of each larger square. For every large square your item/logo covers, you can estimate that it will be at least 2,000 stitches. For every small square you can estimate that it will be 125 stitches.

For example, if your logo covers four large squares you can estimate that it will take 8,000 stitches to completely recreate your logo on an item. If the item you have your eye on only includes 7,000 stitches in the setup, you may have to pay a little more to get all 8,000.

However, remember that this is simply an estimate. Quality Logo Products® will double check your stitch count with the factory so you get the most accurate pricing before you commit to buying.

What thread colors can I use?

You have a very large selection of colors to choose from. A good place to start is with our Embroidery Color Matcher. However, this list does not reflect every single color at our factories’ disposal. There is another way to find the thread colors on particular items.

Say you’re interested in the Port Authority Challenger Jacket. You can see the available thread colors under “How We Add Your Logo” on the Product Details Page.

As you can see, there are a ton of embroidery colors as options.

Please note: As you are looking at these colors on a computer monitor, you will not see the exact color. However, the colors will be extremely similar.

Can I use multiple thread colors on my items?

We know that the majority of company logos and eye-catching designs have more than one color in them. Since embroidered imprints are programmed into a machine and don’t require any kind of screens, it’s easy to switch from one color of thread to another.

Absolutely! We know that the majority of company logos and eye-catching designs have more than one color in them. Since embroidered imprints are programmed into a machine and don’t require any kind of screens, it’s easy to switch from one color of thread to another.

You can see the number of thread colors available for your product under “How We Add Your Logo” in the section:  Maximum # of Logo Colors

For example, here is the Decoration Options tab for the Sweatshirt Blanket:

Please note: On certain items we have a maximum number of colors for no additional charge per color. If you want more than the maximum thread colors, you will have to pay a small fee for every extra thread color.

Can I have garments embroidered in more than one location?

Of course – as long as there is an option for that. Some products may only allow embroidery in one location, such as the jacket we’re using an example.

For example, the Port Authority Challenger Jacket. provides the option of having your embroidered design on the front of the jacket as listed here:

Remember, if you have any questions about adding additional imprint areas to your product, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team!

However, as with all promotional items, if you add another location to your product, you are going to have to pay more. Another location means that we will need to create a second digitized file and the factory will have to send the shirts through the production line again.

That means another setup charge AND additional location run charges for your order. It’s worth it if you’re committed to your design, but those fees can add up!

What can I do to make sure my item looks fantastic?

The Quality Logo Products® customer service team highly recommends using a simple logo. Not only will it have the clearest embroidery, but it may keep your stitch count down.

Also make sure that your artwork is larger than it would actually appear on your garment. For example, if you are including text in your design, most factories prefer the font size to be at or above 20pt. This will help make sure that your logo is clean and crisp.

Try our Embroidery Color Picker and find the best thread color to match your logo. This exclusive tool allows users to upload their design and enjoy instant access to a list of the most recommended colors. If you don’t have a logo to upload, or are looking for a certain color, you can customize your search to find a multitude of shades in your chosen color. We have over 8,000 choices so you can find the best fit for your brand!

What is the embroidery process like?

We’re glad that you asked! Considering the amount of prep time that embroidery takes, the process is not that complicated at all.

Check out our video that shows you the decoration process from start to finish:

Pretty cool, huh? And look at all of those thread colors!

How quickly can I get my items?

The production time on embroidered items varies based on the factory. Many blankets and shirts can take up to seven days for production.

But like a lot of the items we offer at Quality Logo Products®, rush production is available on many of our jackets, coats, and other garments. So if you start your order on Monday, it is possible to have them in your hands by Friday.

However, we do advise that you allow yourself extra time when placing an embroidery order. Because of the digitizing process there is more back and forth between you and the customer service team than on a standard screen printing order. Better to give yourself an extra day or so to make sure that everything goes smoothly!

As always, Quality Logo Products® wants to make sure that you have the best-looking custom apparel possible. So if you have any questions or need any specifics on an item, you can contact our knowledgeable reps by phone (1-866-312-5646), by email (, or via our live chat.

Do you have any other questions about embroidery? Leave them in the comments section and I will make sure to get you an answer!


Expand Your Brand!

**Please note that website images are screenshots. Prices pictured in this blog post may not reflect current costs. Prices and fees are subject to change at any time and without warning.


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. PMO

    You NAILED it when you mentioned that embroidery gives a higher perceived value.

    Being able to tell customers that for just a bit more, they can wow their employees or clients is a HUGE deal maker!

  2. Kelly Bird

    Embroidery not only creates a higher end item it’s an imprint that will last just as long if not longer than the product itself. Definitely worth the investment when you are spending good money to promote your company.

  3. Rondell Caraos

    Embroidery is such a nice touch to your logo when you want to go that extra mile to promote your company! People appreciate the value of the item you are handing out and also your company when they notice the care and detail that we put in making sure your logo looks clean and crisp!

  4. Erin

    Awesome article Mandy! You covered everything about embroidery our customers ask and would need to know. A high quality embroidered promotional piece really does elevate a brand to the next level!

  5. Michael Wenger

    One thing to add… When you are working with a performance shirt (100% polyester) consider doing a transfer and not embroidery, especially on whites. This will avoid the pucker around the imprint! Just about all of our Tri-mark shirts and jackets can accommodate it!

  6. AG (A.K.A. Myrtle)

    Never have I spoken to a client that was not thrilled with the end result of an embroidered product. When done properly (and that’s how we do) the finished goods always look top notch! Not badmouthing screen-printing, but, of the product can accommodate embroidery… I’d say spend the extra dollars. It will come back to you!

    • Jaimie

      Totally agree with this! Every client has been super happy with their final products when having them embroidered. All of our factories do such a great job to get the job done. If something is too detailed and will not embroider well, both the factory and sales reps work well together to figure out something that will print well. Either way, in the end, our customers are pretty much guaranteed to have a stunning product! 🙂

  7. Chuck Sullivan

    Don’t forget that embroidery will last WAY longer than screen printed logo on garments. It also is a easy way to “class” up the item. It does take just a little longer to produce, but I have never had a customer who has hated their items with the logo embroidered. With that being said, no all logos are made for embroidery, so check with your QLP sales rep and he/she can advise you on whether the logo can be embroidered as is or if there needs to be some modifications!

  8. Erik Steinbrecher

    Embroidery has come a long way and can carry a lot more detail than people realize. You can get different shades of colors and some fine details, but it depends on the type of product you’re putting it on. You also want to keep it simple if the design is going on a left chest because in can crinkle the shirt if too much is embroidery is used. Don’t forget that embroidery looks cool in unique locations such as under a polo shirt collar on the back of the shirt, or over the arched opening on the back of the hat. The perfect locations for a website. Sometimes you can even get away with personalization on polo shirts and jackets for a minimal cost. You can’t do that with screen printing.

  9. Matt

    Embroidery on apparel items is common, but I’ve found that when a different item is embroidered like a padfolio or duffel it can really make the difference between just another gift giveaway and something that a person will hold on to for the long haul.

  10. David

    I was asked pretty much all these questions by one of my clients today. I forwarded him the article because Mandy articulates the ins and outs of embroidery much better than I ever will. Tons of great info and easy to understand.

    Thank you Mandy!

  11. Angie

    Great info! This answers many questions I had about the embroidery process. The next time my customer can’t decide on whether to spend a little extra money to go with an embroidered item, I will be offering up all these great sales points.

  12. Greg

    Great Blog. If you want leave a long lasting impression of your logo, embroidery is the way to go! I’m a hat guy, and they look great on hats! Plus amount of colors you can get with embroidery, could make for a very bold and colorful logo!! This will help you logo stand out from the rest! Visit QLP today, and get your embroidery on!!!!

  13. KEITH

    Fantastic! Embroidery is definitely the way to go with any type of apparel. It stands out and is longer lasting. This is a great breakdown of everything that we are capable of doing with embroidery. It is the way to go for that first professional impression. Another great article Mandy!

  14. Rachel H

    Great article by a great team!

  15. Ashley

    Nothing beats embroidery. Coming into this job I thought it would all be the same but boy I was wrong. After seeing how great shirts and hats come out it is definitely the best way to go and don’t worry everyone here will do everything they can to make you logo pop 🙂

  16. Alex Lane

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I appreciate that you pointed out fleece specifically. I was about to place an order for several fleece pull overs with screen printing. But, I will definitely wait on that one. It makes sense now that I think of it. We will have to make sure to get those embroidered. Thanks again!

  17. Kenneth Gladman

    It is true embroidery can cost you a little more, but it does add value. I love the way a custom logo looks on a bag or jacket. I’ll have to remember that about fleece. It looks great! Thanks for the post.

  18. Annie Frances

    It’s interesting to learn that the stitch count is determined by the factory. I want to have t-shirts embroidered for my wedding party. It would be fun to have everyone wear a t-shirt during the bachelor and bachelorette parties. I had no idea the embroidery process was so detailed. Thanks for the info!

  19. Troy Cameron

    Very informative. I always wanted an article about such topic.Thank you!

  20. Mark Oscar

    Awesome Article I really like it 🙂 It was awesome 🙂 Thanks for sharing , keep on sharing such Articles 🙂

  21. Mark Oscar

    Wow.! Fantastic Embroidery is definitely the way to go with any type of apparel i like it 🙂 Cap Embroidery is very nice keep sharing 🙂

  22. Jason Roy

    Excellent. Cap embroidery is very nice working 🙂 keep sharing

  23. Mark Oscar

    very informative thinks 🙂 logo digitizing is awesome creative i appreciate it

  24. Embroidery Digitising

    Hi Mandy!
    I Love your post. Very informative and nicely written.This type article’s helps a lot for those people who attached with the Digitize Logo for Embroidery type field. Thanks for sharing this great post, Keep the good work.

  25. uniformme

    Very informative

  26. Megri Digitizing

    Thank you for your suggestion, I agree that knowing whole process is the key to learn the complete process. It is apparent that you have thought a lot about implementing such a informative post. Kudos to you.

  27. Tomhenry

    Great post, the design is really looking nice, this is a very useful post.
    Thank you for sharing us the post

  28. Megri Digitizing Blog

    Your post is great .The information that you gave about the Custom Embroidery design is perfect. Thanks for sharing such nice post. keep The good work!!

  29. John

    Nice post.Thank you so much for the information.custom bags with logo is really a prestigious thing.

  30. Lisa Meyers

    Thank you for sharing the process and knowing more about embroidery garments.

  31. Absolute Digitizing

    Thanks for sharing the info about embroidery digitizing. The points which you have shared about ordering custom digitizing are no doubts a must have knowledge about embroidery digitizing. Thanks.

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