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. Heck, 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?
  • What is the benefit of having my item embroidered instead of screen printed?
  • What kind of artwork do I need?
  • What is digitizing?
  • Who does the digitizing?
  • What is stitch count?
  • How is the stitch count of my logo determined?
  • What thread colors can I use?
  • Can I use multiple thread colors on my items?
  • Can I have garments embroidered in more than one location?
  • What can I do to make sure my item looks fantastic?
  • What is the embroidery process like?
  • How quickly can I get my items?
  • 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 our homepage and search “embroidery.”

    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 for 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.), do make sure that 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 QLP 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.

    So 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. So 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 over here in the Embroidery Thread Color Chart. 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 Grinnell Lightweight Jacket. Scroll down past the pricing and click on the tab labeled “Decoration Options.” The available thread colors are linked at the bottom.


    Click “View Colors” and a menu will pop up with all of your choices.


    As you can see, there are a ton of embroidery colors as options. On this one single item you have over 800 thread colors to choose from! That will make matching the colors of your company logo extremely easy.

    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?

    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.

    To see if the item you want allows multiple colors, you just have to check the “Decoration Options” tab. Check out the “Max # of Colors” and the “Additional Color Run Charge” sections to see if that item allows multiple colors.

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

    Embroidery_Blog_Graphics-MaxColorChargesOn this item we have a maximum number of 7 colors and there is no extra charge to use up to 7 colors. If you want more than 7 colors on this item, you will have to pay a small fee for more colors.

    Please note: 7 colors is not the limit on every garment. Check the item you’re interested in for an accurate color count.

    Can I have garments embroidered in more than one location?

    Of course – as long as there is an option for that.

    If we return to the Grinnell Jacket, you will see that there are 7 different locations for embroidering a logo or design.

    Embroidery_Blog_Graphics-DecorLocationsHowever, 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 that 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.

    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 (info@qualitylogoproducts.com), 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.

    Mandy Kilinskis

    Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy 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!

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