The how-to of hoodies

For most people, their hoodies will be their most treasured outerwear in their wardrobe. They’re snug, comforting and versatile; they have an easygoing casual feel, but are still suitable to wear to most social and – increasingly, these days – work situations. So it’s no surprise, then, that personalised hoodies are a popular choice for brands looking to create a product that their clients or staff will continue to reach for when they’re in search of a reliable favourite.

But what if you’re planning to design your own hoodie, but you’re not sure how to make it a reality? Not to fear: this piece is created with that very situation in mind, bringing together some simple steps to help guide you through the process.

5 simple steps to design your own hoodie

1. Choose a garment type

First up, you need to think about what material you want. Like with all custom merch, you have a range of options when it comes to the type of fabric you choose, and with considerations such as the quality – like whether you opt for organic, for example. At ICON, we always recommend opting for organic cotton, as it’ll create a longer-lasting product, and is a better pick in terms of the environmental impact of your garments.

Most hoodies are a blend, usually around 80% cotton and 20% polyester or other synthetic fabric. The reason for this is that it gives a nice balance in terms of breathable cotton and flexibility. If you’re dead set on 100% natural fibres, however, then it is possible to get straight up cotton too. 

2. How thick do you want your hoodie?

Perhaps more so than for any other garment, weight and thickness are an important consideration when it comes to custom hoodies. After all, you want your customers to be suitably snug and comfortable, and many will associate a weighty garment with quality – and by extension, your business and its brand identity. 

ICON can supply hoodies ranging from 280 to 350 GSM (grams per square metre), the top end being a chunky, heavyweight garment catering to those who want their garments especially thick.

3. Embroidery or printing?

In terms of how you want to render your design onto your hoodie, you first need to pick from two different options: printing or embroidery. And then within printing, you have two main different methods you can choose from: screen printing or direct to garment (DTG).

We find that printing, and specifically screen printing, is the most common choice. If you want a classic printed hoodie, and you have a simple, clear design, this is likely the best option. However, if you’re printing a smaller number of units, or you want to print a photo, then DTG may be a better bet. (Head here for more on screen printing vs DTG.)

There’s something to be said for embroidery, too. The textured, raised finish that embroidery gives your design is eye-catching and appealing, and with the thick texture of a hoodie, you can embroider large designs in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do on the thinner material of a t-shirt. (Head here to see some examples for inspiration.)

4. Pick your placement

The classic place for a design on a personalised hoodie is, of course, front and centre. And with good reason, of course: it’s simple, direct and draws your logo or design easily to the attention of those who happen to see it. 

But what about if you want to do something different? It’s also possible to print on the sleeve of your hoodies, which could be a good addition – or alternative – to printing straight on the front. 

One thing to note, however, is that printing on the sleeves is only possible with screen printing, so bear this in mind if you are thinking of straying from the norm.

5. Want extra customisation?

We often have enquiries about other ways to add a touch of something different to personalised hoodies. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to print on the hoods or the cuffs. However, adding tags or labels to the cuffs can be a great way to add an extra bit of something unique.

Want to design your own hoodies? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing and embroidery on a range of garments, counting a number of clients ranging from such as WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.