The basics on embroidery

Embroidery can add a brilliant effect to an item of clothing, and often in different ways. In some cases, it can give a wonderfully DIY look: for simple, spare designs, their stitched appearance gives off a homespun aura. In other cases, it can create a classy effect for work gear, making a company logo really stand out on the shirt or jacket it’s stitched into.

Which brings us to the embroidered jacket. Not as popular an item for embroidery as caps or beanies, but this isn’t to say it’s not an option worth considering. And if anything, the fact they’re less common could help your merch stand out in a crowd. 

We’ve had clients create some wonderful jackets in this way, taking advantage of the range of options available in stitching a design into jackets. But we also sometimes have queries about how it works, or where we point out things customers didn’t realise were possible. So we decided to round up the helpful things to know when designing your embroidered jacket.

What file does my design need to be?

We ask for files to be vector files (as opposed to a raster file.) In simple terms, these are files which never become pixelated or blurry, no matter how much they are enlarged, and which are based around mathematical figures. (Head here for more on file types and garment printing.) This means any one of the following formats:

How big can I go?

In short: as big as you like. When embroidering on a jacket, you can put a neat logo on the arm or breast, or you can have your design spanning across the whole of the back. This is an advantage of jackets compared to t-shirts, where we would recommend that you keep designs for embroidery small. This is because large patches of embroidery can be uncomfortable to wear on a t-shirt, and can also – due to the thinness of the fabric – cause the shape of the shirt to look odd. 

Can I put my design anywhere?

There are some parts of a jacket where it’s not possible to embroider. First of all, we can’t embroider on the cuffs or the hood (if you choose a jacket with a hood). This is because there’s double lining of the garment material in these areas, which means that it’s not possible to reliably stitch into them in the embroidery process. Additionally, it’s not possible to embroider across the zip or buttons.

What colours can I use?

There’s a huge range of colours you can embroider in, so it should almost certainly be possible to find one that’s a great match for the colour in your design. We will look to match your designs as closely as possible to the colour threads which are available. (Also, it’s possible to use threads that are neon, metallic, or aluminium, so there’s scope to get creative with your designs.)

Want to create custom merch for your brand or business? Got more questions about file types or the embroidery process? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting clients ranging from the Tate to Boiler Room and WeWork. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.