Machine Embroidery Tips for Hats - Complete Guide

Machine Embroidery Tips for Hats – Complete Guide

Machine Embroidery Tips for Hats – Complete Guide


Embroidery hats are a fun way to enhance your fashion. They’re stylish, comfortable, and beneficial. Below you will learn everything you need to know about embroidered hats by reading about the different styles of hats, which designs fit each style, and the basic tools for creating an embroidered hat. Here is Everything You Need to Know About Embroidered Hats.

What Is Embroidery?

Embroidery is a special type of stitch technique used in which the design is stitched with a needle and thread to create the design found on your garments. Embroidery is the most popular way of decorating headwear and can be done by machine or hand. When the hat is embroidered by a machine, the machine uses multiple needles with its thread color. Due to not having additional needles, to change thread colors the machine needs to be stopped and rethreaded. Embroidery machines also use a special tool called an embroidery hoop. This allows the fabric to be held in place during the garment decoration process. The hoops also come in many sizes for a variety of sized garments.


The Basics to an Embroidery Hat


When creating an embroidered hat, it goes through a process of digitizing. Digitizing is the process of turning the design picked into a stitch file for the computerized embroidery sewing machine to read and understand. The design or image is read by the machine as an image of stitches. This will allow the machine to understand where and how to move to replicate the design onto the hat.


Stitch Count

Stitch count is the number of stitches it takes to create the design on the hat. Some hats are priced based on the stitch count due to how long it takes to create the design is it has a high stitch count. Less dense designs will often show the fabric of the hat through the stitches and are often priced lower than a highly dense hat. Highly dense hats are stitched closer together and are thicker due to the shorter stitches. This requires a higher stitch count and the price of the hat to go up. Hats with larger designs don’t necessarily mean there will be a higher stitch count because the stitches could be long and less dense.


Embroidery Area:

The hats available area to embroider will determine the size of your design. Hats have different profiles, higher and lower. Higher profiles will give you the ability to print larger, taller designs, whereas lower profiles will be limited to the size of the design.



Simple designs have a nice finished look and are easier to embroider. Small, detailed designs are best to avoid because they are difficult to embroider.


Limited colors

The more colors used, the more complicating it will be to create the design of the hat. When picking a lot of colors it is important to make sure the details are large enough to sew cleanly.



Having a centered design is an important part of hat embroidery. You don’t want to be walking around with a lopsided, uneven design. A tip to keeping your design balanced is to start at the bottom middle part of the cap and go from there.


Types of Hat Embroidery

3D puff embroidery

This type of embroidery is used to raise the thread. The part of the lettering or design puffs out above the rest. It is most commonly used among sports caps like baseball caps.


Flat embroidery

Flat embroidery, also called flat stitches, is a type of stitch where the thread on the hat lays flat. These stitches often don’t use a hoop and can be created through broken or unbroken lines.


Partial 3D puff

This stitch is a mix of both 3D puff and flat stitching on the embroidered hat.


Type of Hats

Snapbacks (Baseball Cap)

A snapback hat (Also known as the baseball cap) is one of the most popular hat types worn. They are made of 5-6 panels with a flat bill and an adjustable snap on the back. With a higher area on the cap, larger designs are great to consider.


Dad hats

A dad hat is similar to a baseball cap but instead is made of cotton or canvas with a curved brim and no snapback. The snapback is usually replaced with velcro. Smaller designs are usually preferred on these hats due to their lower profile.


Trucker caps

These hats are basically a baseball cap with a mesh back. Trucker hats have a higher dome and are mostly made having a mesh panel with a flat brim. Due to the mesh paneling, designs on the front of the hat are most common.

Bucket hats

This type of hat is a soft cotton hat with a sloped downward brim. Any embroidery design is good for this type of hat.



Beanies are designed for comfort and warmth. Due to the material and fit of the beanie, you can play around with designs but will need to stick to a small design.


Visors are common among the sporting community. This is a hat similar to a dad but has no top. It’s best described as a headband with a rounded brim. Its main purpose is to protect your face from the sun and usually has smaller designs.



In the end, it’s all up to what you like and prefer. You will first want to pick the style of hat you like and then see if the design fits your hat. I hope you know everything you need to know about embroidery hats and can pick the perfect one for you!

Machine Embroidery Tips for Hats - Complete Guide

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